Posted by: atowhee | September 2, 2013


There is a spectrum of shades that begins on one end with snow white, passes through the various tones of gray without blue and then turns into charcoal and eventually pitch black. Today I was birding in Solano County around Fairfield and covered pretty well this whole spectrum.
EGRET HITS A DOUBLEGREG CATCH (1280x1280) I was already focused on this hunting Great Egret when it speared something in the grass. I pushed the button on the camera and hoped for the best. GREG 2EAT (1180x1280) The egret caught a pair of dragonflies mating. I had seen mating pairs flying over the marsh all morning. Time to fertilize those eggs to be laid now and hatch next spring. This egret caught them both, after this last photo there was a quick gulp.

The grasslands and hills around Grizzly Island Road were brown sere from the drying wind and scorching summer drought. At the ecotone where grass meets marsh there was an immediate shift to a verdant green, almost an embarrassingly rich color against all the muted toned elsewhere. Pale blue sky, puffy light gray clouds, faded dust-colored grass, dust-colored dust, grayish eucalyptus trees, sun-bleached wooden fences and posts. Then tropical green rushes and tules. But many of the birds were in tune with white to gray to black shifts.LOSH CU3 (1) (1280x1280)
Loggerhead Shrike.
LOST CLOSE WIRE (1280x1280)

MOCK FLITE (1280x1280)
MOCK POSTD (1280x1280)


MOCK TAKE-OFF (1280x1280)

SNEG BK (1280x1280) White, black beak, forgive the gauche yellow slippers.

WILL-ILT Black and white Stilt, Willet all gray with black and white wings pattern in flight.AM AVO (1280x1280) Black, white and gray. These shorebirds were actually along a mudflat in Albany, Alameda County. Right next to Golden Gate Fields horse track, in fact.

LAST AND BEST: This pair of White-tailed Kites were hunting along a fenceline where grass meets marsh at Rush Ranch, an open space preserve conserved by Solano Land Trust.

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