Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Butterflies, part 2

 So here is the second half of my latest butterfly collection. These are all from Mexico, and most are with in the last 30-60 days....enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Butterflies....a colorful change up

As most of you know by now, Jeanne has had some pretty invasive surgery, and will be off her feet, or at least one of them for about 10 weeks. This means she is not staying on the boat, as we have rented a condo here very near the boat and our store. Jeanne's Mom and Dad have come down to help out, and combined with the store being quite busy, I have not been out and about shooting birds....

So, I am posting a few fun shots that I have gathered over the last couple of years with just Mexican butterflies!  I have a couple of great resource books that give me the names, but I have not had a chance to search out each one, so, just enjoy the beautiful colors!! I will get back out chasing birds next weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The "Photo Bomb"

That clever new phrase, naming an action that has occurred ever since the first cameras. You have all seen it, (or done it), are setting up your friends/family/children/spouse for a nice picture. Then just as you release the shutter, some hooligan, whether known to you or not, jumps in behind them and gets into the picture. When I was  kid, it was nothing more than using two fingers to give somebody "Rabbit Ears"

As you can guess, I shoot a very large number of images, and every now and then I get that one image that meets the "photo bomb" description. In most cases, I never see it happen, only finding the results once I am back at my desk reviewing the shots. In nearly every case, the offending creature (bird, butterfly, fly near the lens, falling leaf) is badly out of focus. But, every now and then, I get that one photo bomb that is just fun...Last weekend, I captured a great shot of a Greater Roadrunner, perched atop a cactus. A cactus Wren took exception to the Roadrunner being there and dive bombed it several times. I stopped shooting as the Roadrunner was turning around and avoiding the Cactus Wren. Not the best pose for my Roadrunner photo. Some how I did manage to capture the wren, just after it returned back to it's perch.

I am just sure I heard the Cactus Wren calling..."nee neer, nee neer, nee neer!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

And just when I thought I had been everywhere!

In the last few years, Jeanne and I have covered a lot of miles in and around La Paz, and the Baja California Sur in general. We have picked locals brains about hot spots to go, and discovered a few on our on. Last week, a friend mentioned that he had gone a hike and was amazed at the number of birds in that area. Well, as you can imagine, that got my attention. Just a little over 5 miles outside of town, down a poorly marked dirt road, you come to a locked gate. Go thru the side of the gate(it's OK he says, it just there to keep the kids from partying in there) and down a dirt road, you will come to a large body of water out in the middle of the desert. Water!! In the Desert? and fresh water to boot? This I gotta see, so first thing Saturday morning, I loaded up all my goodies and head out. Found the road, drove down to the gate, and walked down the hill. As you can see below, it is beautiful!  There is a damn that forms the reservoir. And, yes, there were birds everywhere! All told, in three hours I saw 25 different bird species.

Here is the damn that forms this beautiful body of water. At this point I an pretty sure it is used for irrigation, but until I do some more research, I won't know for sure.

This Black-throated Sparrow greeted me as soon as I opened my car door, and then waited around so I could get the camera out and set up....a real ham!

In all this time traveling these desert road, I keep hoping for that "One" really awesome photo of a Greater Roadrunner, I have hundreds, but not the "One",  this one is pretty close. I was just sitting near the water when it popped up un this cactus and preened.

In that same area, there were several Northern Cardinals, first is the male, who seemed to be a bit shyer, staying up on the cactus that was just left of the Roadrunner,

And the female,  who came right down to see me.

These tiny little Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are such a challenge top photograph, as they just never sit still, this one stopped for just a moment, I am sure to sit in the shade of a bit.

I was able to see a really large number of hummingbirds, and nearly all were our only endemic hummingbird, the Xanthus's. It seemed to me that the males were all very leery of getting any where near me, but the females had no problem, in fact several times getting well inside the minimum focal point of my lens. Below are two of the images of female Xanthus's Hummingbirds.

This is a shot of the reservoir from closer to the damn, as the water turns and bends up several little arms, formed by the canyon that the was used to form the reservoir. This is a place that I will be visiting a lot.....


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Parque De Coloma

Here are a few of the images that I got on Last Sunday in Guadalajara. These were taken at Coloma Park, in Guadalajara.

This is the Great Kiskadee

This a new Hummingbird for me, a Violet-crowned Hummingbird

Despite being considered an "Eastern" Bird, this Eastern Bluebird was hanging out in southern Mexico!

And, of course, the Russet-crowned Mot Mot. I love the little spade shaped ends on the tail!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back in La Paz

After the better part of a week, most of which was in the hospital with Jeanne, I have returned to La Paz, and  full scheduled of boat work, and other silly responsibilities. You know, those "work" things that get in the way of birding!! In the two days prior to Jeanne's surgery (which went very well, and she is doing great) we got a couple days of exploring the local area. We spent Saturday at the Guadalajara Zoo. The zoo is truly is huge, with many of the areas being large open area enclosures. This allows for viewing the animals in a much more natural setting. In the next few days I will post some of my animal pictures.

The second day, we went back to explore Parque De Coloma, where we spent some time last visit. This is such a huge park, the we have barely seen 2/3's of the area, in our visits. I will post a group of some of the highlights of both locations.

While they would not be considered a wild bird, while here in the Zoo, it was still fun to see the Flamingos!!

The Rufous-backed Robins were running around gathering food for their babies!

The Green Herons have become one of my favorite birds to photograph.

This was my very first Social Flycatcher, it was grabbing dragonflies right above the little heron in the picture above 


These are Lesser Goldfinches..

Monday, July 4, 2016

On the road again...

Well, actually, the road, a plane, a get the idea. Jeanne and I are in Guadalajara, Mexico for some medical work for her. Don't fear, I still have gotten in two great days birding, one day at the Guadalajara Zoological, and the second, back to the Parque de La Coloma, where we were a few weeks ago. I have several new birds, including 4 new Hummingbirds, and a few Mexican birds that will take a little research to Exactly which species they are. I have a really good idea, but need to make sure before I put my foot in my mouth.

So, hang in there and I will try to get some pics posted on Friday when I get back to La Paz.

Happy 4th Of July to all of you!

The Bird Nerd

Friday, July 1, 2016

The things we do for food!

In most cases, when you think about birds out feeding, it always seems that they neat and clean, rarely ever a mess. This does not hold for those birds that gather their food out on the tidal flats. Once the waters go out, all that is left is a large wet area of sandy, muddy, mucky goop. Mixed up in this rather nasty mix, are shrimp, crabs, salamanders, and other assorted snack items that the herons, egrets, and other shore birds eat.

Nobody dives in for a meal like the Ibis. With a bill that is nearly 10 inches, they have the ability to get pretty deep down in the muck to find what they are looking for. Doesn't that just look yummy?

While this Ibis seems to at least keep it's face out of the mud, mostly...

This one got a much easier meal, catching a crab, running around on the surface!

This beautiful Jeweled Moray Eel got trapped on the flats when the water when out. Not a good thing! When I spotted it, and this White Ibis headed right for it, I got the tripod set up, and waited for the action!!  The Ibis walked up to it, saw what it was....., and promptly walk all the way around it!  That bugger has a good set of teeth.

Now, the Snowy Egret is a bird that knows how to keep things tidy even when playing in the mud!

The Wilson's Plovers were working the edge of the water, gobbling down the little Fiddlers Crabs that follow the water line in and out.

Of course the Black Skimmers never seem to make too much of a mess, just cruising along snapping up little fishes!

And the Black-crowned Night Herons do very well for them selves chasing down the small crabs that also get caught in the outgoing water