Acorn Woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

Acorn Woodpeckers are the most common woodpecker species that we see in the Sacramento, CA area. They are very active, industrious, and highly social birds. They live in family groups in a single nesting cavity, they manage a large acorn granary stored in holes they drill in dead trees, and they are very territorial.

One of the California Naturalists at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, wrote a short, interesting article about them. The article was published in “The Acorn” summer newsletter from Effie Yeaw Nature Center. (2021acornsummer.pdf (capitoltechsolutions.com)). It is a fascinating read sure to increase your appreciation of the interesting birds.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Acorn Woodpeckers
Female is on left, Male on Right. Note the white band above the male’s beak.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpecker and European Starling; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
The cavity is a Starling nest. The Acorn Woodpecker came to investigate the nest. It was chased away by the Starling.
Images and discussion of the Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Red-winged Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbird Calling and Flashing Eapaulets
Look closely and you will see his breath condensing in the air while he calls.
Sailor Bar
American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021

Its spring and male birds are displaying their most beautiful plumage and serenading with their most beautiful calls. To me, none is more beautiful than the Red-winged Blackbird. I’ve included a link to a video which I am sharing, not because I want you to see it but because I want you listen to it. It is from my favorite spring nesting spot; my favorite because of the song of these birds.

Link to Red-winged Blackbird video: Red-Winged Blackbird Melody – YouTube.

Please click on caption to se images at higher resolution.

Female Red-winged Blackbird
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; MAY 2020
Red-winged Blackbird Flashing Epaulets
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

A Few Songbirds

Western Bluebird
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021

Here are a few songbirds that I photographed over the past couple of months.

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Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Western Bluebird
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Hermit Thrush
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2021
Song Sparrow
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Raptors

American Kestrel
Davis, CA; FEB 2021

Over the last few weeks, some raptors allowed me to photograph them. So, today I thought I would share them with you.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution!

Merlin
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; FEB 2021
Red-tailed Hawk
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Merlin
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; FEB 2021
American Kestrel
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Red-tailed Hawk
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021
Red-tailed Hawk
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Davis, CA; FEB 2021

If anyone would like a copy of any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

American Bushtit

Bushtit
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2021

I am featuring one of my favorite little birds, the American Bushtit (Psaltriparus Minimus). At about 4 ½ inches long and weighing in at about 0.2 Ounces, these energetic little birds are fun to watch. They are, however, a challenge to photograph; they never sit still. They perch for a few seconds looking for insects or spiders then are off to the next branch. I guess if I were snack size, I probably would not stay in one place very long either.

These birds are found in the mountainous areas of the western US and Mexico. But we also see them year-round in the Sacramento area. We have the Pacific sub-group in our area. There is also an Interior or Black-eared variety in other areas; according to Sibley[1], they are more common in Texas and Mexico. I’ve never seen one.

As you are walking, look for them. Small flocks will move from tree to tree while foraging. While on the tree, they flit from branch to branch at a frenetic pace making them fun to watch. The male has a black eye while the female has a yellow eye.

Information gleaned from Cornell Labs, All About Birds[2] and Wikipedia[3].


[1] The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition. Copyright 2014 by David Allen Sibley.

[2] Bushtit Overview, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

[3] American bushtit – Wikipedia

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Female Bushtit
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Female Bushtit
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Bushtit
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; MAY 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Summer Vignettes Along the American River Parkway

Landscape with Canada Geese
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020

I am sharing a few early morning scenes from the banks of the American River. I walk the trails along the river several times each week for several hours at a time. I am grateful that the people of the Sacramento area cared enough to build a buffer area against flooding and to turn that almost 40 miles of buffer into urban green space available to all.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Summer Scene on the American River Parkway
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; JUL 2020
Summer Morning Scene on the American River
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JUL 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

A Favorite Spot

Sunrise Over the Foothills
Scott RD, Folsom, CA; JUL 2020

I am sharing 4 images from one of my favorite local spots to photograph. I am drawn to the spot, just outside Folsom, CA, because it is an oak dotted rangeland typical of this area of California.

One of the images is a black and white version of another in the set. I thought it looked very dramatic in black and white.

Please click on caption to se image at higher resolution.

Sierra Foothills with Cloud Covered Skies
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA. AUG 2014
Thunderclouds over the Sierra bring rain but not to the drought ridden foothills of 2014.
Sierra Foothills with Cloud Covered Skies
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA. AUG 2014

Thunderclouds over the Sierra bring rain but not to the drought ridden foothills of 2014.
Moonrise over the Sierra Foothills
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA, JAN 2015

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Folsom and Sierra Foothills

American River Gorge, Folsom, CA
Looking downstream on the American River toward footbridge in Folsom, CA after heavy rains. JAN 2017

Today I decided to share a few scenes from the area around Folsom, CA. Folsom is the site of the Folsom Prison that Johnny Cash put on the map. But there is more. It sits along the American River near the western end of the Sierra Nevada foothills. The small section of old town Folsom is still very nice. The outskirts are surrounded by oak woodlands primarily used for ranching.

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution

Lighting the Path
Historic Footbridge across American River, Folsom, CA. JAN 2
Reawakening
Auburn State Recreation Area, Auburn, CA, FEB 2015
Sierra Foothills, P2
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA. AUG 2014
Thunderclouds over the Sierra bring rain but not to the drought ridden foothills.
Sierra Foothiils, Moonrise Over the Foothills
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA, JAN 2015
Early Morning at Folsom Lake
Doton’s Point, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; MAR 2019
Sunset Over the Foothills
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA, JAN 2015
American River Gorge in Fog
American River Gorge, Folsom, CA; JAN 2017
Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge arch after heavy rains
Folsom, CA. JAN 2017

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

An Early Morning at Folsom Lake

Early Morning at Folsom Lake; Doton’s Point,
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; MAR 2019

This past week, we had a morning where the rain clouds were breaking up in the early morning. I chose that day to explore Doton’s Point trail at Folsom Lake Recreation Area; a trail that was new to me. The grasses and other plants were displaying their spring green. The early morning sun helped saturate the colors. Spring was at its finest. I went with the expectation that I might see some different birds. Instead, I discovered that it was time for some landscapes.

The beautiful rocks in this image are granite. The area around this portion of Folsom Lake is called Granite Bay because of the abundance of granite in the area. Like the Sierra Nevada mountains, this area sets on a pluton, a large blob of magma that cooled slowly underground to form granite then was uplifted and exposed.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Early Morning at Folsom Lake – P2;
Doton’s Point, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; MAR 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website, www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Shooting With My Phone

Rainbow Bridge, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2015 (Click to See Image Enlarged)

I regularly walk along various stretches of the American River Parkway trail system. It is a great place to get exercise and enjoy the beauty of an urban forest and riparian habitat. I rarely have my camera because, if I did, I’d never get exercise. But, I always have my phone.

On several of my blogs, I remind readers that it is the composition and lighting that make the image and not the camera. Especially with today’s smartphone cameras and their incredible software. But, I have a problem using my phone. I can’t hold it steady enough to lock in the composition and get the focus right. So, I invested in a walking stick/monopod/tripod by Manfroto and a bracket to hold my phone. Now, I can overcome my shakiness. I also carry a microfiber cloth to clean the lens – it can get grimy being carried around in purse, pocket or holster. Grimy lenses impact the clarity of the image.

I have the Samsung Galaxy S6 with its 16MP rear camera. It does a great job. You can use it as a point and shoot by using auto mode or you can put it in pro mode which allows you to manually control functions just like on a DSLR. I find manual selection of the focus point to be the most useful but wish it wasn’t tied to the auto exposure so I could control them separately.

The attached image was shot with my phone last week. I am very pleased with it. Enjoy and make the best of your photography.

Please share.

Regards,

Larry