Sunday, December 27, 2009

Calero-Morgan Hill Christmas Bird Count - Almaden Quicksilver Sector

I enjoyed this year's Calero-Morgan Hill Christmas Bird Count (CBC) very much. The rains held off until late afternoon just after I finished!


For the 5th time, I worked the northern section of Almaden Quicksilver County Park, covering the entire Guadalupe Trail, including portions of New Almaden Trail, Mine Hill Trail, and Senador Mine Trail... for a total of 6.2 miles of up-and-down hiking. Nothing rare was seen nor heard, yet the usual expected species did show and made their presence felt. This park is filled with woodpeckers... and I observed 6 species, with the Acorn Woodpecker the most numerous by far (I counted 39 different individuals!)


The typical forest birds were all there in good numbers... some examples:




I was fortunate to capture new photos; view the Christmas Bird Count SLIDESHOW to see the pixs, including many not shown here in the blog. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

San Jose Christmas Bird Count - Calaveras Sector

Another full-day participating in the San Jose Christmas Bird Count, with starting at early dawn up on Calaveras Road in the eastern foothills above San Jose. This was my 5th year on the Weller Road zone... (I missed last year due to my Antarctica trip in December 2008). The Weller Road zone has lots of open space and huge grasslands and ranches.

Highlights included 3 GOLDEN EAGLES and 16 RED-TAIL HAWKS... and several wild horses which suddenly arrived and surrounded my car while I was birding nearby! One horse kicked the running board under the passenger door, and that was enough for me to send them away.

The count went well and the weather cleared from the early morning fog into a glorious sunny day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Backyard Birding - Northern Mockingbird

Enjoying the wonderful sunny and pleasant weather over this Thanksgiving weekend here in Morgan Hill... and I've been noticing this first-year NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD occasionally in our backyard. This morning I snapped this photo as the bird was warming itself in the sunlight, posing in its favorite spot on top of the hedge near the fence. It's not very often we see this species here... so this was a nice bonus sighting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Backyard Birding - Red-breasted Sapsucker

For only the third time in over ten years, a Red-breasted Sapsucker has taken over one of our backyard trees. While on the patio, the unmistakable sounds of a woodpecker tapping was heard... and I was lucky enough to get a few photos before it flew off. As you can see from all the holes, this bird has been visiting this tree for a while. We have lots of Nutall's Woodpeckers and Acorn Woodpeckers, but the Red-breasted Sapsucker is very unusual for our backyard here in Morgan Hill.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monterey, California in November

A great way to spend a weekend in Northern California is to visit Monterey... especially on a perfect autumn day to enjoy the sunshine, flowers, and Pacific Ocean waves.

Barbi & I went to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove with the Morgan Hill Photography Group (MHPC)... and the gathering of overwintering butterflies is underway!

Then to the coastline to watch the impressive Pacific Ocean waves pounding the rocks while enjoying the perfect weather and lunch, with some birding and scenic photography added in!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Rose Garden

With the arrival of the month of November, the morning air is cool and crisp... and yet the rose garden is still very much alive with color and beauty.

This beautiful colorful ROSE captured my eye more than the White-Crowned Sparrows in the backyard... so it's onto Dave's Birding Blog!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ogier Ponds; Morgan Hill

October 11, 2009

Birding with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society in Morgan Hill at Ogier Ponds... it was cold and windy, and we had to work for all the birds this Sunday morning.

Las Vegas Area Birding Trip

October 2, 2009

For the second time this year, I spent 5 days in and around the Las Vegas Area for birding and photography.

Also spent a bit of time at the 2009 Photoshop World conference at Mandalay Bay. The weather was much nicer this time compared to the peak of summer!

Highlights include LEAST BITTERN, PHAINOPEPLA, VERDIN, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, and a GREEN HERON struggling to swallow a fish!

Morgan Hill Photography Club Cookout

September 12, 2009

Barbi & I enjoyed the afternoon with members of the local Morgan Hill Photography Club at Community Park.

The weather was perfect for a summer cookout, the Gazebo provided wonderful shade and picnic tables, and we all shared thoughts about cameras, photo shoot locations, LightRoom and Photoshop... and stories of adventures and memorable photos from the past. A fun afternoon!

Morro Bay Birding Trip

September 6, 2009

We spent the week along the central California coast and Morro Bay and Los Osos... attending the Light Photographic Workshop on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

It was a great week... learned a lot... and the BROWN PELICANS were awesome diving into Morro Bay!

4th Annual Wild Bird Center Photo Exhibition

August 23, 2009

For the third time in four years, Barbi & I enjoyed our Sunday afternoon at the Bay Area Photographers 4th Annual Photo Exhibition sponsored by the Los Gatos Wild Bird Center. It was great to meet and talk with many of the local photographers as they displayed their bird, wildlife, or scenic photographs, and their stories of epic adventure.

Thanks again to Freddy & John Howell for putting on this popular event... another great success!

Boston Area Birding Trip

July 22, 2009

This summer we traveled to the East Coast for a birding & photography trip to Boston, Massachusetts.

Highlight locations visited: Revere Beach, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Belle Isle Marsh, Herring Cove Beach (Cape Cod), Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

4th of July - Morgan Hill Fireworks Show!

July 4, 2009

Barbi & I decided this year that we would try to photograph FIREWORKS on this 4th of July. We had never done this before, so we studied what settings to use on our cameras... and it worked!

The weather was perfect and everyone enjoyed a terrific show on this wonderful Saturday evening in California.

Las Vegas Area Birding Trip

June 20, 2009

Traveled into the 100-degree Nevada summer heat for a few days of birding and photography in the Las Vegas area.

Highlight areas included Calico Basin & Red Rock Canyon (west of Las Vegas), as well as excellent birding at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and Wetlands Park.

Point Lobos State Reserve Photography

May 17, 2009

Got away from the 100-degree California heat wave and spent the day along the Pacific coast at the beautiful Point Lobos State Reserve.

The weather was perfect for relaxing and some different photographic styles using the variable neutral-density filter to capture time-exposures of the crashing waves.

Garrapata State Park Photography

May 9, 2009

A wonderful yet windy day at Garrapata State Park, located along California Hwy 1 on the Pacific coast south of Monterey, California.

The sunny skies brought dramatic views of the deep blue Pacific water crashing into the rocky shoreline. The cliffs provided excellent viewpoints for photographing the birds!

SCVAS "Big Day" - Santa Clara County

April 19, 2009

An ultimate "18-hour" birding marathon today lead by Bob Power and "Team Bobolinks" !

I started my day at 3am... as we traveled all over Santa Clara County Parks searching and listening for birds for the annual Birdathon Fundraiser for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. Our Big Day total = 148 species!

Wow!  I'm featured in Mercury News Travel

February 22, 2009

Today the San Jose Mercury News daily newspaper featured my trip to Antarctica in the "Wish You Were Here" Travel section! It's always fun to share the excitement of birding and photography... and it was a nice bonus to have my website included as part of the photo feature.

If you saw my photo, send me an email, and I'll reply.

Panoche Valley; San Benito County

January 10, 2009

My 4th year-in-a-row on a super field trip to Panoche Valley with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society.

We enjoyed views of a pair of adult Bald Eagles at the Paicines Reservior... as well as good looks at a Prairie Falcon in Panoche Valley. But we still missed finding any Chuckar or Mountain Plover... for my 4th year in a row!

Does the Chuckar exist??!

Antarctica Presentation - Bay Area Bird Photographers Meeting

January 07, 2009

What a special evening at the BABP monthly meeting!

My first-ever formal slideshow presentation to the BABP membership and guests was personally very rewarding and it was an honor to be a presenter.

Thank you ALL for such supportive comments and feedback as well as the largest meeting attendance!

1 Year of

December 25, 2008

Christmas Day... December 25, 2008... the official 1st Anniversary date of

It was exactly 1 year ago today my website went public online. This past year has been a bucket full of effort yet it's also been very rewarding. I've made many new friends from all over the world... and I'm looking forward to continuing and improving

Antarctica - Safe Return Home

December 23, 2008

Antarctica - The Ultimate Destination - and a safe return back home to California after this incredible 27-day trip.

Look for the completed PHOTO PRESENTATION to be available here online in early January 2009.

Antarctica !   I'm On my Way

November 26, 2008

Antarctica - The Ultimate Destination!

My long-awaited trip to Antarctica is finally here.

I will be away for the next 4 weeks...

In January, come back to share the experience!

Charleston Slough; Mountain View

October 25, 2008

Saturday morning field trip with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society to visit several popular birding areas along the southern San Francisco Bay. We started at Alviso Marina County Park, then Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, then Charleston Slough.


Pillar Point Harbor; Half Moon Bay Area

October 18-19, 2008

This was a full Saturday and Sunday as Barbi & I were participants at an excellent 2-day Bird Photography workshop by Oliver Klink and Yamil Saenz. We all had a wonderful time and experienced a variety of lighting conditions... ranging from foggy to cloudy to superb late afternoon sunlight at the perfect sun angle.


James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

October 04, 2008

A trip to the James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in San Mateo County was part of an excellent photographic seminar which Barbi & I attended; it turned out to be on the first day of rain in over 5 months! However the rain stopped before we got there... and the skies even cleared during the afternoon.

We learned some tips and practiced a new technique using a variable neutral-density filter... for some really cool water motion pixs!

Bay Area Bird Photographers Meeting

October 01, 2008

Attended the Bay Area Bird Photographer's Meeting in Palo Alto. It was great to see everyone again and enjoy Larry Selman's excellent slideshow presentation... with incredible photos of hummingbirds and owls.

I am anxiously awaiting my first formal presentation there in January 2009!

Monterey Bay Pelagic Birding Trip

September 14, 2008

I was very thankful for the calm Pacific Ocean on this Sunday all-day birding trip with Shearwater Journeys out of Monterey Bay. There was complete overcast until mid-afternoon, yet the smooth seas made up for the lack of sun. I even got three "lifers" on the trip... with photos.

A great birding day!


3rd Annual Wild Bird Center Photo Exhibition

August 24, 2008

It was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon at the Bay Area Photographers 3rd Annual Photo Exhibition sponsored by the Los Gatos Wild Bird Center. Over twenty local photographers displayed their bird, wildlife, or scenic photographs, each with their own story to share.

This popular event was a great success, with everyone enjoying the discussions and the diverse selections of framed works of art on exhibit.

Backyard Hummingbirds

July 26, 2008

It's Summer in Morgan Hill, and the HUMMINGBIRDS are providing a spectacular show at our backyard feeder! They feed all day long... arriving at first light and staying until dusk... swarming all over our backyard!

This photo has TWENTY (20) HUMMINGBIRDS at the feeder at the same time!


The Presidio of San Francisco

June 20, 2008

Visiting The Presidio of San Francisco, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, I found this pair of HAIRY WOODPECKERs... a young juvenile being watched and fed by the adult female at their nest hole.

It's wonderful to observe such wildlife experiences even while inside the city of San Francisco!

Gazos Creek Road; San Mateo County

May 11, 2008

Sunday morning field trip with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society to the foggy Pacific coast along Gazos Creek about 30 minutes drive north of Santa Cruz. The target birds were MACGILLIVRAY's WARBLER and WILSON'S WARBLER... which were heard often, yet challenging to find today.

The foggy weather cleared a bit by noon, so I returned to where I heard them... success!