Carpinteria Salt Marsh – March 5, 2011

March 7, 2011

We took a quick trip to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh on Saturday.  Most of the marsh is part of the University of California Natural Reserve system, and is closed to the public; however a portion of it is owned by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and is open to the public.  I had heard reports of a red fox in the area, and with all the recent rains we hoped to at least find some tracks.  No luck on that front, but we were rewarded with so nice light and cooperative birds.  The highlights were seeing every kind of Teal, a couple Northern Pintails, and even a Surf Scoter preening very close to the beach.  A couple dolphins were also seen lounging and barely moving just offshore.  All in all, it was a very nice morning trip.

“Cinnamon Teal”  –  Carpinteria Salt Marsh

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Flying into March

March 2, 2010

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already March!  It seems like 2010 just got started and here we are, less than two weeks away from Daylight Savings Time already.  Oh, if you’re a fan of seeing the sun in the morning, I have bad news for you.  Once we turn our clocks back, the sun will rise later than it did in the dead of Winter.  (At least that’s what my resident “Date and Time” expert has told me.)  In any case, here are some recent bird images to go along with the snappy title of this post.

“Great Blue Heron with Potato Bug”  –  Goleta, CA

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Common Beauty

November 19, 2009

Some interesting large migratory birds are finally arriving in the Santa Barbara area.  We have had flocks of Canada Geese overnighting at Lake Los Carneros and a juvenile female Northern Harrier coursing over the surrounding meadows.  There has certainly been no shortage of creatures to photograph around here recently.

“The World’s Prettiest Mallard”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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Scenic Sights from the Lake

November 18, 2009

There are many more bobcat and bird photos to post.  Due to all the great sightings recently, I think my nose is permanently bent out of shape from being smashed against the back my camera!  In any case, I have been taking the time to capture other beautiful sights along the way.  Here’s a small and colorful selection of recent views at Lake Los Carneros.

“Intimate Field”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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Big Bird Backlog

October 25, 2009

I’ve been sitting on a ton of great bird photos that I just haven’t had the time to post.  Unfortunately I can’t post all of my favorites but here is a small selection from the last couple weeks.

~As always, you can click on the individual photos to view them larger~

“Great Blue Heron Chase”  –  Devereux Slough, Goleta, CA

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Oso Flaco and Guadalupe Dunes

October 18, 2009

I’ve gotten used to traveling and felt the need to get out of town once again. We hit the road bright and early Saturday and headed north towards Santa Maria.  The drive highlighted the beauty that is California.  Some areas felt like fall, with the grape vines and trees turning gold and red, and in other areas the first blades of grass filled rancher’s valleys.  On the drive back it was in the 90’s, which certainly felt like summer.  If there would have been snow on the mountain peaks we could have experienced all four seasons in one day!

The goal was to finally see some sun at Oso Flaco and Guadalupe Dunes.  Every other visit has been during foggy or overcast conditions.  We were rewarded with deep blue skies and great light.  The highlight of the trip was playing chicken with a raccoon on the boardwalk at Oso Flaco.  I might post some video to my flickr page a bit later.

“American White Pelican”  –  Oso Flaco, near Guadalupe, CA

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Rain… in August?

August 23, 2009

I can’t remember the last time we had rain in August in Santa Barbara.  I’m certainly not complaining, since I’m happy to have something other than boring fog and low clouds.  A chance of thunderstorms was predicted for yesterday but we only had some light sprinkles and generally overcast skies for the bulk of the day.  This kind of weather can lead to some interesting bird sightings, especially during the beginning of the fall migration.  Lately we have only had mallard ducks at Lake Los Carneros, so I was surprised to find a lone Ring-necked Duck yesterday.  These generally shouldn’t arrive until much later in the fall.  In addition, there was a Kingfisher very actively hunting and calling.  This was the first time I had ever seen one make multiple dives without landing.

“Silvery Skies”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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