2009/04/19

Rainy but (very) Happy

In the morning, I drove to Steveston to buy some groceries, and of course, I couldn't be there and not check out the wildlife along the waterfront.

Sky-watch of today.

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)
A very shy pair of Mallards.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
The strangest position I seen a Great Blue Heron in. Is it drying its feathers?

Cherry Blossom
Cherry blossoms are now in full flowering mode. Soon all of it will be sakura fubuki (i.e. cherry blossom snowfall).

When I returned home, it started to drizzle a bit and then stopped. So I decided to quickly go out and bike along the dyke before the harder rainfall comes.

As usual, Muskrat is out feeding again before the rain comes.

And guess what!? I saw the Great Horned Owl again. This time, it was on the tree closer to me (but facing the other side). A new birding friend and I saw it, and we were quite excited to see it so clearly. What a beauty!

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
As you can see, they blend-in quite well to their surroundings.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Great Horned Owls are widely distributed across North America as well as parts of Central and South America. This raptor is considered one of the top avian predators in North America - taking large prey including other owls.

Afterwards, the rain really started to come down hard. So I decided to head home. Before then, I saw this dead bird's leg on the ground. Being the curious person that I am, I poked at it (with a stick), and this beetle sudden came out of hiding!

Unknown Beetle

I have no idea what kind of Ground Beetle this is, so I submitted to BugGuide hoping to get an identification. Nevertheless, it's an awesome-looking bug.

Even though rain was coming down when I was biking home, I was (very) happy inside to see all the wildlife that I saw today!
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7 comments:

T and S said...

Another fabulous series. The images of the Great Horned Owl is just spectacular.

Cicero Sings said...

Some great pictures today. Loved that heron airing its feathers. And the Owl ... lucky, lucky you to get such great close ups.

Chris said...

Excellent post. I think I have another theory for the heron. He is simply pissing and is too shy ;-)

Natural Moments said...

Awesome owl shot. And you are totally right, that is one unique pose that the blue heron is engaged in. Terrific.

Tyto Tony said...

Like Chris' theory, but heron may be using wing-shadow to attract prey, a technique common to herons and the like.

David Steen said...

Beautiful owl shots.

PSYL said...

Wow! Thanks for the comments. The owl is indeed a great find, especially near a residential area.

And thank you for the heron suggestions. A friend of my saying it's a stalker flashing at the water. Who knows. Maybe everyone is right, and maybe I'll never fully understand animals' way of thinking, but I'm just appreciative that it allowed me to photograph that unique moment.

Cheers.

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