Friday, January 19, 2018

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon


I took these photos of this juvenile Peregrine Falcon from my car, a a technique I use frequently to reduce disturbance. I was pleased to be able to get several photos and leave with the falcon still perched on this pole.

This bird was near Hargil Playa which attracts waterfowl and shorebirds, a good place to hunt especially for a juvenile. SeEtta

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Long-eared Owl, a few more pics

Good thing I got these additional photos of the Long-eared Owl yesterday as it flew off and disappeared again today.
As can be seen the photos had to be taken between all the branches and leaves when the owl turned it's head so it's face could be seen.  This required during manual focusing and at a level below where I could get the pics standing so I went back to my car and got my campchair.  So while I was comfortable I spent about an hour watching the owl, something that was not possible during prior sightings of this species and I really enjoy getting to know species I don't often get to see.
While I watched the owl did not seen to pay any attention to those walking by on the trail which was about 30 feet away from it's new roosting location. It did turn and look at me when I made noise (which I did very little of as I stayed seated and was intentionally as quiet as possible so as not to disturb it). As staff reported that the owl had been awake all day there was some concern since this is a noctural species that sleeps during the day. While I watched it was awake and frequently engaged in preening. It also looked around, usually in directions away from the trail (and me as I was seated on the trail). SeEtta

The Long-eared Owl is back again: video clips

The Long-eared Owl that I posted about last week had left the location at Edinburg Wetlands where it had been roosting and had not found until today. So I went up to see if I could get some video of it. The best view is to click on 'V'at the bottom right corner of the screens below.
Long-eared Owl from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.
It choose a spot that provided more of a challenge to get a clear view. If you are viewing this on a computer it will be best to view in fullscrean.
Long-eared Owl from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.
The top video has the best owl views but owl enthusiasts will likely enjoy all three, each is less than a minute long. SeEtta

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Leftover Scissor-tail

While almost all Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are basking in the tropics in and near Central America a few are leftover in the United States including this one. I found it north of Edinburg Tx in the county at dusk.  SeEtta

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Male and female Green Kingfishers

 This small member of the kingfisher family is found in the U.S. only in southwest and very Texas and a small piece of southeast Arizona.  However it's range extends through Mexico and Central America to South America.
 The two pics at the top are of the male Green Kingfisher with bright rufous breast while the bottom two pics are of the female that has green chest bands instead.  Both have very lare bills relative to their small bodies (length is just under 9 inches0.
I have usually found Green Kingfishers flush easily making it difficult to get good pics so I used my most sneaky skills to get these pics.  It helped that there was a lot of vegetation in the way which added a little more challenge to get sharp shots.  SeEtta

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Common Pauraque, a South Texas specialty

While the location of this Common Pauraque was marked on a map at Quinta Mazatlan it is still always fun to spot them since they blend in so well with their habitat. This bird doesn't have the predominant grey plumage usually found in birds of this species found in the Rio Grande Valley but I couldn't find much on the rufous morph of this species to venture a guess.  I like that it's nasal bristles are show up pretty well in this pic.  I think the complex and vermiculated patterns on the plumage of this species is beautiful so I enlarged a section of it below. SeEtta

Monday, January 8, 2018

More photos of the Long-eared Owl

These pics while nicely showing features of this owl had a few glitches so I did tweak them post processing in addition to cropping to enlarge them. However these pics are still sharp enough to look very good if you click on them to enlarge further, especially to see it's eyes in the pic below.
Although many photographers are happy to have a bird looking right at them, it concerns me with some species like owls as it usually indicates some disturbance and the bird focusing on the photographer rather than their daily activities (usually sleeping for these owls). Fortunately this owl quickly turned it's head forward and resumed it's roosting. SeEtta

Long-eared Owl at Edinburgh Wetlands


This owl was found late last week at the wonderful Edinburg Wetlands in Edinburg Tx. I was told it was found by maintenance staff who inadvertently flushed it while working. It has been seen flying a couple but has roosted mostly in this palm tree. It is back from the trail about 30 feet and their it a lot of vegetation making it challenging to get good pics but perseverance worked for me. I did not do any post processing editing except a little cropping. Fyi all of these are high quality so clicking on them to enlarge will provide delightful close up views. I have a couple of Long-eared Owls previously but it has some years since I have seen one so this was very nice. SeEtta