Sunday, November 20, 2011

American Kestrel at Cabrillo National Monument

American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California. I drove out to Cabrillo National Monument to see a Fin whale that washed up into a cove just outside the Point Loma Waste Treatment plant. It turns out, however, that the waste treatment plant wasn't having anything to do with lookie-loos and crazy photographers. In fact, they didn't even let their own security guard go down to the cove to see the whale. However, since I was at Cabrillo, I paid the entry fee and made a day of exploring Cabrillo National Park. I started off photographing the tide pools followed by taking pictures of the bird colonies on the cliffs and then by photographing the succulent species growing in the coastal scrub...which is what I was doing when this little guy popped up. He was flying into the stiff, cool breeze, flapping just hard enough to hover over the coastal scrub, looking for lizards, bugs and small animals. Every now and then he would dive down at some prey and then bob right back up into the sky. He (you can ID male American Kestrels by the grey on the top of the wings -- not shown in this photo) continued to hover and swoop for over 15 minutes, providing for some excellent shots including the one above.

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