|Pelican group attack (grebe in watch)|
|pelican’s fishing net|
There were still quite a few birds around, such as ducks, geese, terns, pelicans, grebes, egrets, herons, avocets, stilts, downy woodpeckers, ibis and bald eagles. Lots of grebes on water, but we did not dare our luck to see the dance right at the moment. We are just occasional wildlife hobbyist.
Pelicans meanwhile surprised us with their fishing show. Usually we spotted one or two egrets by water bank and this time, there were at least 15 or 20. They followed pelican’s trail and fishing along. Both are large birds and it is fun to watch their march, it is comical. I also had my first experience watching pelicans swallow multiple fish in one attempt and consume them gradually after that.
I ran into Cedar Waxwing two years ago and shot a few from distance, not completely satisfied. They
are such gorgeous looking birds, but I have not seen them since. We spotted Pheasants couple times at the refuges, but I have not been able to ‘pull the trigger’ before they disappeared. California Quails are quite common and they are around in the neighborhood, too. They have a curving crest or called plume droops to the front, made of six feathers, black for male and brown for female. I often saw them in distance. When mother sensed the threat of human existence, she would stand in a higher ground and assure all her babies were safely retreated before she took off herself. I like them because of their unique appearance and beautiful feather.
Pictures of the month posted on the entrance of the refuge are Bald eagle and Barred Owls. Other than those seen at raptor center, I have only seen owl once by John Day River and I have been longing to see more.
|Great Horn Owl|
We were walking on a secluded path outside the golf course early in the evening. Somehow I instinctively turned my head to the left and I saw this Great Horned Owl standing on a tree stump, still. At first I thought it was a wood carving, then, I kind of feeling it moved. I zoomed in my lens and saw its back. At that point, I was sure it is a live creature. Its body color has no difference from the tree behind. I did not know why I suddenly turned my head. And, while I was suspicious, the owl turned its head. Otherwise, I would just walk away thinking it was just a piece of wood.
Completely unexpected, I ran into all of them in one day. Either outside the hotel room, on the walk path or inside the refuge. I did not use our longest lens and the zoomed images are not sharp, but they are my ‘trophies’ and most of all, I cannot believe that I saw all of them in this trip! I was too excited. I ran and I shot without giving much thought to the settings. I should have used our 500mm, but I did not want to carry the weight. I was given the opportunities, but I did not make my best effort. I reaped what I’d sowed.
My bird shots are not good on the first day, I switched my attention to landscape. I seemed to hear a voice by my ear. “I know you like birds and flowers, but I have created so many beautiful things for you to enjoy, why only birds and flowers?” “This is a whole wild world, look away, look further and see.” The voice sounded authoritative and I began to look around.
I think there is a reason why my bird shots are not too good. If they are good, I might not look away otherwise and discovered the gorgeous Mount Shasta, the layers of colors on the swamp, and the white reflection.
Sometimes I was so occupied with small details, I overlooked the big picture.
Better yet, when we came home, I found my favorite House Finch and Gold Finch (American Canary) were in our backyard singing the welcome home song…
I have not seen them since last year and I have been thinking of them. Other than Robin, House Finch and Gold Finch have the most crisp and pleasant voice. If they are around, my day is surely merry and my heart is light.
|house finch, male|
|gold finch, male|
I believe we are furnished to live a good life. We just need to hold on that key, lock and unlock it at right time and with right mind.