adventures in nature

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20160624 juvenile peregrine falcon

A74A3354 v1juvenile Peregrine Falcon / Alameda County CA

20160624 raven

A74A3379 v1Common Raven / CA

20160729 squirrels of tahoe

Many small ground-dwelling squirrels in Tahoe – California Ground Squirrel, Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, and a number of species of Chipmunk.

A74A4075 v1California Ground Squirrel pausing with snack on wrist / Lake Tahoe, CA

A74A4079 v1The Chipmunk-sized Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel / Lake Tahoe, CA

20160820 harrier on raven

Interesting interaction between a Northern Harrier, Raven and Turkey Vulture (not pictured) – the Harrier seemed to be highly agitated by the other birds. I would expect this perhaps around fledge time, but it seems late in the season – is this play? Competition? Just a pissed off bird?

A74A4471 v1RavenĀ  and Norther Harrier (female) / Point Reyes National Seashore

A74A4473 v1RavenĀ  and Norther Harrier (female) / Point Reyes National Seashore

I’ve never seen a Harrier so aggressive towards other birds.

20160629 osprey

A74A3741 v1osprey with de-brained striped bass / Richmond, CA

Because it’s just rude to give your mate a fish with it’s brains still intact. Or is that like eating a slice of pizza from the box on the way home from your favortite spot that you just got take-out from? Or perhaps is this a zombie osprey? Inspiration for a new spin-off from the Walking Dead – The Flying Dead (Osprey)?

Time will tell.

20160814 gulls

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20160820 snake

A74A4452 v1-2red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis) / Pt Reyes National Seashore

2016 June 27 shadow egret

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great egret

2016 June Richmond Osprey Nest

A fellow raptor-lover / naturalist friend of mine lives on a boat by Point Richmond, and this winter she convinced the harbor master to install a platform on the breakwater in hopes that osprey would nest there. They did! Osprey have been continuing to be present in increasing numbers here in the Bay Area, and I was able to get to see the nest last week, just a week after the two babies hatched. It was difficult to see them because they are still so small, but I hope to return to see them in a couple of weeks when they are more visible.

Right when I got there, dad (named Lee) had just caught a nice sized striped bass and was looking for a place to start eating. The fish looks like it is saying “oooooooohhhhhhh shit.” Valid.

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My friend said that he typically has been the one hunting, and the female sits on the nest with the young since they hatched. Evidently he seems to always get this size and type of fish, and there were reports about a year ago of a surge in the density of striped bass in the Bay. He usually finds a spot to eat the head, before he delivers it to the nest. Today though, he left a nearby perch possibly due to the high winds and he went right over the nest. But not before the gulls harrassed him for his dinner.

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The gulls are always looking for an easy meal, and two great-blue herons that were on the breakwater were not pleased …

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A double-crested cormorant popped up right by us on the dock, beautiful creatures.

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Pops decided to re-locate after mom (Eileen) had fed herself and the tiny little hatchlings. He went on a perch just to the side of the nest to keep working on dinner, as the sky turned to pink and purple with the setting sun.

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Special thanks to Shirley for all the work she does and her love for these birds.

 

 

 

 

 

20160612 passing the buck

Black-tailed Mule Deer / Point Reyes National Seashore

Spending moments with this incredible animal was sublime – he is in the prime of his life, overflowing with strength and vitality. His coat glows with a luster of brilliance, his eyes are dark and bright; a wet nose constrasts the softness of the fur around his snout, and those antlers – oh, those antlers. Fuzzy and stout, with many branches, each of which speaks to the stories of his years. He walks with confidence, grace, and strength.

Thank you Deer.

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