This Moorish Idol was photographed off of Waikiki in an area that is now a marine preserve. Moorish idols live on small crustaceans and use their long snout to poke into small crevices for food.
Friday, December 28, 2007
There was a cluster of beautiful yellow flowers on a bush arching over the Waimea river, visible from the bridge. The flowers look like they are in the pea family. Upon closer inspection, an American Anole was also lounging beneath the flowers, perhaps waiting for passing mosquitos or bees attracted to the flowers.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
A mated pair of rare Hawaiian Koloa native ducks, Anas wyvilliana, splashed down while I was watching the fish in Waikiki. There were not at all afraid of the many tourists watching them and proceeded to browse off of the seaweek on the breakwater making for quite a siting!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Happy Holidays Everyone! Bert put on his very best antlers for the occasion, and as opposed to some of his antlered cousins, Bert really does fly. Merri Crisimassu. Felis Navidad. Mele Kalikimaka. Wishing you all the very best for 2008.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I give up. I looked through a bunch of sparrows, finches, bobolinks and Buntings, all with those little squat conical beaks. Frankly, they are all starting to look the same. If you're a bird person, let me know what this little guy is. Until then, I'm calling it a Bunting for lack of a better excuse. The little yellow patch on the forehead should be a clue but ironically, none of the birds had quite that coloration. So I give up. Hints and name donations will be graciously accepted.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I saw these gorgeous flowers at a nursery the other day. I didn't catch the name of it as I was in a hurry but I'd guess that they are in the Pea Family. Funny, we don't normally think of Peas as trees but some of them get pretty big. This one looked like a type of coral tree, possibly a yellow form.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Found this White Tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)at Mission Trails Park the other day. This was taken with a 500mm lens so, needless to say, the Kite was being a little camera shy. Try as I might, this was as close as it would let me get. I like to call these "hover hawks" because I see them hovering close to the highway waiting for ground squirrels to pop out of their dens. Outside of hummingbirds, they are the only other bird I have seen actively hover.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Just saw a new duck (well new to me anyhow). It's a Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera. It didn't let me get close enough to get a really nice picture but this one's not too bad. They are a beautiful orange-brown color. This one was napping on a little island in the river.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here's a picture of a Vascostylis I snapped at a small orchid symposium. It's so seldom that most people get to see the huge variety of orchids outside of the things they carry in the grocery store, I thought this would be fun. The parents of this (Vanda x Rhychostylis x Ascocentrum) are from Southeast Asia.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Hahah! Prickly Welcome indeed! I couldn't resist the pun. Actually, I thought the little Barrel Cactus Welcome sign at the San Diego zoo was attractive, well done and rather catchy (no pun intended). I wouldn't want to have to weed around those babies though. Owwww. Happy Hump day.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Hummingbirds are amazingly acrobatic when they want to be. This is a picture of one doing a rapid move to the right to avoid my flash. It was quite a quandry between staying for food and ducking my flash, I'm sure. This is an Anna's Hummingbird, one of the 7 or 8 that have declared my feeder home.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I looked out my window and poof, no hummingbirds. I looked up and there was this huge red tailed hawk (not shown. The picture is a goshawk from Denali) looping around and even hovering. I find it hard to imagine that a big old red tailed would be eating teenie little hummingbirds. Just a mouthful of fluff. However, they must be on the menu or at least the hummingbirds think so. By the time I grabbed the camera, the hawk had moved on. Rats.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Another picture from the Bay. It's been storming out. Windy, cold & rainy so this is from November. There were ducks everywhere. Most of these are Ruddy Ducks. It took me a while to realize that the telltale blue beaks were gone because it's winter. Go figure. There was one Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis, in the middle.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Hahah. So much for the corny title, huh? The big white bird with the black legs is a Great Egret, Ardea alba. While once profuse, nesting in huge colonies, they were hunted for their beautiful plumage. Their numbers have since recovered somewhat but are now hampered by dwindling wetlands and human encroachment. They are still quite a sight to see. The smaller egret with the orange legs is a probably a Snowy Egret(note black beak vs orange beak for Cattle Egret), Egretta thula. These are a little more frequent.