Here are some images of deer I recently photographed.
The White-tailed deer were spotted in rural southwestern Pennsylvania (US) grazing through some new fallen snow.
The Black-tailed Mule Deer was taken at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center here in Sacramento. I suppose he was taking a break after the rut. He’ll soon drop his antlers and begin growing them anew.
By the way, if you are ever in the Sacramento area, you should pay a visit to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. You are almost guaranteed to see deer, wild turkeys and many birds. I occasionally see a jack rabbit and coyotes also.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.
Growing up in western Pennsylvania, I would see the Ring-necked Pheasant occasionally. I always considered it a special treat because they are so beautiful. But, for several decades I never saw any; though I thought about them from time to time. I’ve been fortunate, however, to have had 3 sightings in the past 2 years. I am very happy to be able to share them with you.
These birds like to live and forage in tall vegetation, so they aren’t easy to see. But, sometimes, you can see them as they cross over open spaces. They are omnivorous.
Please click on caption to see these images at higher resolution
Returning from a recent trip to the Seattle area, we stopped
at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. The visitor center and restrooms
were closed but the government shutdown didn’t affect the birds. This stop
turned out to be very productive. It was a great day for raptors. The star was
a juvenile Bald Eagle on a kill. But we saw Ferruginous Hawks, Northern
Harriers, Rough Legged Hawks, a Cooper’s Hawk and a Red-shouldered hawk also.
This is feast time for the raptors at Sacramento NWR because of the large
numbers of waterfowl that spend the winter months there.
I didn’t share images of the Rough-legged haws because I only got a rear quarter shot and it didn’t show enough to make the shot interesting. I’ve shared other Cooper’s Hawks and Red-shouldered Hawks in the recent past, so I didn’t include them. But, I hope you enjoy what I shared.
Note: Please click on caption to see image in higher resolution.
The drive between Redding, CA and Roseburg, OR. on Interstate
5, takes you through some beautiful mountain scenery. Between Redding and the
Oregon border, Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta, 2 Cascade volcanoes can be seen. The
mountains of California and Oregon’s coastal range line both sides of the
highway. Because the area is so close to the Pacific ocean, the area is often
blanketed in a layer of stratus clouds and fog. But, don’t think of it as
dismal. In the morning and evening, the sun often pushes through the clouds casting
spotlights, replete with crepuscular rays, that play on the ridge tops and valleys
creating magical landscapes.
Returning from Seattle, we saw many such vignettes. One spot made me break the rules and pull off to photograph it. Fortunately, this spot gave us room to get off safely. I hope you’ll agree this image was worth it.
Note: To see image at higher resolution, please click on caption.
We made a visit to rural southeastern Oklahoma recently. While there, I was amazed at the number of red tailed hawks I saw. Much of the countryside was pastureland and I imagine it provided a lot of good food for the rodents and, in turn, the hawks. One day, I also saw a bald eagle in the grass, alongside the road.
I regularly take long walks at different sections of the American River Parkway between Folsom and Fair Oaks. At one spot, along Lake Notomas, there is a small pond tucked back but alongside the bike trail. I never know what I am going to find. Last week, I was treated to what is a rare site to me – some hooded mergansers. Their cousins, the common mergansers, stick around all year. I often see belted kingfishers and acorn woodpeckers in that area also.
Acorn Woodpeckers are ubiquitous in this area. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, their behavior is different from most other woodpeckers. They find acorns and pound them into holes in dead trees. When they can’t find a hole, they make one. Later, they come back and eat them – if the squirrels and other wildlife don’t get them first.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution