Monday, September 9, 2013

        Long days of summer winding down and the last springs seem to be drying up quickly in most area creeks. Drought has been tough and my hope  is for a wet, wet winter.  Morgan Territory was a blaze, that's one of my main photo sources of all time... Rough times, but there is always good news if one looks hard for it. The Ospreys and Bald eagles are making one heck of a come back. Ospreys can be viewed all over the place these days from the river systems to the inland lakes and up and down the coast. As I was shooting basketball the other day in an Oakley park two Ospreys sounded off from above stopping me in my tracks. I watched them circle in the neighborhood with a red tail hawk and no water in sight. The bald eagles are now nesting in area lakes they haven't nested in for years. They can be seen in many of our area lakes and "what a sight" to witness them. Not going to call these sightings common, but improving all the time. I am concerned about the burrowing owls here in eastern Contra Costa and the Swainsons here have some issues as well.
       I have had the opportunity of late thanks to my generous brother Mitch to visit a pig hunting ranch in Stanislaus County. Wild pigs are a non indigenous species to our area, however they are part of our local wildlife. Land owner partner Rick Beach was a great host (hard working / knowledgeable) good guy and very accommodating setting us up in a blind and at times, and sometimes just driving us around to view the wild pigs. He set out trays of food for the pigs and fruit to draw them close to us for pictures. There was no hunting this day on the ranch allowing us to take photographs of the wild pigs in their habitat. There is plenty of endless property including open hills and valleys for the pigs to do very well. There are a few species of pigs here as well including some from Europe. The large monsters (250 plus pounders /  he mentioned there are a few up to 600 pounds) stayed hidden out of sight during the day with observers around. There was still plenty of 175 pounders, females and youngsters. I was fortunate to have this opportunity and am including four photos of the day. Going in I couldn't help but feel like I was in the movie Jurassic Park as the screams of the wild boars could be heard coming in the main gate. They seemed to know we had food aboard.  Rick corrected me stating this is actually Boarassic Park. Those that know me know that I am not a hunter myself, though I do realize the many of the groups assist with habitat enhancement, land purchasing, and funding for particular species assistance. A special thanks to my cool brother Mitch who has been one of my greatest supporters, and has assisted with purchasing camera gear and always been helping me out.

#1 Young black tail deer on Mines Rd. Livermore. #2 wild pig #3 same. #4 red tails (morgan territory rd. #5 sharp shinned came to my work with message. Martinez CA. #6 and #7 wild pigs. #8 bad photo of bald eagle at San Pablo Dam in western CC County. #9 Young Kestral at Carquinez Scenic Dr. #10 Young Coyote (Marsh Creek fire area during fire).  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Davd - this is Shannon (aka Darwindog96) - I totally forgot about the wild pigs - we have lots up here (from the humongous ones you reference above on down to smaller pot bellied looking ones). I've only seen the smaller ones running by and some bigger ones that seem much more content to come out around dusk. But they are huge and scary - they are seen a lot near Coyote Lake/Harvey Bear area - I sent you info in an email