A California specialty, the Yellow-billed Magpie, calls out near Quien Sabe Road.
Leaving to join another magpie foraging in the fields.
A Yellow-rumped Warbler showcasing the reason it has its name.
I wish Prairie Falcons weren’t so skittish, but maybe the rarity of close encounters is what makes them so special. So to see 4 of them on my recent trip out to Panoche Valley was unexpected.
Such amazing birds. Ability to write decent caption… compromised…
A storm of blackbirds results from a Prairie swooping in and landing on the power pole below.
Check out those dark axillaries… a nice field mark for a Prairie Falcon that you can easily see from a distance.
Definitive proof that falcons can keep a close eye on you even when they are flying away.
I’d heard reports of people seeing 10-14 Golden Eagles near Quien Sabe Road near Panoche Valley so I went to see for myself. Within 4 minutes of turning onto the road I saw a distant Golden and once I rounded the bend another flew overhead.
A few minutes later I spotted this pair resting together on a hillside.
They seemed to like flying together as well.
There were even more eagles toward Santa Ana Valley Road.
Near Paicines Reservoir yet another Golden flew over the water followed by a pair of Red-tailed Hawks. Later while I was focusing on some Western Bluebirds I heard a Redtail scream and looked up to see the pair aggressively driving the Golden away.
In this shot the eagle is completely inverted after throwing it talons up at the Redtail which drifted away, satisfied that the eagle had gotten the message.
I’ll close out this post with a young Golden Eagle, also from the area near Quien Sabe.
I love Acorn Woodpeckers. Maybe it’s their clown-like raucous character or their striking plumage – whatever it is they always delight me. This female decided to hawk insects above my head for a few minutes and it was amazing to watch her pick nearly invisible bugs from the air.
Above, she has just snapped up a bug and is about to return to her perch.
It can be hard to detect their grace unless you slow them down or freeze a moment in time.