Saturday, July 31, 2010

Spotted Towhee

I have a fond spot in my heart for Spotted Towhees which, with the Eastern Towhee, used to be called Rufous-sided Towhee. My father had Alzheimer's and in its late stages, before he died, one of the few things he could say was "rufous" when one of these beauties would come into view under the bush outside his window. He no longer knew my name or who I was, but he could say "rufous." The mind is an amazing thing.

Black Phoebe

Black phoebe perched on barbed wire with Marin County's beautiful Mt. Tamalpais in background. (Marin County, CA)

Black-crowned Night Heron

Early morning shot of a Black-crowned Night heron near the Point San Pedro tide station, San Pablo Bay, CA.

Friday, July 30, 2010

American Wigeons

Here's a lovely pair of American Wigeons. These are quite commonly seen in a sheltered saltwater inlet I often visit. They like to forage among the plants on the water's surface.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

These little guys are among the most cheerful, friendly birds you'll meet in Western backyards. Unafraid of people, they'll let you get unusually close and tweet their little hearts out as they approach seed feeders and feast at suet feeders as well.

American Goldfinch

Here's a look at an American goldfinch taken earlier this year. This is a look at an adult in nonbreeding plummage, which I happen to think is every bit as lovely, if not more so, than the bright yellow colors that make the American goldfinch a favorite of so many.

No Ifs Or Ands. Just Butts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

American Avocet

Preening. Such a beautiful bird.

Black-necked Stilts

I'm fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where I have easy access to miles of shoreline and mudflats that provide easy pickings for hungry waterfowl at early and high tide. The black-necked stilt is one of the most common shorebirds I see. Whenever I'm out with my camera, passersby always ask me to identify for them "that pretty bird with the red legs." That pretty bird is the black-necked stilt. And here you can see just how pretty it is.

Time And Tide

You may remember Basia's hit "Time And Tide" from many years ago, but that's not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the new TideApp app I just downloaded to my iPhone4. After setting the tide location you want (in my case Point San Pedro), I can click once and get the current tide and the times of sunrise, moonset, low tide and high tide. That's what put me out at 8:08 this morning so I could see who was hanging out feeding during low tide. Among others, this willet was.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Acorn Woodpeckers

Here's a pair of acorn woodpeckers having their way with a wooden fence post near the visitor's center at the Bear Valley Visitor's Center at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Always something to see and do here.


I've always enjoyed the antics and aerial displays of Northern mockingbirds, but this image I recently took shows a bird that didn't look too happy to see me -- judging from the look of unamused indignation on its face.