Brian's Art for Animals

What wildlife is in your Woods / Backyard?

492 posts in this topic

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Chirping Away

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Spotted Dove

 

~ It's 除夕, Lunar New Year's Eve. The firecrackers haven't yet been lit. It's certain to be a long, loud night.

These neighborhood birds visited the feed and water station on the balcony of my apartment this afternoon.

To celebrate the arrival of the Lunar New Year they're presented with best wishes to everyone.

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31726781004_9ed9c73b8e_b.jpgFox by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Haven't seen one in the garden for a couple of years now, used to be a regular.

 

31726781324_73cfb177a0_b.jpgFox by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Posted (edited)

Tawny Owls are not uncommon in our garden but you don't normally see them in daylight unless they have young Owlets they are keeping an eye on. For a few consecutive days nearly 4 years ago we were lucky enough to have one perched right outside the house hunting in broad daylight as there had been a cold snap and the Owl was looking for food at our bird feeders. The seed offered was of no interest of course but the Bank Voles that pop in and out of the dry stone walls to gather the fallen grains are indeed exactly what the Owls prey on. Despite a few attempts I never saw one being caught but it was a privilege to witness a pretty rare daylight event from the warmth of our house.

32227942950_8e16b66b1c_b.jpgTawny Owl by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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post-49296-0-65094900-1486355449_thumb.jpg



Female Tarsiger cyanurus from my Kitchen Window



~ Photographed on 6 January, 2017 at 12 noon, looking down from my third floor kitchen window in Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, China.



1/80 sec., ISO 1,600, f7.1, Manual shooting mode, 400mm focal length, handheld, with an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/5.6L super-telephoto lens in heavily overcast midday conditions



***************************************************************************************************************************************



Washing a tea mug in the kitchen sink, I looked down three stories to the plants below. An unfamiliar bird was rapidly flitting about, unlike any bird I's seen here.



After an initial hesitation I ran to get the camera and mount the EF 400mm f/5.6L super-telephoto lens which is well-suited for photographing moving birds.



It turned out to be a female Tarsiger cyanurus, Red-flanked Bluetail. Not only had I never seen this species, I'd never heard of it.


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Got real lucky yesterday - had a wonderful sighting of a Stoat:

 

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@@michael-ibk

A great sighting - where were you when you saw this?

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Thanks, @@TonyQ - this was at a hide at Chiemsee (Germany) where I am sometimes passing through on the way to visiting my parents. Totally unexpected, I can´t remember ever having seen a Stoat.

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We have been playing around with our trail cam recently.  We set it up at the bottom of the garden and were pleasantly surprised to find that a fox has been visiting.  This clip is only short but we enjoyed it.

 

 

We also got this guy during the day.  No surprise as we had been hearing him for a while.

 

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On 2017-4-1 at 7:54 PM, michael-ibk said:

Got real lucky yesterday - had a wonderful sighting of a Stoat:

 

gallery_19319_1648_8115021.jpg

 

gallery_19319_1648_5660336.jpg

 

gallery_19319_1648_10769561.jpg

 

@michael-ibk can you check your album for these images? Thanks, Matt.

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@Game Warden What would you like me to do? These images are showing up fine in my album "Big Year 2017", no idea why they are not displaying here.

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@michael-ibk Okay, it might be a question of broken links with the upgrade.

 

Can you just do a new post here linking to the same images to see if they display ok?

 

Thanks

 

Matt

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Ok @Game Warden here´s the Stoat again:

 

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gallery_19319_1648_5660336.jpg

 

gallery_19319_1648_10769561.jpg

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Thanks, there must have been some small glitch during the upgrade.

 

Matt

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~ @michael-ibk

 

I'd originally pointed out the missing photo issue as I'd wanted to see a stoat.

 

Over the years I'd encountered mentions of ‘stoats’ yet I had no idea what they were.

 

Thank you for posting the images.

 

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

Today I had my second ever sighting of a California condor above Point Lobos. Sightings this far north are rarer than sightings farther south in Big Sur. We had a really harsh winter and it's only been possible to drive 26 miles south of Carmel into Big Sur since February due to a collapsed bridge so I figured my chances of finding a condor around here were close to nil this year. This individual was flying among some turkey vultures and I suddenly realized one of these doesn't look like the others :) It was also being harassed by two possibly red-tailed hawks and the hawks succeeded in driving it out of sight. And yes I cursed loudly at those damn hawks! :P

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My first ever condor sighting was March of this year at Pinnacles National Park where four of them ending up roosting in a tree on the hillside across from our campsite.

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Spot the condor

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All sightings have been from a great distance with no possibility of reading their tag numbers but I'll take it!

 

Here's a slide a friend took at a recent Ventana Wildlife Society talk. The central California population travels between Big Sur and Pinnacles and through GPS tracking they've discovered that some individuals have traveled south and back and may be having encounters with the southern California population.

large.18623684_10210986474632511_3279301

 

Edited by Patty
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@Patty Great that you saw them! I saw them in Big Sur and also at the Navajo Bridge in  Arizona when we were on our way to the Grand Canyon!

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~ @Patty

 

Thank you for posting these ultra-rare California condor images.

 

What a treat to see them twice in 2017.

 

Good things do happen, and sometimes they happen twice, as you've shown.

 

It's also nice to see the wildlife biologist with facts about the small population of California condors.

 

I've never seen one, @Patty, so your images are especially precious.

 

Tom K.

 

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Awesome @Patti!  Congrats!

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Here are a few from Navajo Bridge in Arizona a couple years ago (does that count as my backyard?) P1020981.thumb.JPG.a4ee8afa46849ae590afeb2ec3410138.JPGP1020987.thumb.JPG.96b04061defca6bed019a97f40b1dd78.JPGP1050014.thumb.JPG.8fa8fe3574069631c27de6171cc0c2a3.JPGP1050038.thumb.jpg.ba9053a7e667685abbd95d53d774bbdd.jpgP1050030.thumb.jpg.8cfb9ed12d2b9ca4e7b875e498407fdf.jpg

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~ @SafariChick

 

Well, who's gonna begrudge you a mighty large backyard?

 

In all candor, your condor images are terrific!

 

On my large screen they pop with detail of a species I've never observed, save in the pages of bird field guides.

 

That final shot is something else, @SafariChick! The rick formation resembles an ancient cathedral in decline.

 

With those posted by @Patty, this is condor day in Safaritalk, which is great!

 

Tom K.

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Very cool stuff @Patty and @SafariChick !

 

@Patty  -  I did not know you could see California Condors as far north as Pt. Lobos.    When I lived in San Francisco, I did some birding there and at adjacent Garrapata State Park so it's nice to think of Condors soaring there.

 

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On 2017-6-13 at 2:27 AM, Patty said:

Big Sur

 

@Patty Have always wanted to go there since reading Kerouac's novel, your Condor images add another incentive.

 

Matt

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@offshorebirder The Ventana Wildlife Society started another feeding station at Palo Corona a few years ago. This may be why we're seeing them in the area. Friends have seen them near Garrapata and two condors have visited a Point Lobos docent's home https://www.facebook.com/pointlobos/posts/945902038803268

 

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This is a video of what I playfully call "the Pirañas".

 

Background:  my mother and I are working on a long-term project in her suburban neighborhood to maintain/restore native amphibian populations.  Recent heavy rains gave frogs and toads their first chance to breed this year.  Besides her three ornamental ponds, the low spot in the streetside drainage ditch is LOADED with tadpoles - Southern Toads, Narrow-mouth Toads and Green Tree Frogs. There was not nearly enough food (algae and vegetation) for them to eat, so she is supplementing their food with red-leaf lettuce and Daylily petals (a delicacy to tadpoles). 

 

Here are the "Pirañas" at work this past weekend:

 

 

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Some camera trap footage taken this morning:

 

 

 

 

 

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