Smokey Day Off.

The sky has been clear again today, the second day in a row. The smoke from the wildfires in Santa Barbara near Los Angelos is predicted to make its way to the Bay Area. I’m planning on making it a smokey day off, in other words I won’t be taking my coffee on the deck. When I do venture out I will wear a mask, although I can’t imagine what would lure me leave the house. On the positive end of the stick we may get “record breaking rain” next week; that translates into we might get up to 2 inches. For me the only segment of the news that matters the most is the weather. It gives Mrs. Lebec and me something to talk about which is typically; “It’s gonna be nice today.” I offer.

“Yeh, I saw that when do you think it’ll start?” she replies.

“We’ll have to wait until the news at 6 tonight to find that out.”

I had a successful photo session this morning there wasn’t a large number of animals out but just enough to be interesting.

I searched my bird books and the internet to identify this bird, I am not good at it in the least. I spent about an hour looking then decided to post the picture in a bird group I subscribe to. It’s not good form to constantly ask for help in identification; part of the spirit of a bird group is it’s a learning experience in bird identification. The answer came within a few seconds, it is a “Belted Kingfisher”. I had no idea and this is the first photo I have taken of one, this guy was hovering in the wind in front of me. That is the “luck” part in photography the other part is being ready there is no luck in that.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take 50 images while he was flying about and hovering. I haven’t noticed any Belted Kingfishers on the slough but I haven’t been looking either. For all I know they may be the most popular bird in the area. None the less it is fun to capture a shot of a critter for the first time.

I was able to take a few pictures of a Red Tailed Hawk as it flew down the center of the slough. He was against the wind and the rising Sun reflected on this side which is to my advantage. He was being chased by several small birds forming a tag team for pecking. It bothers the bigger birds they make every maneuver known to the avian world to get away. It seems a bit strange that the Hawks don’t attack versus escaping. It makes perfect sense however as the Hawk does not have the ability to maneuver to out match the smaller pursuers.

The Turkey Vultures were out a while later I took several images of them. Vultures are some of the animals I take pictures of every chance I get. They are incredibly difficult for me to take a good image of. One of the reasons is I never seem to catch the deep dark colors of the scavenger in the correct light. The image above was taken around 10:30 am with the Sun nearly directly overhead. Actually this is a nice photo it won’t earn a ribbon at the fair but it’s likable.

There have been quite a large flock circling overhead the past week, I counted 12 one morning. In that number it makes the sky seem to be full of Vultures, certainly noticeable. Other birds are attracted to them while they spiral in the eternal quest for a meal. Ravens, Crows and Hawks are some of the birds that may be spotted with them. None of them have the patience the Buzzards do the Hawks will fly loosely in the vortex for maybe five laps. The Corvids kind of go on the merry go round but lack the understanding of what the purpose is to it all. The Vultures are always around, they are amazing birds.

The Gulls are always out and about as well more so on days when the Sea lions are in town. Two swam past early this morning, I kind of think there may be three but I did not see the third one. The Sea Gulls know instantly when the Seals are around; their alarm system must be state of the art. Those were my visitors on the Slough today, the remainder of the day I spent editing, deleting and reading.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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