No Thinking Required

I keep hunting for photographs worth publishing here so I don’t have to resort to actually writing something about the books I’m reading, or, worse yet, having to write something about books I finished nearly a year ago and still haven’t figured out what I want to say about them. God forbid I should have to drag some of my political commentary over from Facebook.

Even when birding is slow, and it seems to be, I sometimes come up with a semi-interesting shot, like this one of what appears to be an almost-adult Bald Eagle

that didn’t like me taking its picture.

When we returned an hour later and the tide had risen considerably we found the eagle in nearly the same place but perching on a stump and, having already checked me out before, it studiously ignored me.

I shoot a lot of shots of Northern Pintails, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a better shot of their feet.

I’m not sure I knew their feet were the same color as its beak.

I don’t see a male Red-Breasted Merganser nearly often enough, so I was thrilled when I saw this one at Theler, but frustrated that he stayed on the far side of the Union River.

At Least There’s Always Great Blue Herons

There’s always a let down when I return from an exciting vacation, but it’s hard to complain since I’m retired and at worst I’m stuck in front of a computer trying to decide which of the many shots I’ve taken best reflect the beauty I see every day.

The rain has continued since we’ve returned, but I’ve still managed to get out in the field with camera one or two days a week even if it has been cool and cloudy in the morning. Spring seems to be on the way, but we’re mainly seeing birds that have been here since Fall.

Luckily, I can count on Great Blue Herons standing guard whenever we visit Theler Wetlands

and even on the grayest, drabbest morning the sight of a Great Blue Heron landing in front of me

inspires me to take yet another shot.

Sometimes the fog allows me to get so close I can almost become one with this Chi master,

belonging here as surely as he does.


Not everything in life fits into neat categories — thank goodness — and these shots are just leftovers from our California trip. Debbie and I spent a considerable amount of time trying to identify this raptor without a positive identification, though we both thought it might be a juvenile that hadn’t fully developed its plumage. John tells me he thinks it’s a juvenile Prairie Falcon and he knows more about hawks than I do.

Here’s a shorebird I’ve only seen a few times but was pretty convinced it was a Spotted Sandpiper (lacking the spots, of course, because it’s in its non-breeding plumage.)

We made a quick stop on our way to Santa Cruz from Fresno but ended up seeing remarkably few birds considering the amount of time we spent getting there. My favorite shot would have to be this one of a Black-Necked Stilt.

This American Coot was alone and quite close to the road, so I had to get a shot of him.