Peregrine Falcon

After our return from Santa Rosa and before our state’s lockdown, Leslie and I managed to visit Theler Wetlands.  The skies were gray and there weren’t as many birds as I had hoped, but I was pretty excited when I spotted this Peregrine Falcon who seemed to have spotted me first. 

Unfortunately, it took a lot of Photoshopping to make this picture look as good as it does because of the brush in the front and the lack of sunshine.  On the other hand, the grey skies completely disappeared when I eliminated the shadows and got rid of the noise.

I ended up taking shots from several different points along the trail, but I think this shot was my favorite.

If I hadn’t seen another bird I would have still considered the trip a complete success, but as it turned out I got another shot that I loved — perhaps even more.

Transformation

On first appearance, there doesn’t seem to be anything striking about a Willet other than the fact that it’s almost twice as tall as the plovers and sandpipers it often migrates with.  

It’s certainly not as spectacular as the nearly same-sized Marbled Godwit, but when it opens its wings a remarkable transformation takes place.

For me, the hardest part of photographing Willets is resisting the temptation to encourage them to fly away in hopes of getting a better shot.