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. 

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