Sunday, February 24, 2013

              More photos of local wildlife during a winter that looks a lot like spring. Grass is green enough and cattle pools and streams are doing okay. It sure would not hurt to get a few more inches of rain to avoid a late season drought. These photos as always taken right here in our back yard and most of these are very recent. On a hot tip I finally photographed a badger near Vasco Rd. in the Los Vaqueros watershed area. I have seen many badgers hit by vehicles over the years on Vasco but this one is alive and well. I blinded out for 2 hours outside its den hoping the badger would come out in the sun. During the waiting time I looked up American badger on my I phone and there was a Idaho study that followed one female badger who came out of her burrow one time in 72 days during winter. This was not pumping up my confidence a whole lot. A large Raven landed near the burrow and spoke very vehemently about something,  and after watching it fly away I turned to see the badger had emerged and stared at me for some time while I was perhaps 60 feet away. I am sure this bird woke up the badger. Never came out enough for a whole body shot, and as long as I stayed there it never seemed aggressive or threatening.
    Thought I would send out some photos of similar looking birds of prey. Hopefully the biologists and pros will point out any possible mistakes or corrections, and I have gone back and corrected most of my earlier miss fires...
      For Don and Trudy there are looks at the red shouldered hawk vs. the Sharp shinned. And a recent photo of a merlin taken at Jersey Island. Though it appears not to resemble the kestral so much up close, they are about the same size when first spotting them. Fools me each time until I get a bit closer. Interestingly, the kestral is usually tougher  to get close too.
         Special thanks to Carole up there atop of Morgan Territory. Thanks so much for letting me photograph the Barn owls in the cave (seen early in the blogs) for so long. You and husband Mike were so nice to share your stories and I really appreciate meeting both of you. Hope to see you again soon.   Dave

(#1 red winged black bird) (#2 American bittern first time capture for me, look close to see mosquito fish snatched) (#3 American badger) (#4 Red shouldered hawk older picture) (#5 Sharp shinned hawk about a year ago at Del Valle reservoir) (#6 recent kestral) (#7 recent merlin) (#8 northern flicker) (#9 recent red shoulder at Bollinger Canyon Las trampas area) and #10 one of the first photos I ever took with decent equipment. I was on Vasco Rd. with tri pod waiting for golden eagles when this song dog ran right up to me almost jumped in my car.