Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ring-necked duck update!

So, I moseyed over to the pond this morning thinking I wouldn't see anything new, ( like the ducks know the back yard bird count is done) ...WAIT!     What's that!


 It's the male Ring-necked Duck, see the guy with the Nike swoosh, Orca kinda of pattern?

 The guide book wasn't kidding, I can't see the ring on his neck at all...

Here are two males and one female.

They are diving ducks, I got lucky this time and caught this duck at the beginning of his dive. You can see the reddish mark on his neck, that is the "ring".

Close up!

This is right after he surfaced, see the water drops on his head and back.

Pretty cool!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Road trip with Claire, my coffee/flower lady friend!

Claire and I took a trip down to the Shinoda design center in Santa Ana Sunday. The design center is a huge warehouse full of all kinds of stuff for florist. We attended the spring show, watched designers doing demos. It was fun, it is always fun to go places with Claire, she has the same sense of hummer as I do. we'll be walking down an isle, one of us stops and says something like," really?"or,"uhmm", the other one looks at the object of our speculation, and then we both start laughing....or she picks up a prop and makes a joke...

Claire, in her interpretation of Horton hears a who..2013

Claire, being Queen Frostine 2012
makes for a really good time!

On a completely different topic, have you noticed Cadillac is making their tail lights reminiscent of the old fin look?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A different prospective.

I usually approach this bridge from the park side,trees and bushes hide the entrance until you are right up on it. The city library is at the far end, see?

Today I approached from the Library side, I thought, wow, what a pretty bridge.

I guess it is all in the way you look at things.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spring is on its way!

Little white fluffs were floating in the shafts of sunlight coming through the tree this mornings..the willows are starting to bloom.

That wasn't the only thing that hinting that spring was just around the corner, of course I didn't know that until I got home and looked up this fellow in my bird book...


 You see, recently I have been seeing new birds at the park, such as the ring necked duck I talked about in an earlier post ( sort of an ugly duck compared to the guys I am featuring today, poor thing) remember? Looks like this...

ring-necked duck

Monday spied discovered the Northern Pintail duck, 

Northern Pintail

There were two males there today. I took this picture after they did the water fowl equivalent of a chest bump...

Pretty birds

I made sure I got their tails in the pictures this time, Monday I cut them off.

So today when I saw a bunch of ducks looking some what like American wigeons but with a lot more color on their heads...I thought , hey what's this??? I am used to the guy in the back ground not the one in the fore ground, all green and shiny.

So I take a million pictures and come home and look him up...turns out he is an American Wigeon, but with his courtin' plumes on...yep, he is in the mood for love and looking for lady wigeons!

American wigeons, male and female

Ah yes, spring is just around the corner.

Monday, February 18, 2013

There are all kinds of wild life in the park.

 Signs of wild life all over the park this morning. Holiday today, no park employees to remove the evidence of a good time had by all!

this one looked like it was lots of fun!

close up of the pinatas face from above party,

wonder what they are thinking....looks like gossip to me!

I did see a new fellow at the park...a Northern pintail!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New fowl at the park!

It always amazes me how a human brain works, well I guess I can only speak for my brain, but it tends to amaze me sometimes, for instance. today I was at the park...watching the 50 to 100 wigeons on the pond and my brain says, hey wait...that ones different...I did the double check...and it was different..and the only one of its kind at the time.

It is a female ring-necked duck.

 It's bill was longer and wider than the wigeons, its body smaller and lower in the water.

It had a gray stripe on the end of its bill, and buff patches on the face near the bill 

 It had white eye circles...and almost a crest on its head.

They are diving birds. I tried and tried to get a picture of her diving under the water, they don't up-end like mallards. she leaped up and dove in. I wasn't fast enough so I got a lot of these kind of pictures.

Dang, missed her!

I did get her when she popped back up.

Anyway, an exciting day at the park for this bird nerd...worst thing was, the great backyard bird count starts tomorrow!!!! can't count her..unless she is there again.

Following are a couple of pictures of wigeons and a mallard so you can see the difference,

Mom Mallard from last year


and a colorful bird named Hec...I guess (look at the plate)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birds eye view

Birds from the park, watching me, watching them...

Grass Sparrow

Immature red tailed hawk


Snowy egret

American wigeon

Red shouldered hawk


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finally, after 3 years!

 I have been trying to get pictures of this pair of Red shouldered hawks for three years now. I have watched these two build a nest and raise their young, was my lucky day.

then one came down onto the ground, I think he/she was trying to catch the little white crowned sparrows that were feeding on the ground below the tree.

What a treat!

here is some information on the red shouldered hawk,

Voice: Shrill scream, kee-yeeear, with a downward inflection.
Habitat: Deciduous woodlands, especially where there is standing water.
Range: Breeds from Minnesota east to New Brunswick and south to Gulf Coast and Florida, and on Pacific Coast in California. Winters in breeding range north to southern New England.
Discussion: The Red-shouldered Hawk prefers lowlands, especially swampy woods and bogs. There it hunts by watching quietly from a low perch, dropping down to capture snakes and frogs. It also eats insects and small mammals. Normally shy, these birds become tame if they are not persecuted and in some places may nest in suburban areas. During courtship a pair can be quite noisy, wheeling in the sky above their nesting territory and uttering their distinctive whistled scream.
Nesting: 2 or 3 white eggs, spotted with brown, in a large mass of leaves and twigs placed 20-60' (6-18 m) up in a forest tree.

I am using Audubon Birds California.