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Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

943
Moss Landing, California – August 1, 2011
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a hawk on a post just this side of the sand dunes. This bird was quite cooperative for a bit. Since I’m the worse bird IDer ever, I’m not sure I’m correct. This may be a Sharp-shinned Hawk. I’m sure my son-in-law will jump all over this, and if the title doesn’t change, you’ll know I was right. If the title does change, you’ll know I bowed to the rapter knowledge of Shawn. He probably already told me the ID of this photo, but you know the memory of a senior citizen! The last photo in this set is terrible, but I used it for identification purposes.

930
Highway 1 between Santa Cruz & San Francisco – July 31, 2011
I love the drive up the coast from Santa Cruz to San Francisco. There are always a lot of birds of prey to discover. The trouble is finding a place to pull off the highway when a bird is seen. On this trip I saw this bird in the tree and a pull-off area was near. A trail led into the area where this bird was perched. I didn’t know what it was at first, but as I got closer there was no mistaking the ID. This bird never did fly off. I got as close as possible. It was cloudy/hazy, but with the help of Photoshop I was able to get a little brighter photo than the original. Nikon D80, Nikon 70-300 zoom at 300mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/250 sec, handheld

874
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – January 26, 2010
I have yet to get a good photo of this species. This is a digiscoped photo in very low light, so it is really soft. However, the colors came out quite well, so I’ll post it anyway. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x wide angle eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, f/5.3, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

867
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – Eatonville, WA – August 17, 2010
Here are three photos taken of this majestic bird. Captive or not, this bird demands respect. The second and third photos have some washed out white areas. I think there is a way to doctor that up a little in Photoshop, but I’m too lazy to figure out how. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/30, tripod

866
Northwest Trek – Eatonville, Washington – August 17, 2010
This is the second owl we saw at Northwest Trek last summer. Nikon D80, Tamron zoom 200-500mm, ISO 400, f/5.0, 1/15, 200mm, tripod

865
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – August 17, 2010
Near the end of August we took the grand kids to Northwest Trek. Northwest Trek is a very popular wildlife refuge in our area, especially for school field trips. There are many trails to follow as you look into large enclosures for animals. A tram also runs regularly through the park so you can see the animals that are not in the smaller enclosures. Even the small enclosures are quite large with natural habitat for the animals. This Snowy was only half awake. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom with tripod, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/160

849-850
Sequim, Washington – October 9, 2010
I took these 2 Bald Eagle photos just outside the Olympic Game Farm. You can usually find several eagles in the trees just above the game farm.

845
Sequim, Washington – January 18, 2010
Here are a couple photos of this beautiful hawk. The photo was actually taken in 2010 even though the top one says 2009. A slight mistake on my part because I had these files in a December folder. The photos were take with my Nikon D80 and Tamron 200-500 zoom – on a tripod of course. My hands are just too shaky and weak to hand hold unless shooting upward at a flying bird.

844
Sequim, Washington – January 18, 2010
Here is a second photo I couldn’t find on my original blog, but it is in my files. Huh?

831
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – October 18, 2008
Here is another digiscoped photo from this day of birding. It was a long way from me, so the photo is grainy and a bit blurred.

830
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – October 18, 2008
This is a digiscoped photo of this Peregrine’s favorite tree. I couldn’t get very close, so my system was stretching its limits and the photo came out quite grainy. This is the first of a few photos that I found from 2008. They were all digiscoped using my Nikon P4, an 82mm ED Nikon Fieldscope with a 30x wide angle eyepiece and tripod.

755
Birdsacre, Ellsworth, Maine – July 11, 2008
This owl was caged and will be there for the rest of its life. Notice that one eye is missing. Despite this injury, there is no argument that this is a beautiful creature. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500mm at 200mm, ISO 400, 1/320 sec, tripod

693
Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge – March 31, 2008
We don’t see this bird very much in Puget Sound, but you’ll see tons of them in California and Oregon. It was a nice sunny day at the refuge and a couple of these birds were lounging in the grass airing out themselves. The heat made shooting this digiscoped shot look blurry. You know what I mean. You can see heat waves looking out at a landscape that distorts your view. Though not a very good shot, it is the best I’ve gotten to this point. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED with 30x WA lens

690
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
This first photo is entitled – “Power To The Avians” Actually, these two photos show the hawk stretching. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom

689
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
Here are three close-up shots of this beautiful hawk. Two are of the head and one of its talons.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, f6.3, 200 ISO, no shutter speed info, handheld

688
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
I couldn’t believe my eyes when my wife and and saw this Red-tail sitting on a post right next to the road. It wasn’t spooked at all. I rested my camera lens on the door frame and shot, and shot, and shot. It has been a real chore trying to decide which photos to post and keep since I had so many good ones. I mean, how can one go wrong with such a willing subject. These three photos are partial front views and a side shot.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 200mm, f5.0, ??? sec, ISO 200, handheld

670
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – March 16, 2007
This is the second set of owl photos. This first one shows one of the babies. We did not see the other one.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

669
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – March 16, 2008
It is a really exciting event when you see your first owl. Yes, we’ve seen owls before in zoos and even in the wild, but this was the first time since becoming a bird nerd. There were two little ones, but we only saw one of them. This is the first of two sets. The first photo was taken with my D80 and all the rest were digiscoped. I wish I knew why my photos lighten up from the original when I post them for web use in Photoshop. It makes me mad! Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 490mm, f6.3, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, Manrotto tripod

668
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – March 16, 2008
As I was walking out to McAllister Creek, this Northern Harrier surprised me by flying very close. I only got two quick photos – one which came out better than expected. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 200mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, Manfrotto tripod

616
Somewhere in Maine – December 22, 2007
My son-in-law got tired of me photographing birds from the dining room and made me go outside. Brrrr. This Northern Shrike flew up in a tree and we stopped to photograph it. I didn’t have time to take out my digiscope.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

577
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – November 23, 2007
This bird came out of nowhere. I was walking down the trail towards McAllister Creek when it flew quite near me. I quickly removed my camera from the tripod and took this one shot. It came out pretty good for a quickie.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 300 mm, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, f/5.6, handheld

573
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – November 23, 2007
This bird was located in a tall tree near the visitor center. I got a lot of photographs, but since it was quite a distance from the walkway, I had to stretch things to the limit and lost some crispness.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, 1/480 sec, f6, ISO 200

570
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – November 23, 2007
Today was a raptor day. They were everywhere. Nothing was very close-in, so it ended up being a digiscoping day as well. Most of the hawks we saw were Red-tails. We also saw a Peregrine Falcon that I will show you a little later. I’m sure I’ve probably seen a Rough-legged before, but this was the first time I got ID photos to prove it. Therefore I’m considering this a lifer.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, 1/250 sec, f5.3, ISO 200

566
Between Hoodsport & Union, Washington – October 27, 2007
This juvenile was found at the same location as 565.

565
Between Hoodsport & Union, Washington – October 27, 2007
This was our first time to search for Bald Eagles at this location. Hood Canal goes south to this spot and then elbows to head back north. At the elbow a stream flows into the canal and there was a lot of action at this muddy location. I don’t know why this body of water is called a canal. It is actually a fjord with an average depth of 500 feet. It branches off another well known fjord called Puget Sound.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/100 sec, f20, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

556
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – October 12, 2007
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/1250 sec, f6.3, ISO 400.

544
Ridgefield National Wildlife – Refuge – Ridgefield, Washington – July 18, 2007
I had to digiscope this bird (a lifer) at a great distance, so the quality of the photo is not good. My son-in-law (raptor boy) was so excited to see this bird that I was afraid he’d have cardiac arrest. Here are a couple more attempts to photograph this beautiful bird in low light.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

526
Cliff House – San Francisco – July 13, 2007
I have several more shots of the young Red-tail down near the water. You can see that he had been in the water, probably taking a bath. The bird is now drying itself off on the concrete wall. I changed my position from that of those photos previously shown. I’ll only post a couple out of the eleven! Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/250 sec, Manfrotto tripod

525
Cliff House – San Francisco – July 13, 2007
As I was hiking up the trail after taking photos of the young hawk close to the water, I found this Red-tail perched right next to the trail. These birds are obviously accustomed to having people close by. Several people walked right by this bird. Lighting was not great, but I was able to reduce some of the shadow. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 450mm, 1/250 sec, Manfrotto tripod

524
Cliff House – San Francisco – July 13, 2007
This young Red-tailed Hawk was preening on a cement wall. I hiked down a trail to get close and the bird stayed there the entire time. When I left to hike back up the hill, the bird was still there. My son-in-law and I were able to get very close.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

523
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – July 23, 2007
My son-in-law and I were walking up the trail along the Nisqually River. This beautiful bird was posing across the river, so I pulled out my digiscope outfit to take some shots. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30 x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

488
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 27, 2007
Whenever you see a Bald Eagle it is very seldom that you don’t see a crow harrassing it. Most of these long distant photos don’t come out very well, but I sort of liked this one showing the two birds. There are more crows outside of the crop. Why do eagles and other raptors put up with them? Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/640 sec, handheld

473
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 21, 2007
Several Bald Eagles have been flying around the bay lately. Here is a set of 3 photos – two of an adult male and one of a juvenile bird.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/400 sec, handheld

463
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 10, 2007
These are not the best photos because they were shot late in the afternoon in low light at a very long distance. The bird evidently saw something in the hollow of the top of the piling and wanted to check it out. It kept flying up a few feet and coming back down.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

446
Juanita Bay Park – Kirkland, Washington – May 6, 2007
Two eagles were sitting in a fir tree. The distance was too far to use my DSLR camera, so I tried to digiscope some shots. There are a total of 6 photos here. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

418
Elkhorn Slough, California – April 5, 2007
We first saw this bird on top of a pole, some distance away. I took some photos, but I knew they wouldn’t be good. As we continued up the trail, he flew into a tree – the type of tree that you love birds to fly into. I creeped up closer and closer until he finally flew away.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

417
Elkhorn Slough, California – April 5, 2007
During our brief stay at this wonderful bird preserve, we saw a lot of Northern Harriers flying around. This one came close enough for an aerial shot. Niklon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/400 sec, handheld

356
Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007

This was such a disappointing moment. I’ve been hoping to see this species for quite some time. The bird stayed around the same location for a while, but the sun cast shadows. I took many photos and this was the only one that I was able to salvage. At least you can ID the bird. I took photos with both cameras, but one camera was set incorrectly and I lost all.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/160 sec, Manfrotto tripod

315
Vaughn Bay, Washington – March 18, 2007

This hawk doesn’t fly over the house very often, so I tried to get some photos when I heard a bunch of crow commotion outside. Crow commotion is a good indication that a bird-of-prey is flying over. Crows go ballistic over hawks and eagles. The bird wasn’t too close.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 400mm, 1/500 sec, handheld

309
Nisqually National Wildlife Reserve, Washington State – February 10, 2007

As I was walking down the trail along McAllister Creek, this little falcon flew up in a tree behind me. I didn’t dare try to get closer. The lighting was not good, but at least I got a decent enough photo to ID the bird. This was a first (lifer) sighting of this species for me.

Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

261 – 262
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – January 14, 2007

This Northern Harrier appears to be an adult male. I have never been to Theler Wetlands and not seen a Northern Harrier. The habitat is a perfect hunting ground for this bird.

Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

253
Vaughn Bay, Washington – January 10, 2007

I was out in the backyard taking some photos of the birds back there and this eagle flew over my head. It was quite high and lighting was not good. However, I managed to get this shot – not great, but OK for IDing the bird.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 200mm, handheld

214
Theler Wetlands, Belfair, Washington – December 2, 2006

This bird was the first one I saw after arriving at the wetlands. It was very foggy, but I tried to take a photo of this bird anyway. The light was bad, and I couldn’t even see the branches in front of the bird. However, since this is the first Cooper’s I’ve seen here I wanted to save at least one photo even if it wasn’t that great.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 at 400mm, Manfrotto tripod

212
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – December 2, 2006

This Northern Shrike flew up in a tree quite a ways from me and flew off so quickly that I only got one shot. It’s a miracle that the one photo came out as well as it did considering the foggy conditions and the poor light.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 400mm, Manfrotto tripod

093 – 094
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – October 21, 2006

This bird is my hero. After being hasseled by a group of crows he turned on one of them and took him down. About 100 crows swarmed over the kill, protesting. However, they kept their distance and gradually flew off. WOW! What a sight to witness.

089
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – October 21, 2006

I really wanted a photo of this bird badly. It was the first time I had seen one. I was trying to get a close photo when the bird landed in a tree, but someone walked up the trail and scared if off. It flew into the marsh quite a distance away. This was the best I could do.

057
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – September 30, 2006

Can you tell I like Northern Harriers? This view is of the bird looking straight at me, or at least my way. It was pretty far off in the distance.
057m – It is really hard to capture a bird in flight with a digiscope. Here is my attempt.

056
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – September 30, 2006

What a majestic bird ! It is easy to ID the Northern Harrier, especially in flight. It has a distinctive white patch on the upper rump.

055
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – September 30, 2006

This Northern Harrier was very cooperative and posed for several photos. Unfortunately it was quite a distance away. At least the shot is good enough to see the bird’s beautiful color. I believe this is a young hawk – judging from its bright rusty-red breast.