Monthly Archives: May 2016

Swainson’s Hawk 5-17-16

Swainson's Hawk 5-17-16

Swainson’s Hawk 5-17-16

Swainson's Hawk 5-17-16

Swainson’s Hawk 5-17-16

I was scanning the local turkey vultures this afternoon when this pale hawk caught my attention. I wasn’t looking for this bird.  I got a few decent, not great, shots.

How many great fly-bys like this bird have I missed because I wasn’t watching all day every day? Damn. 

This is late date for this bird to be migrating through San Diego County.  The latest spring date for this bird is May 15, per the Bird Atlas. There may be later, recent records.  This bird is common to abundant in the Borrego Valley in the late winter and early spring. It has a migration that takes it from Argentina to Alberta, maybe all the way to Saskatoon.

Hermit Warbler

Hermit Warbler

Hermit Warbler, female

Hermit Warbler, female

Willow Fly

Western-wood Pewee

I may be wrong on this bird.  The genus, empidonax, that this bird belongs is difficult.  The primary extension looks like a pewee, while, in my experience, the white under the chin looks like a willow fly

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

Technical Stuff 5-15-16

I recently got a new camera body, the D500,  and I’ve been working with it for several days.  Beginning with the pics of the Black-and-White warbler, all since have been using the new camera.

Yellow-breasted Chat ISO400, 420mm.

Yellow-breasted Chat ISO400, 420mm.

Fresh from the bath.  This singing Yellow-breasted Chat showed up this morning (5-15-16).  I’ve seen several chat this year, but never a singer.

Yellow-breasted Chat ISO 400 420mm 5-15-16

Yellow-breasted Chat ISO 400 420mm 5-15-16

Morning light is usually the best.  Unfortunately, it does not last long enough.    I’m moving the water feature (where the chat is perched) several  feet toward the photo vantage.  This will help obscure the background a lot.  I’ve also got Japanese Honeysuckle planted, and about this time next year the fence will be a solid wall of variegated greenery.

Anna's Hummer 500mm ISO10,000

Anna’s Hummer 500mm ISO10,000

European Starling 500mm ISO1250

European Starling 500mm ISO1250

Birders hate this introduced, invasive species.  Its related to the mynah and would be a popular cage bird if it wasn’t messy.  It is a very good mimic.

Western Tanager 500mm

Western Tanager 500mm ISO800

Scott's Oriole 500mm ISO800

Scott’s Oriole 500mm ISO1250

The lens used was a Nikkor 300mm VR with 1.4 or 1.7 Nikkor TCs.

 

Black-and-White Warbler 5-10-16

Black-and-White Warbler 5-10-16 at the Swamp

Black-and-White Warbler 5-10-16 at the Swamp

Black-and-White Warbler 5-10-16

Black-and-White Warbler 5-10-16

This is an eastern warbler, not a bird that I was expecting.  I did see one previously at the swamp in the Fall of 2014, but this is quite an unusual bird.  They are very uncommon but not exceptionally rare along the coast in fall and winter.

This species superficially resembles the common western migrant, the Black-throated Gray Warbler.

Townsend's warbler

Townsend’s warbler

This is a common western migrant.

 

 

 

May Birds through 5-7-16

Western Tanager in the Local Mulberry

Western Tanager in the Local Mulberry Tree

Western Tanager

Western Tanager

Western Tanager

Western Tanager

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow-headed Blackbird and Tricolored Blackbirds

Yellow-headed Blackbird and Tricolored Blackbirds

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Lazuli Bunting, male

Lazuli Bunting, male

Lazuli Bunting, female

Lazuli Bunting, female

MacGilivray's Warbler, male

MacGillivray’s Warbler, male

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

Western-wood Pewee

Western-wood Pewee

 

Black-throated Gray Warbler fresh from its bath

Black-throated Gray Warbler fresh from its bath

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Lawrence’s Goldfinch

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak