In my 63 years 9 months and 26 days on Earth, it ranks as one of the Top 10 most interesting things I have ever done. Got to see gyrfalcon, pygmy falcon, peregrine falcon, American kestrel, ferruginous hawk, and red-tailed hawk.
I got bopped on the head by the wings of a diving peregrine falcon. Afterwards, we had a field trip where I got to see my first bald eagle nest in the wild and a juvenile bald eagle in the wild.
I took 458 pictures, so it will take me a little while to catalog all of them. Here are two pictures of the gyrfalcon, the largest of the falcons and, as far as I’m concerned, the most beautiful. It’s from the Arctic.
Hawk Watch occurs every weekend in January and February, and next Saturday, 1/12/2019, all those birds will be back, accompanied by some owls, including a Great Horned Owl. I guess you know where I will be next Saturday.
Whenever my wise old grandmother (MWOG) took me out to eat, inevitably I could not eat everything that the restaurant served me. MWOG often told me, “Just because the restaurant served it to you doesn’t mean you have to eat it all now. You can take some home.”
In her afterlife, I believe she has been counseling some fauna here on Earth:
I put 12 hours of effort on Friday into creating a pond where my little tired and thirsty honeybees will be happy.
Following are three pictures documenting construction.
All I have to do now is add some little sandy beaches so the honeybees can live the good life and add some plants to provide shelter and shade.
During the 12 hours that I spent building the Wildlife Corner Pond, lots of wildlife came by to see what I was doing. A couple of rabbits watched me from a small hill in the open space preserve on the other side of the chain link fence. Four ground squirrels watched me from an area that I call “Ground Squirrel Hill,” also on the other side of the chain link fence. And seven yellow birds—I have no idea what kind of birds they are but I have never seen them before—sat on the wood fence and in the trees above the fence watching me. I suspect the new water source in Wildlife Corner will draw even more wildlife, especially birds, than I am accustomed to seeing each day.
After construction was completed and the pond was full of water—and I was inside—lots of birds stopped by. Several curve-billed thrashers, lots of sparrows, a western scrub jay, and many honeybees. The fact that some honeybees already have discovered this new water source gives me encouragement that I’ll be able to coax the honeybees from the front pond to the new Wildlife Corner pond. I think the rabbits and ground squirrels already had gone to bed for the evening so I look forward to seeing how they react when I put out food for them in about seven hours.
All pictures were taken with my smarty pants phone since I’m not taking $2,000 worth of camera equipment out into a construction zone full of dirt and water.
Pelicans are one of my favorite birds to watch in the wild.
I grew up in Kingsville, Texas, (Gulf Coast) and spent a lot of time surfing on South Padre Island National Seashore during high school. I have lived here in San Diego since April 1993. I have been able to spend a lot of time watching pelicans and taking their pictures.
I have a few billion pictures of them flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Until this past weekend in Santa Cruz, California, I had never seen a pelican fishing. Usually they just sit around on shore, or a pier, or a fishing site, waiting for scraps from fisherpeople. One can often see crowds of them following a fishing boat returning from the Pacific Ocean.
In Santa Cruz, they weren’t waiting around for anything. They were doing their own fishing, and I caught one of them at the end of his dive, at the point of impact with the water. Click on the picture below and you can see very clearly the fish that Mr. Pelican had his eye on.