Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wildlife Filled Wild Tuesday

Yesterday morning, while speaking on a conference call in the twilight hours of early morning just before dawn, I saw a Rather Large Raptor - either a Peregrin, Merlin, or Kestrel, chase a song bird from my thistle feeder outside my office window and into the thickly leafed ficus tree.  The song bird got away, and the raptor (which looked "grayish" in the pre-dawn twilight) clambered out of the leaves, no prey in talons, to hunt elsewhere.  I had no idea when I put up the thistle feeder that it would be a raptor feeder... but that is pretty cool.  Circle of life.

Throughout the day, I saw my buddy the Rufous hummingbird flitting about the crown of the ficus tree, undoubtedly eating small insects, from his movements.

When I went downstairs to make tea (about 5 times that morning and early afternoon) I saw & heard the extended family of red finches who have nested above my kitchen window, as they communally brought food to the hungry chirping chicks.  Clueless morning doves lumbered through my herb garden, slowly poking around for seeds and insects.

At 2pm I realized that Dr Desert Flower had left me Celeste and that she'd driven the Mazda to the train station.  It was a beautiful day, and I was inexorably drawn to the beach.  Loaded up camera, cooler, binoculars, brow-wiping-sweat towel, and wallet, and I headed off to the beach, top down, to run the stairs (just 5 times yesterday, shore to parking lot), the Strand Beach boardwalk (just 3 times) and the Nature Conservancy 'Zig Zag' (just 3 times...   I am resting today, with significant delayed muscle aches, but no soft tissue injuries).

On the Zig Zag, I saw my buddy the Anna's Hummingbird, fiercely standing his ground.  He flared his magenta ascot plumage at me and chirp/whistled/squealed his high pitch call to ward off the one-black-eyed nearly hairless ape who kept staring at him, 5 feet away as he swayed many body lengths, to and fro, in the stiff on shore gusts.

Dozens of flights of pelicans soared past.

Overhead I heard a commotion.  A red tail hawk was being harassed by crows, but he just climbed higher and out-soared the annoying basalt hued frat boys.

Little did he know, that a male peregrine falcon was Very Unhappy that any hawks were in theneighborhood, and the Very High Pitched scream of the falcon was clarion over the sound of the gusting wind.  A Honda Gold Wing (the hawk) is no match for a Ducati Desmosedici (the falcon) and after several quick dives and aerial lunges, the hawk headed inland.

Lucky for this rabbit, grazing in the multi-million dollar lots next to the nature preserve, that the hawk didn't see it.

And lucky for me that I did not closely encounter a Large skunk, who lumbered off under a bush before I could get a clear photo of him, 20 feet from the edge of the Zig Zag path, uphill.
The skunk was nearly 2 feet long
Two females, sharing a feeder in my back yard

When I got home, I soaked in the hot tub to ease my aches and pains, and 1/2 way through a bottle of Wreck Alley, I spotted the Bullocks Oriole I mentioned earlier this spring, alight on the bird of paradise 25 feet above me.  A 2nd finch family was trying to build Another Nest on the 2nd Bose speaker that faces the pool, and a female Anna's hummingbird enjoyed the blossoming orange tree we planted last October in the backyard.


  1. Wow! Those are some nice shots.Very cool.

  2. A very smart man I know in London recommended a superb camera to me that makes is Much Easier to take high quality photos. Thank you my friend.


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