Southern Monterey County

May 21, 2020 at 8:33 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, Butterflies, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Monterey County, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, , , )

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road at Fort Hunter Liggett
Same view same time last year

The Los Padres National Forest re-opened the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and I had a hankering to explore one of my favorite areas in Central Coast California.

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Morro Rock-Otters & Birds

May 11, 2020 at 5:45 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers) (, )

Mom and baby sea otter

Photographers like me like to go out early in the morning when the birds are active and the people aren’t. Marilyn and I headed out to Morro Rock, part of Morro Bay State Park on Saturday, with a stop at my favorite California viewpoint off Hwy 46.

Looking toward Morro Rock, well hidden in fog

As is typical of summer, the coast is often shrouded in fog on mornings when it is sunny and headed for hot weather in Paso Robles.

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Estero Bluffs

May 8, 2020 at 6:23 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, San Luis Obispo County) (, , )

A partial fogbow

Estero Bluffs is one of my favorite places along the California coast. The best trail for me is this one, by the windmill. On this morning, it was the second trail of the day for my friend and me.

Windmill and oaks

The fogbow was a bit of magic that added to the beauty of the oaks and windmill.

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Carrizo’s Mini-SuperBloom

May 1, 2020 at 8:02 am (Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers) ()

I’ve been to my beloved Carrizo Plain National Monument twice this Spring hoping the late rains offered up another Superbloom such as last year’s.

A field of goldfields

For the most part, nope. In early April, though, my friend and I were treated to a small herd of pronghorn does and a Bell’s sparrow lifer for her.

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Shell Creek Wildflowers

April 30, 2020 at 7:51 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) ()

Lupine, purple owl’s clover, California poppies, tidy tips

There’s a street famous in these parts for its bounty of wildflowers. Shell Creek Road is off Highway 58 between Paso Robles and Carrizo Plain National Monument.

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Hummingbirds

April 23, 2020 at 6:59 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) ()

Female Allen’s Hummingbird and lilac

This spring was the first I had noticed some unusual hummingbirds at my yard feeders.

Male Rufous Hummingbird

Unlike the mostly iridescent green-backed Anna’s hummers that are year-round residents, these sported a lot of rusty coloration.

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Vineyards

April 22, 2020 at 5:37 pm (California, California Central Coast, fine art photography, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, , )

During this time of quarantine, it’s nice to go on a “road trip” to the place you live.

Especially since we are told not to venture too far from home anyway. Since I live in wine country, my housemate and I explored the countryside in its Spring finery.

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Love of Carrizo Plain in the Time of COVID-19

April 7, 2020 at 8:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers, Wildlife) ()

Pronghorn females

I have visited Carrizo Plain National Monument about a dozen times and this is the first time I saw pronghorns. I guess it helped that it was not a people-frenzied super bloom year, as last year was, and it was also in the midst of the Safe-at-Home era of the COVID-19 pandemic, so running across them was more likely.

Two pronghorn does

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Merced-San Luis Refuge System

December 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Wildlife)

Snow geese coming in for the night

I had a few hours over the weekend of Dec. 7-8 and visited the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge complex, starting with the San Joaquin River NWR. Wasn’t able to get close to the noisy flocks of geese to see the Aleutian Cackling Geese, as the roads are off-limits.

San Joaquin River NWR

So I went to the San Luis NWR – the light was amazing but didn’t get as close to the birds as I had hoped.

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California Condors

November 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) ()

California Condor – Orange 77

I have seen California Condors, mostly from a distance, though I did see some juveniles close enough to read their wing tags about five years ago at Pinnacles National Monument.

Purple 54 and Orange 20

But on Nov. 9, 2019 I was fortunate to go on our tour of the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Southern California where I saw approximately 8 free-flying and 14 captive condors in the flight pen.

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