Updating spring time wildlife photos with recent views of local wildlife
Something special about the Swainson hawks. In March after a long flight from the winter down South they suddenly appear in the skies harassing other birds of prey and reestablishing territory they left last year in late summer. The old saying of “If you don’t know the species of hawk in the sky it’s probably a red tail” may not be true in eastern Contra Costa County as this time of year it’s a tossup. The Swains are back and in strong numbers. Each year I make a point to remember the first day I see them return. March 17th was the day this year for me and they were doing the same thing this year as they were last year when I observed them. Aerial dog fights with red tail hawks that may have missed them less than me. An even duel I’d say, the reds are arguably stronger but the swains are outstanding flyers and have the same nasty over confident attitude. Included pictures of a dark phased and light phased swainson in flight.Also I am watching a pair of nesting white tailed kites in Oakley. I will attempt to show photos of the youngsters once they are up and flying. Sharing a photo of one of the parents with a field mouse dinner. Including some of the smaller species of birds who live in our back yards and parks, and one of my favorite butterflies near San Pablo.
House wren at Black diamond mines S/O AntiochWhite crested nuthatch also at the mines
Dark phase swain in flight at Holland tract (one of two darks building nest together, monitored this pair for two years) May have talon issueResident burrowing owls in Oakley.
White tailed kite nesting near flood basinPipevine swallowtail at San Pablo dam
Male northern harrier near Jersey ISRed wing black bird Alhambra Valley
Coyote EBM property near El SobranteLight phased swain in Byron this pair I have told many stories of in the blog. Pictures of the young last year and other times. Seven, maybe eight years of watching. Feel like family, warms the heart to see them return…