January 20, 2015 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck ducks takeoff

Sitting Around Waiting for Appointments

I have to admit to getting a little bored sitting around here just north of Yuma. Still have a week or more to go since the HWH replacement hydraulic jack has yet to come in at Sun Bums, and my appointment for a lube and oil at Fisher Chevrolet is next Tuesday. Usually I can keep myself entertained by finding decent birding spots and settling in to do bird photography, but I just haven’t found any place around here where there is any decent action. Even my hummingbird attempts have had to be abandoned due to a steady assault of bees taking over my feeders. So, while I am anxious to head on down the road, I still have more time to kill here in Yuma.

Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher
Vermillion flycatcher

The little golf course at Hidden Shores turns out to be a pretty reliable spot to consistently find these very colorful Vermillion Fly( moth? )catchers. This most likely is the same individual I got a few shots of a week ago on the same post. I found a couple more of them as I wandered into the horse pen/trailer storage area off the parking lot there as well. In the bottom image, you can see him shaking the” moth chalk” off his lunch before downing him.

Canvasback takeoff
Canvasback takeoff

This is a new one for me, a canvasback duck, caught taking flight from the waters of the All American Canal in Bard, Ca., about 10 miles west of where I am presently staying.

Takeoff!
Takeoff!

He was accompanied by a pair of Ring-necked ducks and a Bufflehead drake as well as several other Ring-necks. This part of the canal is one of the few places I have seen any sizable number of ducks gathering, but, unfortunately, one is not able to get terribly close to them as the canal is fringed with a dense cover of phragmites and there are No Trespassing signs all along the canal.

Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck ducks takeoff
Ringneck and canvasbacks
Ringneck and canvasbacks

Still, it was nice to be able to at least have an attempt at getting some action shots after such a long period of inactivity. I am really looking forward to heading east and up in elevation to some of the better birding locations in Arizona as soon as I am done with all my appointments here in Yuma.

Ringnecks and canvasbacks
Ringnecks and canvasbacks

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


My blog posting problems finally resolved? I believe ( I am keeping my fingers crossed ) that my ability to do blog posts in a timely manner has finally, after a month of frustration, been resolved. For those of you who follow this blog, you may have to re- bookmark the page to this new address:    ramcquade.com

April 20, 2014 Bridgeport Reservoir, California

California quail
California quail

Yet More Birds and a Trip Up the Mountain

The feeding platform I put out on the birch tree on my site was overrun with a flock of 30 or so Pinyon Jays this morning.

Pinyon jays crowding the feeder
Pinyon jays crowding the feeder

This was my first time encountering these guys as they crowded the platform and cleaned it out and were gone in about 5 minutes.

White pelicans
White pelicans

I drove down the reservoir to the dam and got a shot of a couple of white pelicans, one of whom had one of the brightest beaks I have ever seen on one of these huge birds.

Buffleheads
Buffleheads

Farther down the Clark River, I encountered a great variety of ducks, but was only able to get a shot of these buffleheads. I’m going to have to think some about how to get close enough to these river ducks to get some decent shots because there is an incredible amount of all kinds of different ducks on this short stretch of the river.

Today was the day I was going to do Mono Lake, but once there I really could find very little to shoot. I have seen so many images of the tufa mounds on Mono Lake that I assumed they were scattered all around the lake. Turns out, all the shots I have seen were apparently taken on just one very short portion of the shore, most of the lake shore is just flat, barren, and boring. Really was a little disappointed in Mono Lake.

So, I decided to drive the 12 miles of Route 120 that were open. This road is the “back” way into Yosemite National Park, and not recommended for large vehicles because of the long climb up and over the mountains. The drive was truly enjoyable in the Prius, but there is no way I would want to attempt it with the RV. The road was gated 8 miles short of Tuolumne Meadows and the snow banks were still 3 or 4 feet high on the side of the road at that point. Spectacular scenery all along the way! ( I downloaded and somehow lost my shots so no images, I don’t know how I did that but hope I don’t make a habit of it ) The lakes up there were still completely frozen over and the old lodge buildings were still covered with several feet of snow. Kind of nice to be able to make a short hour long trip into the beauty of winter and then quickly reverse direction and return to spring!

California quail
California quail

 

California quail
California quail

Back home I noticed a pair of California Quail feeding around the campground, and, using my car as a blind, was able to follow them along for a few hundred feet as they did their thing and got some nice shots. I had no idea when I decided to stop at this campground that I would have so many opportunities to shoot birds, I had thought this was just going to be a stopover for Bodie and Mono Lake, what a pleasant surprise!

Yellow headed blackbird eating midges
All you can eat Midge buffet
Buffleheads
Buffleheads