Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What I saw at the Bird Festival

 White-tailed Kite

Common Merganser take off
I had a wonderful time at the Morro Bay Bird Festival last weekend. The weather was perfect. I spent time with many friends and had the opportunity to see lots of birds. And best of all, I was able to capture some great photos.
The top 2 photos are of a White-tailed Kite eating a mouse. I have taken many White-tailed Kite photos, but I have never captured this behavior before. He was perched on a post at the side of the road and was not about to fly away until he finished his meal. I was able to get very close by shooting out the side window of our car. Usually these birds are skittish and keep their distance, so it was a real gift to be so close. 
Later in the weekend we took a pontoon boat ride on Lopez Lake. We were very lucky that it was not too cold or windy. When this female Common Merganser took off,  I was in the right place to get a whole sequence of shots. It was amazing to watch her run acoss the water, all the while madly flapping her wings, trying to get enough lift to take off. The glassy water made some beautiful reflections. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More happy news

poster featuring my Flicker photo and a photo of me
that will be shown at the Morro Bay Bird Festival 
this weekend
California Quail
More amazing good things are coming my way. This morning when I opened up our local newspaper - The Tribune - I found that my Flicker photo was featured on the front page of the Local section. Woohoo! And the photo that my husband, Don, took of me is there too. So we both got published at the same time. This whole experience has far exceeded my wildest expectations. 
Tomorrow is the beginning of the Morro Bay Bird Festival - an annual event that has been going on 17 years. I am going to be honored at the Festival and a poster of my winning Flicker photo is going to be on display at the registration area of the Festival. I am also going to be signing prints of my photo at the opening reception on Friday evening. Can you believe it???!! 
I have to keep myself a little bit grounded, so I went out to photograph at Montana de Oro State Park and found a lovely California Quail. This 'lookout' male stood on guard and alert in a nearby tree while a covey of Quail fed on the ground below. He sounds the warning if he senses any danger and the whole group instantly disappears into the brush. I have tried many times to find a cooperative 'lookout' and get a shot like this. At last, my persistence has paid off.