Thursday, May 28, 2015

SJWS - Monthly Bird Walk

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary has a monthly bird walk on the second Sunday of the month.  In May, that just happened to be Mother's Day.  Ryan was nice enough to let his bird-crazy mom drag him along at 8:00 AM on a Sunday morning on her first ever official bird walk.

According to the guide's announcement at the end of the walk we saw or heard over 58 different species in the course of the 3 hour walk.  It was such an amazing day!  In fact, it was the tipping point that pushed me to order my new camera - when I got home and saw how crap my pictures were after seeing so many wonderful birds, I just knew I had to pull the trigger on placing the order and am so happy that I did!

Here's what was remotely salvageable (although nowhere near the quality of the new camera):

Just to set the scene - this is a view of one of the 7 (or is it 9?) ponds at the site. 
"Pelican Island" out in the middle of one of the ponds.  If I remember correctly, there were some double-crested cormorants hanging out there as well (but not in the photo).
Then the pelicans decided it was time to take off... wherever pelicans go when not hanging out on the island.

Same bird a few minutes later...with a friend.
Tree Swallows everywhere...I can't get enough of their iridescent blue/green coloring.  So beautiful in the sun!
This pair sat on this branch forever.  The one on the right has a mouthful of bugs and I kept wondering why they were staying put so long and letting me photograph them.
Eventually, I realized there was a nestbox nearby and while I was not blocking it or close to it in any way, they were being good parents by not leading the "predator" (aka the Crazy Camera Lady) to their babies.  As soon as I moved on down the path, they went straight to the box. 

One thing the old camera IS really good at?  Taking close ups.  While this is not a bird, it was such a gorgeous Tiger Swallowtail butterfly that I had to share it.  It stayed still like this for a nice long time so I got some amazing shots of it.

I have no idea what these are, but the colors are so beautiful - the perfect way to finish off my Mother's Day bird walk!


Millie and Walter said...

Tree swallows are some of my favorites too. That flower in your last picture is lantana. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Pearl said...

Hi. Those flowering plants are called Lantanas. They have very beautifully coloured flowers. Where I live, Lantanas are wild plants but are pleasing to the eyes.

Creative Haven said...

Those flowers are lantana. they smell nice too!

Stewart M said...

It does look like a place that the birds would gather in - looking forward to shots with the new toy.

The trees in my picture are Silver Birch.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

I do my best to resist camera envy, but I did give in and bought a smaller point-and-shoot which also gives me very nice closeups. BTW, Painted Buntings seem to favor patches of Lantana. They produce dark blue berries that are attractive to wildlife. I enjoy the variety of colors that can be produced in a single cluster, from pink to orange, yellow and orange.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm amaed that you saw or heard 58 species in the space of three hours! WOW!

Phil Slade said...

Good luck with the new camera but hold onto the other one. You can never have enough optics. We don't have Tree Swallows but Barn Swallows but I know what you mean about those iridescent colours in the right lighting conditions.