Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The Coronado Islands viewed from William Heise Park Near Julian. From left to right, you can see the South Island, both Middle Islands and the North Island. It's pretty amazing what you can see on a clear day! This shot was taken from one of the scenic overlooks on the desert view trail in William Heise Park.
The Coronado islands include four islands off the Northwest coast Baja, Mexico. These islands are now a Mexican wildlife preserve although they have been used by American bootleggers in the past and are reputedly still used for human smuggling when bad weather threatens. The Coronado Islands derive their name from Los Cuatro Coronado, the four crowns, a name coined by a priest for Sebastián Vizcaíno to honour four martyrs.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Bushtit -- Coastal Form, Psaltriparus minimus. I wandered down into the canyon in back of the house the other day to snap some bird pictures and take a look at what was living there. There was a flock of bushtits that appeared to be sipping nectar from the profusely blooming bushes. While it is only January, the Winter rains have resulted in all sorts of flowers, sprouts and a profusion of Toyon Berries that are attracting seasonal bird visitors.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Reflecting Pool at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego, San Diego, California.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Komodo dragon, Varanus komodoensis. These large lizards are reputedly one of the last living representatives of large varanid lizards that once lived across Australia and Indonesia. In nature, they opportunistically prey upon/ambush goats, deer and even water buffalo while relying on a diet of mostly carrion. Their bite contains fairly toxic bacteria that will may eventually result in the death of their prey, even where the bite itself may have been relatively minor.
Sanderling, Calidris alba, Tijuana Estuary Reserve, California. These little guys have a circumpolar distribution and Winter all the way down to the Southern Hemisphere. This one is Wintering in lovely San Diego.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Prarie Falcon, Falco mexicanus, Mission Trails Park, San Diego (Santee), California. These little birds frequent grasslands, hills and praries and are found from Southwestern Canada to Southern Mexico.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Lion-Tailed Macaque, Macaca silenus, is a native of South India. Although this Lion-Tailed Macaque has a huge enclosure and lots of Macaque friends, I couldn't help but think he looked a little sad.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Male Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas, Mission Trails Park, San Diego, California. This is a first time sighting for me although, given that this bird lives in swamps, marshes and wet thickets which are not widespread in dry coastal Southern California and given that the female is less descript (no batman mask), that is not altogether surprising. This bird Summers throughout the Western United States and Winters in Mexico. Coastal (Central to Southern) California, however, is one of the few areas that maintains a year round presence. This particular bird was not particularly shy, appearing to have a nest in the dense grass; however, taking a picture of him without my trusty 500mm lens proved challenging due to the low light and myriad branches and grass, all eagerly becoming targets for the camera's autofocus.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Western Snowy Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus. It's Winter. The beach is cool, windswept and foggy and the birds have the beach all to themselves.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Lava Eel at Mele Kohola on the Big Island. Doesn't it look like a prehistoric or perhaps a deep water eel (like mega-mouth), washed up on the rocks, being eaten by crabs? On the other hand, it kind of reminds me of those big sand worms in Dune... I suspect that the red coloration results from a high iron content in that segment of lava.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
Entomacrodus marmoratus or the Marbled Blenny, with Shingle or Helmet urchins (Ha'Uke'Uke), Magic Island, Hawaii. These amazing little Hawaiian blennies come up out of the water as the waves wash over shoreline rocks. They sit on these rocks where they graze on algae, ever keeping a watchful eye for threats such as stray humans or the occasional bird or crab. Their eyesight appears to be quite good, even out of water. When threatened,do a quick snap of their tail, possibly with a bit of a wiggle to get to the edge of the rock, to escape back into the ocean.
The local fishermen will sometimes catch these little blennies to use as live bait for larger fish such as Ulua (Jacks) and Baracuda.
Also shown are a group of Shingle or Helmet urchins, Colobocentrotus atratus. These are called Ha 'uke 'uke in Hawaiian and, while edible,are not commercially harvested. They are usually found out of water in the splash zone clinging to large rocks.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris, Fiesta Island, San Diego, California. Three of these adorable little birds were foraging for bugs in the sand between the cars at the dog park. This was another first sighting for me!