No, not government agents vs. protestors. On Jan 7th, Donna and I visited the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge near Willows, CA. The highlight of the trip was a standoff between a peregrine falcon, a gull, and a Turkey Vulture. The falcon was standing guard over a female mallard. It was not clear if he brought it down himself or found it. Regardless, he was guarding his prize. The first interloper was the turkey vulture. He made some strafing runs at the falcon and was able to drive him off for a short period of time, but the falcon eventually prevailed. The second interloper was a gull, possibly a herring gull. It was a lot more reticent. It mostly stood watch while the falcon ate. But, he did try one attack. The falcon would have nothing of it and expressed his displeasure. In the end, the falcon consumed his meal while the vulture and gull looked on. We left before any battle over the leftovers ensued. There wasn’t much leftover to fight about.
Note: Click on caption to see image in larger size.
I want to share a few images from some recent walks around the American River Parkway near Folsom, CA. I’ve also included one from Oak Alley Plantation near New Orleans. Nature provides some beautiful creatures for us to appreciate. I hope you enjoy these few.
Note: Click on caption to see image at larger size.
It’s fun to be in Northern California in the winter. We are part of the Pacific Flyway, so we get many birds, primarily waterfowl, who winter over. But even in my backyard I see Oregon Juncos and a species of Goldfinch that spends its summers in the Sierra foothills. Though my passion is landscapes, photographing this wildlife is fun because watching them go about their business of living is fun.
I’ve been out twice in the last two weeks photographing and enjoying the wildlife. On one trip, I went to 2 of the wildlife refuges that have been built along the flyway. Some years ago, land was set aside as a safe haven for migrating waterfowl. Levees were built and fields flooded so they could live and eat. This helped farmers by keeping the birds off their cropland. A win-win situation, enjoyed by birders, photographers and duck hunters. On the day I visited the refuges, raptors became my focus. They benefit from the migrating waterfowl as well.
This past week, I got to spend an hour watching a River Otter and an Egret. They appeared to be helping each other feed. Otters always seem to be playing even as they feed.
Peaceful Morning on the American River. Wm Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA, APR 2015 (Click on image to enlarge)
Irises on the Bank. Wm Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA, APR 2015 (Click on image to enlarge)
As often as I have walked along the banks of the American River, at William Pond Park, I never realized that much of the vegetation I saw was wild irises. But, imagine if you will, clumps of the brilliant yellow blossoms outlining both sides of the shore for perhaps a half mile or so, complimenting the lupine and other wildflowers. Though there are some wild irises that are native to northern California, I haven’t been able to find if this particular species is or is not and even if it is, whether they are native to the banks of the American River. Regardless, they provide a real treat.