Back in California

December 29, 2010

Apparently we got a bit of rain in So Cal while I was away…  With the local trails frightfully muddy, I decided to hit the beach instead.  The usual suspects were found along the shoreline, however the lagoon was hopping with activity.  A decent group of Forster’s Terns were actively fishing and the Cormorants were doing their part to further herd the fish into the shallows.

“Forster’s Tern with Fish”  –  UCSB Lagoon

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Less Fur, More Feather

January 13, 2010

In case anyone’s wondering, I still find the time to photograph things that aren’t bobcats.  Here are a few recent photos that I like.

“Anna’s Hummingbird”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta CA

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Florida – Viera Wetlands

December 13, 2009

The last stop of the trip was to Viera Wetlands, as recommended by another photographer on Flickr.  This location has a series of manmade ponds adjacent to a water treatment center.  The ponds were buzzing with activity and we saw tons of water birds, an Osprey with a good sized fish, many Alligators, and a River Otter even ran across the gravel road in front of us!  The photographic highlight was getting to watch an American Bittern up close.  I can’t believe that I got great looks at two in one day!  It’s too bad that the bird appeared to have an injured foot, otherwise it appeared to be in good health.

“American Bittern”  –  Viera Wetlands, Brevard County, Florida

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Florida – Merritt Island I

December 12, 2009

One of my favorite places to go while visiting Central Florida is Merritt Island.  This is a spectacular place to watch and photograph water birds, alligators and raptors.  I have seen reports of bobcats here too, but didn’t manage to get a glimpse of one on this trip.  There’s always next time!

“Mangrove View”  –  Merritt Island, Florida

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Florida – St. Johns River

December 12, 2009

The first major outing involved taking a pontoon boat up the St. Johns River.  We saw an incredible amount of wildlife and I’d highly recommend this as a great way to view a diversity of animals in their natural habitat.  The highlight of the trip was spotting two manatees feeding along the edge of the river.  Due to the murkiness of the water, I didn’t get any postable photos although there are many manatee photos to come in the next post.

~ More photos from the trip can be seen on my Flickr page.

“American Alligator”  –  St. Johns River, Florida

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Saturday Road Trip – part II

October 18, 2009

On the way back we stopped at Nojoqui Falls to see how much water was still flowing after the big rain last week.  There wasn’t a ton of water but it was still lovely and I’d like to get back there with a tripod and with fewer people around.  We then decided to check out Devereux Slough before going back to the house.  We were there last weekend and the difference in water level was stunning.  The slough is very full and possibly close to breaching through the beach.  The heightened water level has changed the composition of water birds with most of the small shorebirds now missing.  The highlight was watching a White-faced Ibis fly in and land on the southern island.  Hmm… now that I think about it, I change my mind.  The most memorable occurrence was watching several cormorants attempting to balance on a 4×4.  Here’s some video of them log-rolling!  Finally, we dropped by Lake Los Carneros before sunset and saw a Northern Harrier flying back and forth, low over the brushy fields.

“Spring and Fall”  –  Nojoqui Falls, Santa Barbara County, CA

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Back… for now

September 28, 2009

I’ve been incredibly busy since I got back in town and apologize for the lack of posts.  I’m just now getting caught up and it’s almost traveling time again.  Here’s a small collection of photos taken at Lake Los Carneros over the past few weeks.  The water level in the lake has been steadily dropping and has created a lot of excellent shorebird habitat.  We have been rewarded with many Egrets, some relatively rare Sandpipers and a large group of Long-billed Dowitchers.  The Dowitchers are easily approachable, as you’ll see in a later post.  I hope to put up a bunch of new posts before hitting the road.

“Waking Up on a Misty Morning”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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