Monday, November 10, 2008

Rancho San Antonio

As promised a few days ago, here are my Rancho San Antonio pics (taken Oct. 5th) including the White-tailed Kite.

But first, the Acorn Woodpecker. What an odd-looking bird. Somewhere I read it has a "clown-like face" - and it does, lol!

(as always, click image to enlarge)

Then some European Starlings. I had thought I had never seen them before, but this was before I started editing my photos from Rancho del Oso. I had enough good photos from that field trip to make three posts, so that one didn't make the cut.

Interesting bird with an interesting history. I'm sure it's not a favorite of most. It does have a very odd coloring pattern.

I couldn't remember what this was when I got to editing it. I think that I vaguely remember it was a California Towhee, but I cannot tell at all and that was mostly based on the sound I had heard. I couldn't ID it while there either because the sun was practically behind it and it was dark where I was standing.

And now for the White-tailed Kites! As we were leaving the park - going around a round-about and over a speed bump, I glanced off to the right at something that caught my eye. It was white, large, and just falling straight to the ground. I nearly crashed the car, lol! I asked Mom what it was and she might have said right away, maybe it's a kite.
We got out of the car and watched it for a bit, and I opened up the trunk and grabbed my camera and fired off a bunch of shots. It was getting pretty dark, so it wasn't easy finding the right settings. But with the magic of photoshop, I managed to get a few. I had forgotten to ramp up the ISO - oh well.

Below is the pair :)

This was when one of them was looking for prey - maybe a ground squirrel?

I think it spotted one here...

Here it is dropping down...

Looks like it missed :( I don't see anything in its feet.
That was cool - and dare I say it?

A lifer.


Lynne said...

Cool? You can say that again!
Lucky you!

Mary C said...

I'm glad you posted a series - almost like a slide show. Hopefully, one of these days you'll be able to capture another kite and get better photos.

Red said...

Yep Lynne, lucky me. I'd like to see another - preferably when it's still light out. :o)

Thanks Mom, I probably ought to do that with others as well, especially considering I often shoot on burst mode.

nina said...

What a neat woodpecker!
I have a special place in my heart for them all--tho, we do not see the acorn woodpecker in this area.

Red said...

I like them too... too bad they don't do the woody woodpecker laugh!

adampaul said...

WT Kites are my nemesis bird - so often seen, and so very, very difficult to photograph!

Their storied (and sordid) history aside, European Starlings are interesting to me in that they are one of very few birds whose basic plumage (which you've photographed here) is fancier than their alternate plumage.

Red said...

Yes, they'll probably be my next nemisis bird - titmouse is first because i just can't capture the crown feathers up, lol - but I'll bet I only see the kites when it's too dark to take a photo. That was my first time even seeing one though, so maybe I'll hardly see them.

Thanks for noting the starling was in basic plumage. I didn't realize that.


Current skin is Spring Green 2009
Best viewed on Firefox at 1024x768, larger or widescreen.
If you must use Internet Explorer, update to IE8 or the sidebars will look funky.