Friday, March 31, 2017


    Updating pictures of the wildlife around us, this spring promises to be a good one for the outdoor person, and for our wildlife. By next month I will attempt to get solid photos of burrowing owls and swainson hawks that are now in the area.

                 This month featuring a meeting with “grumpy cat”, (a small male bobcat) I believe. I crossed paths with the cat in the Livermore foothills. He scaled some steep rocks, and could have easily walked into the high grass and disappeared forever. However, he waited near a barbed wire fence. allowed me to park my car, walk up to within fifty feet of him, take a few shots while kitty curiously checked me out with no apparent fear. He then walked slowly into the high grass and was gone. The Livermore hills around Del Valle reservoir is a beautiful area right now, despite the reservoir being closed on and off again from flooding. Call first before going out there. The creeks and hills are an amazing sight right now, plant life going crazy and western pond turtles who dug into dry creek beds during the drought, are now having a tropical vacation with occasional wind surfing available. Okay, that's a little over the top but its very nice to see.
   Also a visit to a barn owl friend, and a snowy egret hunting crawfish, golden eagle in flight, this time around featuring some water birds , taking a raptor break...

    Unfortunately, our wildlife faces many challenges including the use of pesticides and rat poison by several powerful companies unrelenting in their desire to continue selling hazardous products, despite continuing proof it is killing animals “from mice to mountain lions,” and others along the food chain.

Linking a call to action from Raptors Are the Solution, who is sponsoring AB 1687 to ban dangerous pesticides. Please read about it here! and scroll down to bobcat picture. 

Raptors are the Solution

Painted Lady Butterfly

Livermore bobcat

Barn owl, new picture of area shown before. There are two who live here. They are now used to me coming by. I will not get close and cause panic...

Water pipit along Dutch slough near bethel Is.

Black neck stilt @ jersey Is.

Golden eagle along delta islands

Snowy egret in small delta creek

White pelican @ Los Vaqueros SS

grumpy cat

wild turkey, using only personality to attract mate... Los Vaqueros SS

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bay Area Local Wildlife March 2017  “The eyes of March”
Shasta Lake releasing water for the first time in twenty years from the dam’s top gates, Incredible. Who would have thought this miracle was coming. Unfortunately, some areas flooded and many folks suffered  as the result of all this rain. Hopefully they get through this and overcome their losses in a timely manner, and in the best way possible. Sharing updated pictures of our bay area wildlife, with a bias towards predatory animals. Saying goodbye to the Ferruginous hawks as they shift northeast to their summer breeding grounds.  

Scientists agree “It’s time to end war on large predatory animals” I have linked an article I liked from Huffington post below…

The War on Predators

Some of us are not bothering to listen to scientists lately, unfortunately…

Older photo not used prior Western Coyote at Los Vaqueros reservoir

Oakley white tail kite adult resident of my neighborhood. In the last several years these birds have raised plenty of youngsters, many captured earlier in this site...

Possibly the last ferruginous captured this year in eastern CC County. Maybe not, they will be around for awhile more.

Cooper's hawk juvenile, after much debate. Some believe sharp shinned. I am saying cooper's...Oakley resident as well.
These bird hunters usually not out in the open as much as the larger soaring hawks. Spend much time sneaking up on its prey.

Savannah sparrow (good chance I am wrong on this one) Appreciate opinions here... South end Los Vaqueros reservoir.

Black tail doe, always showing the males. This is one of the cute ladies...

Anna's hummingbird. Planting many more hummingbird friendly plants, love to see hummingbirds all day. Taken here in Oakley... 

Red tail hawk in flight over Knightsen.

Western Coyote at North end of Los Vaqueros reservoir.

Another view of resident white tailed kite. Only took off when it's mate returned screaming as it flew over.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Bay Area Local Wildlife February 2017

"The Great Winter Comeback"
All this rain, it is amazing. Watched many of the water experts evaluate the drought situation on the news saying it would take years for us to pull out of the current situation. It is exciting to observe on the news the current remaining drought areas moving south and becoming smaller and smaller. There are still issues excessive rainfall and snow will not correct, for example the die off of many trees that will not come back. And certainly rough years ahead of us. Yet for wildlife, this is great news. I am hearing frogs in areas I thought I may never hear them again. Salamanders and Newts may soon return from their depths in the ground. Salmon are going to have a great year; an article reports Chinook salmon returning up Marsh Creek in Brentwood. Incredible! It will help large mammals as there will be water holes up in those hills for months. I am sure this will benefit our local wildlife in a large way. For once in quite a while I can say, “I am sure looking forward to spring”… Showing more recent winter time photos of the animals in our area...
Red tailed hawk eastern CC County

White tailed kite Oakley

Jack rabbit

Red shouldered hawk eastern CC County

Northern harrier Byron grasslands

Ferruginous hawk "the sign" seems to work out...

Say's phoebe @ Los Vaqueros reservoir

Black tail deer
"Ladies say there is something different about him. Doesn't look like the guy we were dating..."

Red tailed hawk eastern CC County

Older picture not shown before. June 2015, training day as parent white tail kite hands mouse to young in mid flight...
Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

January 2017
Bay Area Local Wildlife
Celebrating the wildlife around us, hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Updating with recent wildlife photos taken in our area…

Chestnut-backed chickadee west CC County

Golden eagle taken in the Delta

Bobcat @ South end of Los Vaqueros reservoir

Western coyote North end of Los Vaqueros reservoir

I'm saying cooper's hawk-may adjust to Sharp shinned if corrected

Osprey @ South end of Los Vaqueros reservoir

Black crowned night heron @ Del Valle reservoir
Is this bird smiling? There were a group way up in the trees, most where asleep, thankfully this one saw me...

Western coyote @ North end Los Vaqueros, believed to be the mate of earlier song dog as the two were about 700 feet apart.

Red shouldered hawk near Byron

Black tail family again at North end of Los Vaqueros reservoir HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Special thanks to the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (Allen, Bill) for allowing me to assist in a very small way to a great group of folks promoting the conservation of raptors by collecting data for the study of these incredible birds...
To read more about this dedicated organization...

Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

Sunday, November 27, 2016

                       BAY AREA LOCAL WILDLIFE DECEMBER 2016
The Bay Area is home for a decent number of golden eagles. Featuring flight shots of the eagles and some of the other characters which inhabit the same country. This round includes some close ups of other predatory adversaries known to be here. Fall and winter is an excellent time to view eagles and others in the lower hills and meadows.  
These are some of the tendencies I have have noticed over the years about the golden eagle; 
Many people never get a close look at the golden. These birds are shy, never curious, and make it a point to keep at great distances from people. They prefer remote mountain or foothill areas, open grass lands, and edges of forested areas. Having said that, There are times when I have seen them over cities and highways. These are rare occasions  in comparison to most other raptors.

These large raptors require a lot of open country to hunt, giving them the ability to cut down prey unable to get into high brush or forested structure for cover. They are formidable fliers for their size, and are tough ground fighters, at times running short distances to complete take downs.

What gives the golden away when identifying them in the field is their sheer size and the slow wing beats when in flight. Usually, unlike the vultures, eagles are steady in flight, many times on flat wings, not the visual "V"shape in air the vultures display. If you get close there is little doubt.

Golden eagle in Byron

Bobcat @ Los Vaqueros Watershed

Ferruginous Hawk east CC County

Golden Eagle Diablo Range

Black Tail Buck @ Los Vaqueros Watershed

Red Fox Eastern CC County

Female Osprey @ Los Vaqueros Watershed

Male Northern Harrier eastern CC County

Ferruginous Hawk N/O Bethel Island

War Eagle
Some of the early Native plains indians called them the war eagle. Sometimes they preform airal power dives. Get so high they are litterally out of sight, form themselves into the shape of an arrow and dive. At times over one hundred miles per hour after prey below, or maybe just to mess with a family member.