Friday, February 20, 2009

Extended Lunch... shhh, don't tell

Today I brought my camera with me and it was a beautiful day for a walk to see if spring had sprung yet. Well, not quite. The daffodils aren't in bloom just yet, but close.

I didn't make it far at all since I got distracted by the sounds of many birds right at the entrance to the trail :) I drive by this trail every day and often see crows and the other day some kind hawk, but as I am going 50 mph with nowhere to pull over, it doesn't leave much for enjoyment.

There was a lot of activity, most notably two Black Phoebes chasing insects above a swift running creek from our rain the last few days.
I clearly saw one snap up one of the white moths/butterflies we have around here.
There were quite a few of the Yellow-rumped Warblers flitting about as well, but only this one sat still long enough for a picture.
There was also a family of goldfinch(es?) flitting about eating the seeds from these cone-like pods. There was a couple I could identify as Lesser with their olive green backs, but below, I wonder, could it be an American Goldfinch?

While I was making a futile attempt to get a good shot of the goldfinch, I was treated to a male Anna's Hummingbird landing on a branch just 4 feet away from me. He sat there quite a while. How beautiful is he?

I wasn't able to identify this little thing below in the field as I never really got a good look at it, but it turns out to be a bushtit! They seem to be next to impossible to see as they are very small, and so dull-colored. I think it is a female with the light colored eye. I cropped this image quite a bit - and lightened it because it was under-exposed. But it still turned out nice I think.

And finally, as I was headed back to the car, literally dragging my feet, I scared up a California Ground Squirrel. The spots were easy to see in the field, but in the pic, they seem to blend in somewhat. It wasn't thrilled with me, but I managed to get within 15 feet of it to get this nice shot. At the time, I was focused on the body, but I'm thrilled to see the composition was cool too with it sitting on exposed rock. No cropping needed at all. I try not to, but sometimes, if I want a real closeup of a small critter, I just have to, even if I've got the 400mm lens on.

I'll have to do this more often. I really should get out there and walk I know. It is just a real bad habit to eat at my desk and websurf while eating and sometimes working.


behindthebins said...

I am 100% guilty of eating lunch at my desk. Once the weather turns, I want to start getting out more. I LOVE the shot of the Anna's with that fiery throat!! And the bushtit is lovely. sigh. I really need a larger lens.

Darla said...

Just beautiful, and yes, get up and go for a walk at lunch. Just look at all the beautiful photos you can share with us!

Red said...

Thanks Bev. Well spring is right around the corner for you I'm sure. I'm lucky in that I technically could go out any time of the year. I get wussy in the winter although it doesn't get all that cold here.

Thanks Darla... I'll try to do it more often :)

Mary said...

Red, I'm lovin' your bird photos. That bushtit is sweet! Your photo should be a painting. And you know I love hummingbird close-ups. Perfect!

I work through lunch, eating at my desk. Now that the weather is warming up some days, I'll go take a 20 minute brisk walk. No one will miss me!

You can do it, too!

Red said...

Thanks Mary :) LOL, yeah, I can, especially if I take a late lunch and extend it into the time Pastor FINALLY takes off. He tends not to leave until about 2 p.m.

Red said...

takes off for lunch, that is

Leedra said...

Got home from cruise/Florida vacation last night. Woke up to 2 inches of snow this morning, but some of the daffodils are showing their color.

Great bird photos.

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Red said...

Oh, sorry about the rude welcome back home the weather gave you! Looks like the last hurrah of winter if the daffodils are blooming. Ours are almost ready to show their faces... not quite, but the Freesia has already, go figure.

Mary C said...

I love that ground squirrel. It looks as though it was posing for you. I get the opportunity to walk with a colleague/friend while at work, and I've been waiting for the weather to improve before taking the camera. I'm beginning to think I should take my Canon instead of the Kodak, although the Kodak is so "not obvious" and easier to carry to work. Maybe it's time to "borrow" that camera bag of yours. LOL

Raggedy Lamb said...

Beautiful pics! Today I saw this really cute little white and black bird crossing the street. I was too late to take a picture, though my daughter did make an attempt - too late. But, we were at an intersection and this little bobble of a birdy was using the pedestrian crossing as though he was really crossing people style! And then! It waited for the light and crossed the next one, too. So cute!

Red said...

@Mom... just take the camera, it's no biggie about being "obvious" :) I couldn't possibly hide my camera if I wanted to.

@Raggedy Lamb... thanks so much :) That sounds hilarious. I wonder if it was some type of magpie. I've read they tend to be very comfortable around people, and am sure Japan has their fair share.

MaineBirder said...

Love the photos Red, especially the Black Phoebe!

RuthieJ said...

Awesome photos Heidi! Looks like the American Goldfinches that come to my deck feeders.
I especially like the hummingbird close-up.

Red said...

Thanks John :)

Thanks Ruthie :) I couldn't believe how close the hummingbird landed and then sat there as if it were being paid!


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