Apr 22, 2020 at 7:55 pm #3642629
I am learning but I still have to ask for ID often enough, for example that female Goden Whistler I posted yesterday.
We have a few stil;ts around here, the black shouldered type is very similar to yours.
This morning we spotted again one Flame Robin and then saw an Australian Kite hunting. According to my EXIF (data on the photo file) it was up in the air for about 9 minutes. It changed spots every 40-50 seconds and at one point was close enogh for some decent photos. it did not catch anything so it came to rest onto a tree close to us.Apr 22, 2020 at 9:24 pm #3642638W I S N E R !BPL Member
I was out with an Audubon group and the experts are mind-blowing. One note of a call and they’re making IDs. It’s really informative to get out with people that know what they’re doing; I always end up seeing far more than I would on my own.
I watch, but no photography for me. Your photos are impressive!
Yesterday we had the usual suspects for the area…scrub jays (always yelling), towhees (love their distinctive chirp), acorn woodpeckers (always laughing at you), crows, red-tail hawks, and by far my favorite local character, the canyon wren. Always easy to hear due to their distinctive “dive bomber” descending call, but harder to see; usually hiding in the cliffs.
Hearing the call echo through a canyon makes me feel like I’m home.Apr 22, 2020 at 9:45 pm #3642640
the Canyon Wren shows that a single singer can be incredible and a pleasure to hear. Tilden park, where I often walk, has a good number of singers right now; maybe not as rich as other spots but it makes me happy. Even three different species singing at one time, with a pair of any one species calling and responding in this mix, makes for very complex and enjoyable listening.
Tilden has enough singers to make a small ensemble. some marshes are an orchestra. I like trios and quartets; you can really focus on all the voices and their movements!Apr 22, 2020 at 10:09 pm #3642646
I have a decent bino and that is much more fun to use to find birds than a camera but I can’t be bothered most of the time to take both.
me looking for birds this morning.Apr 22, 2020 at 10:31 pm #3642648W I S N E R !BPL Member
Ha. Looks like habitat for good variety.Apr 22, 2020 at 10:56 pm #3642649
About 10 metres from the end of the visible trail there is a lage creek. To my right there is a swampy area and then further on , the sea.
Our house is on the top right hand corner. The walk we do is pretty much the full area you see there.Apr 23, 2020 at 7:49 am #3642669Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I hear that air pollution is way reduced. L.A. was the cleanest city in the country or something.Apr 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm #3642784
There is a bit of a story about the photo of me looking for birds. As we were walking on that track, the magpie was looking for insects walking towards me. So I stopped to see how close it would get . As it passed right by my feet I asked my wife to take that shot.
Some people here don’t like them and are afraid of them because during nesting season they can swoop down and peck at your head. It has never happened to me but I talk to these birds.. (most likely I have chatted with this particular one several times)
Incidentally, many also have them as a sort of part time pet. They will come to the house to have something to eat or just a look around and then fly off to the bush again.
The other day I saw a photo of an 80 year old guy sitting on his wheelchair outside his place with a magpie on his knees. That bird has visited him most days for a few years now.
One of my photosApr 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm #3642798
I’ve been hit–hard–in the head by a magpie. On the campus of UC Berkeley. Bad nesting choice for that bird, in that he was hitting students and others at a rate of 2 per minute or so. Exhausting.
a group is called ‘a parliament of magpies’.Apr 23, 2020 at 8:00 pm #3642813
Well, I was wrong and it was a starling that attacked me at Cal.
a flock of starlings are called a ‘murmuration of starlings’.Apr 23, 2020 at 8:22 pm #3642815
Another collective name for magpies is murder.
Some might prefer it .
There are several, tidings is the most used I think.Apr 23, 2020 at 8:55 pm #3642820Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I was hit in the head by what I think was a Goshawk. On some forest trail. It kept knocking my hat off. It would fly very quietly from my rear, from behind a branch so I couldn’t see it until the last moment. I finally held up a branch blocking it and it quit attacking me.Apr 23, 2020 at 9:54 pm #3642827
>> It kept knocking my hat off. It would fly very quietly from my rear, from behind a branch so I couldn’t see it until the last moment.
And some people think birds don’t have a sense of humour.
CheersApr 24, 2020 at 12:23 am #3642843
Lovely sunny day so we went out for our walk. From a distance I spotted the kestrel at the top of a tree. About the size of 1 pixel…
Ten minutes later we got there , walked around the tree , took some photos. Then I called out to the bird to go hunting. A minute later she did. took off , found a prey and back to the tree eating ,three times in less than 5 minutes. No idea how she could see a grasshopper 40-50 metres away and under some vegetation but she did. The light was great and all was well till I realised I had left the SD card at home.Apr 24, 2020 at 1:23 am #3642845
My wife got some lovely photos of the bird eating all three catches. All grasshoppers.
She was very impressed with me telling the bird to hunt, what she does not know is that this kestrel does a sort of foot shuffle as she is getting ready to take off hunting. Not all that dissimilar from what my cat used to do when hunting too.
I was able to show my wife how the kestrel lands always into the wind. That is why she was doing a huge turn before settling on the branch. I learned that sometime ago.Apr 24, 2020 at 2:51 am #3642847
Since I started this thread with the intention of getting folk to look at bridge cameras, like the Panasonic FZ300 my wife is using, this is one of her photos from today :Apr 25, 2020 at 5:33 pm #3643131
yesterday I remembered to put the SD card into the camera.
The kestrel was hunting again but from a bit further away up the tree from a few days before (same spot as the day before) . For some reason she starts and goes back to the same spot one day than from another branch the next.
Again we saw her taking off to get a grasshopper 3 times, then we walked away. It’s hard for me to spot a grasshopper a few metres away, a kestrel can see one from 40-50 metres. One day I’ll measure the distance…Apr 25, 2020 at 7:20 pm #3643143
Grasshoppers in season make good fish bait as well. I’ve caught them, but when they land within two feet of me…and even then…Apr 25, 2020 at 11:11 pm #3643168
I believe eagles have a very NON-linear vision system: huge magnification at the centre and poor vision around the edges. Very different from humans. Kestrels may be similar.
Also, many predatory animals do not really ‘see’ the target as such when hunting; rather they see the movement. Which is why many prey species have a habit of freezing when they sense danger.
CheersApr 25, 2020 at 11:39 pm #3643171
I am pretty sure that movement does come in. I am now trying to work out why the Australian Kite (and probably others) sometimes bobs its head left to right when looking for a prey from the top of a tree . Not in flight . When flying the head is still and the body moves.
Today we saw one sitting on a fence post. Common in same areas but not here. (because people go by not too far from them)Apr 27, 2020 at 4:47 pm #3643448
Something peculiar from yesterday.
I spotted this pair so I took a photo because I did not recognize them and I thought the light was nice.
I failed twice.
The first reason is that they are a pipit, a common bird that not only I see most days but that I had seen and identified just a minute or so before. However I most often see one at a time and on the ground so they look somewhat different in the photo. The second failure is that the light was much better on them than the way I capture it and given the close distance the photo should be sharper than that.
I must be on my way to become a birder.
It isn’t uncommon for a keen birder to mistake a very common bird for something else. The reason is that we want to see that something else. One day inside a hide there were two guys with some VERY expensive spotting scopes and binos. They had spotted a very rare type of tern for that area. When I went home and enlarged my photo I noticed that , no , it was not the rear tern…Apr 27, 2020 at 8:42 pm #3643528
At the start of our 90 min walk I asked an exiting birder if anything interesting was about. He smiled and said : just the usual.
And he was right.
We saw seagulls,Pacific gulls, spoonbill, ibis, ducks, cormorants, egrets,herons, pipits, stilts, teals, magpies, larks, flame robins, willy wagtails, kestrels, a kite, a galah, some cockatoos, several types of honeyeaters.
My favourite from this.
Not a good photo of the kestrel flying (I get closer to her when by myself) but is the first time I have seen her for a couple of months. The other kestrel was were she has been for weeks.
Cockatoo love birds,flame robin,galah and Bert the kestrel.Apr 29, 2020 at 8:53 pm #3644146
One from when we had a house on the hills.Apr 30, 2020 at 4:39 pm #3644348
A short video clip on the kookabarra to give a better idea of why I like them so much. Not unusual to have one or three around camp here. We had them on our property in the country.Apr 30, 2020 at 5:28 pm #3644361
We have a good flock in the tall trees on our farm. I refuse to get up until they have welcomed the morning. Sadly, they tend to do this at the very first light. Sigh.
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