What’s An Avostilt?

I’ll never forget when in 2003 I first heard the expression “Avostilt”. The San Diego County Bird Atlas needed images of Elegant Terns and author Phil Unitt introduced me to the biology team monitoring the tern colonies at the south end of San Diego Bay. Elegant Terns had recently colonized the narrow dams separating the … Read more

2018-12-22 Christmas Bird Count

One day a year I enjoy the mere act of counting birds. It’s not for ego. It’s not done to call attention to myself. It’s not for an ‘I got more than you’ motivation. It is the Christmas Bird Count, a citizen science endeavor, where the birding community pulls together to survey the birds present … Read more

2018-12-17 La Jolla Cove

I took a rare day off from projects around the house and drove to the La Jolla Cove with my nephew Chris to take pictures. I wanted to try out some new equipment and techniques. Last week I had LOTS of warblers chasing flying insects at my house and I tried chasing them with my … Read more

2012-12-27 Margaret Fleming Nature Trail

There is a small corner of Torrey Pines State Park in Del Mar that does not get the attention that the bluffs get. It is understandable though, the bluffs above the beach are breathtaking. However, on the north side of the Penasquitos Valley, between residential developments, is a 200 acre reserve annexed to the state … Read more

2012-12-14 Poway Snipe Hunt

About a mile east of my house, along Poway Creek there is a hotspot for birds in winter. As a flood control measure, the City of Poway mows the creek bottom late in the fall. Cattails, bulrushes, willow, mulefat and other plants will reach 10-12 feet high after one year of unfettered growth. It is … Read more

2012-11-14 Osprey vs. Ravens in Poway

One Wednesday morning I spotted an Osprey perched on the utility pole in my yard. It was dining on a fish caught at my neighbor’s nearby ponds by Beeler Creek. Raptors often use this pole to survey the western slope of the small hillside west of my house. Red-Shouldered Hawks are the most common occupants, … Read more

2012-09-12 Santa Rosa Mountain in September

If one reads my blog and scans for “Santa Rosa Mountain”, they might get the idea I love going there … and they’d be right. I’ve been visiting this place since the early 1970s, long before my interest in birds and photography. The contrast between the deserts below and the pine forests atop this sky … Read more

2012-09-08 Equestrians at Border Field

I headed south on a Saturday morning to the beach at Border Field. One cannot go further south along the Pacific Coast unless one wants to go into Mexico. When I reached the beach, I took a left turn and rode south to the border fence and visited the terns, gulls and shorebirds loafing on … Read more

2012-08-29 Exploring Lake Hodges

It was a Wednesday near the end of August and I took a mid-morning trip to Lake Hodges, not knowing what birds I might meet. I rode my bike out a point on the shore where I could sit elevated over the water and enjoyed the comings-and-goings of creatures in the area. Although I was … Read more

2012-08 August Yardbirds

I took a lot of images of Lesser Goldfinches the month of August 2012. I used them as subjects to experiment with different photo techniques. These birds are my most numerous avian guests, so why not exploit the resource? At the time I was still feeding seeds to my bird neighbors, but I’d scaled back … Read more