Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore: Blog http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog en-us All images (C) Kim Moore (contact for use) kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) Fri, 01 Jun 2018 15:04:00 GMT Fri, 01 Jun 2018 15:04:00 GMT http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u942521291-o243173337-50.jpg Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore: Blog http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Sights May 2018 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/sights-may-2018 For me, the skunk stole the show. Maybe it's because I have my own black and white fur baby. I went with friends early to Huntington Beach Central Park. A jogger passed it without looking. I chased, but from a careful distance so as not to disturb it. It seemed unconcerned by humans. My local trips included El Dorado Park (Duck Pond, Nature Center, and Areas I and II), Huntington Beach Central Park,  Sand Dune Park, Malibu Lagoon and Legacy Park, the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, West San Gabriel River Trail, and, of course, my own yard. I saw migratory birds such as Western Tanagers, Lazuli Buntings, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Hermit Warbler, to name just a few of the 'special' ones. If you don't catch them during the short period when they fly through, then you have to wait until the fall to try again.  I love baby birds, and there were many of them making whiny noises and waiting for mom to feed them. I saw baby Great Horned Owls and Snowy Plovers. Even the common birds thrill me in baby-form: American Coots, Mourning Doves, Black Phoebe, Lesser Goldfinch, and California Towhees. Although I mostly was out on birding trips, and didn't make trips specifically for reptiles, insects, and spiders, I cannot ignore them altogether and photographed the ones that caught my eye. A Valley Carpenter Bee has make residence in my sadly dying fig tree. The tree may be dying but I like that it is giving a home.

On my monthly butterfly count, it was very dry and hot. There were fewer blooming plants and much less diversity of butterflies than in prior years in May. The most abundant were Common Ringlets. It was a lovely hike with good company as always.

On my monthly bird survey at Los Cerritos Wetlands, we were surprised by the number of Western Wood-Pewees that we saw. They may be migrating through, but to see so many, and in the wetlands no less, just wow!

Even on my Pelagic Birding Trip out of Dana Point we saw migratory birds out at sea. Several Wilson's Warblers landed on the boat to rest only to leave us at the oil platforms. There they will have to contend with Peregrine Falcon's and I even saw a Sea Lion snap at one. It is a hard journey. You can see from my photos how tattered they get. We saw, but my photos didn't capture, Townsend's Warblers, a Willow Flycatcher, and a highlight of Black Swifts. Of course there were some sea birds and marine life too!!

I hope that you too are getting out there and enjoying nature. It changes every day.

Be sure your browser allows Flash in order to see the names in the slideshow.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_may_2018 
 

 

Irvine Ranch butterfly survey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_may_2018

 

Los Cerritos Wetlands Bird Survey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_may_2018

Pelagic Birding Trip out of Dana Point:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/pelagic_trip_may_2018

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds butterflies insects nature http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/sights-may-2018 Fri, 01 Jun 2018 06:00:39 GMT
Sights April 2018 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/sights-april-2018 Spring has sprung and birds are migrating through.  It has been a very colorful month with butterflies and birds. Lazuli Bunting is definitely a highlight, but Western tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, and Hermit Warbler are pretty good too. I watched a House Wren trying to maneuver a large twig through a hole to build a nest. The twig won. I saw mating Killdeer and Caspian Terns (two separate sightings, not cross-species action). A pair of Kestrels had a nest nearby and mama had some fresh prey to deliver to the chicks. There was definitely love in the air.

At the end of March spanning into April, I participated in an invertebrate survey for the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. We spent three days camping and visiting sites on the San Joaquin Valley side. In addition to insects, there were wildflowers and snakes. (Warning: under vertebrates there are images of predation, snakes, and animal carcasses).  The San Joaquin Valley side was very green and the weather was close to 80 during the day. I went back to Tejon Ranch at the end of the month for a birding trip. We stayed on the dry southern side. What a contrast! It was mostly very brown and dry, but here was some green up in the canyons. It was about fifty degrees, and the wind was howling. We did see some birds mostly at a distance or from the comfort of the van. It didn't make for great photography but there were highlights to be enjoyed, including a close look at a Golden Eagle, beautiful scenery, sights of Pronghorn, and a huge number of Black-headed Grosbeaks.

I went with Pasadena Audubon to Bob's Gap. That is an area on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains on the edge of the Mojave. Going with knowledgeable guides is great for finding a new place and special birds. The highlight was a Gray Vireo. It is kind of a drab bird, but is a state species of special concern and has not been seen in the area since the 1990's. There were many 'prettier' birds too, including Scott's Oriole and a White-throated Sparrow. Even though it was a birding trip, I couldn't resist photos of the horned lizard, a few butterflies, and some other insects I encountered.

On my monthly butterfly survey we saw a few butterflies, but I must admit that I wasn't looking as hard as usual. Instead, I kept looking over my shoulder. Just after we were dropped off at the top of the trail head, we saw a fresh pile of scat, huge paw prints from a mountain lion, and turkey vultures circling over what we believe was fresh kill. There is a big difference in knowing that you are on a trail 'where there could be mountain lions' and knowing you are on a trail 'where there IS a mountain lion'. We again saw tracks further down the trail. I am happy to report that the day was uneventful after all. I went back at the end of the month to do some blacklighting. There were some cool beetles and moths. My faves were the Red-fringed Emerald moth, the Black Burying Beetle, and the fireflies and glowworms.

I went to Catalina with my husband and friends. We left from San Pedro, visited the famous Casino, enjoyed the tile work, and had a great time. Since this wasn't a 'nature' trip, I only brought my new compact camera and took photos of landscapes and artwork. I played with some of the settings to get used to the camera. It certainly is smaller and lighter than my regular cameras, but the jury is out on quality.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_apr_2018 
 

 

Irvine Ranch butterfly survey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_apr_2018

Irvine Ranch blacklighting:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_night_apr_2018

Audubon's Trip to Bob's Gap: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/bobs_gap_apr_2018

 

Tejon Ranch Invertebrate Trip (1 of 3 - Landscapes): http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tejon_mar_2018_habitat

Tejon Ranch Invertebrate Trip (2 of 3 - Invertebrates): http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tejon_mar_2018_inverts

Tejon Ranch Invertebrate Trip (3 of 3 - Vertebrates): http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tejon_mar_2018_vertebrates

Tejon Ranch Birding Trip: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tejon_apr_2018

Trip to Catalina: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/catalina_apr_2018

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) audubon bird photography birds butterflies catalina insects invertebrates nature tejon wildflowers http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/sights-april-2018 Tue, 01 May 2018 20:09:29 GMT
Sights of March 2018 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/sights-of-march-2018 I stayed close to home for some local birding, checking out the insects in my own yard, and playing with different media and techniques in art. I did get out further afield with a trip to the desert for birds and up to Tejon Ranch for insects. The Tejon Ranch trip spans into April, and will report on that next month.

I joined Pasadena Audubon to watch the Swainson's hawks in the desert and also look for desert birds. I went with a friend the day before to checkout a few locations near the Salton Sea. In addition to the birds, the scenery was beautiful and we were treated to a lucky rainbow on St. Patrick's Day. The hawk-watching was very interesting although brief. The annual great migration of Swainson’s hawks brings thousands of hawks through the Borrego Valley on their way from South America to Canada. They fly by day and roost at night.  As the temperatures rise and the winds pick up, the birds slowly rise and form “kettles” of circling birds. A leader then leaves and the others one by one stream off to the north. Our experience lasted about 1/2 hour. It was very cool. Some of my favorite other birds from the trip were Greater Roadrunners, Sage Thrashers, Gambel's Quail, and the ever adorable Burrowing Owls.

My local highlight was a Long-eared Owl at El Dorado Nature Center. This is the first time I saw one, so it was with great excitement, but coupled with great sadness. The bird was injured. Fortunately, staff from the nature center called for rescue and the bird was captured for medical assistance. Some migratory birds are coming in, such as Hooded Orioles and Western Kingbirds. It was foggy on my Los Cerritos Wetlands Survey. There were many Savannah Sparrows including Western and Belding's, but otherwise nothing in particular to report - just a quiet morning.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_mar_2018 
 

 

Bird Survey Los Cerritos Wetlands:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_mar_2018

 

 

 

Anza-Borrego Hawk Watch: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/anza_borrego_mar_2018

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) audubon bird photography birds insects nature http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/sights-of-march-2018 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 05:57:08 GMT
Sights of February 2018 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/sights-of-february-2018 Art: I worked on a botanical style colored pencil painting of a blood orange. It was hard not to eat the subject matter before I completed the picture.

Insects and Spiders: It was cold this month, and I did not shoot many insects and spiders. I found a Red Admiral Butterfly ovipositing on the new leaves of stinging nettle (its host plant).

Birds: Locally I found some cool birds. DeForest Park continues to have some interesting birds including, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Black-and-White Warbler, and Palm Warbler. An American Redstart has been hanging around El Dorado Park. I went with a friend to Bonelli Park, and we saw 66 species! The Neotropic Cormorant was easy to find even though it looks like the common Double Crested Cormorants. When side by side with the Double Cresteds, you can see how much smaller the Neotropic is. I really enjoyed listening to the Double Crested Cormorants making gutteral noises of courtship. There was also a Western Grebe clacking its bill at an unreceptive female. It was cold when we went to Quail Lake and Holiday Lake, but worth it for the owls. The highlight of my wetlands survey was a Loggerhead Shrike. I seem to be seeing more of them this year.

Pasadena Audubon had a pelagic birding trip out of Marina del Rey. We saw lots of birds and marine mammals. It was beautiful weather!

I went to Chilao visitor center for mountain birds. We watched White-headed Woodpeckers chasing each other. Just before we left we were treated to a view of a female Williamson's Sapsucker.  The timing was right because it has snowed up there since.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_feb_2018 
 

 

Bird Survey Los Cerritos Wetlands:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_feb_2018

 

 

Pelagic Birding out of Marina del Rey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/pelagic_trip_feb-2018

 

Chilao Campground: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/chilao_feb_2018

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) audubon bird photography birds dolphin insects marine mammals nature whales http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/sights-of-february-2018 Wed, 28 Feb 2018 17:21:55 GMT
Sights of January 2018 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/sights-of-january-2018 Art: I tried a little printmaking this month. I like the process and you may see more to come. I find it more 'artistic' than my colored pencil drawings and nature journals. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Insects and Spiders: I went to the nature center to help identify insects found under a a large piece of black plastic that was used to kill off the weeds in an area for restoration. Camel crickets and Jerusalem crickets were the highlight. In my own yard, I found mites, monarch caterpillars, and milkweed bugs. My butterfly count was very dry and as expected very few butterflies were seen.  It is still data, and as always, it was a lovely day and great to meet up with the other people. So few photos so I've just added them to my local stuff rather than a separate slideshow.

Birds: January 1st started with a great day. I coordinated what might now be an annual event. Nine friends joined me early in the morning for what is now called the LB100. We visited 11 parks looking for 100 species of birds within the City of Long Beach. Starting at 8am and finishing at 5pm, we came up with 96. I didn't take a lot of photos, but went back to several of the spots over the next few weeks for photos and to find the 'missing' birds to reach (and exceed) 100. I caught some rarities including a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Palm Warbler, and Pacific Golden Plover. It took three trips to the beach to find the Pacific Golden Plover. The weather was beautiful. We have had a very mild winter. We could certainly use some rain, but it is so nice to get outside and enjoy the beach. I have lots of shorebird photos this month. My bird survey at Los Cerritos Wetlands had more shorebirds coming in. It is always nice to see them in the little patches of tidal water.

I went to Pasadena to see the Parrots prep for roosting for the night. WOW! I knew there were parrots there, but had know idea on the the number. Noisy little dickens. Photography was a challenge as they come in just before dark and it gets quite dark very quickly.

A last minute cancellation got me on a pelagic birding trip with Sea and Sage Audubon. (Might I say, Audubon has many chapters, and they all offer great field trips, even for non-members). The weather was perfect and the seas were calm. We saw a Brown Booby and lots of gulls and pelicans. In addition to birds we saw whales and dolphin. Southern California in January doesn't get better than this!

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_jan_2018 
 

 

Bird Survey Los Cerritos Wetlands:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_jan_2018

Parrot Roost:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/parrot_chase_jan_2018

 

Pelagic Birding out of Dana Point:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/pelagic_trip_jan_2018

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) audubon bird photography birds insects nature http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/sights-of-january-2018 Thu, 01 Feb 2018 06:33:30 GMT
Sights of December 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/sights-of-december-2017 I love the light in winter. It makes for beautiful sunsets and golden colors. Our December was quite mild and I got out often. This is how I avoid some of the chaos and stress of too many ads, over consumption, and major commercialization of Christmas, not to mention political polarization of the season. I was successful. I enjoyed the company of nature and a few like-minded friends. 

On my continuing surveys, there weren't many butterflies this month, but we still counted them. It was a beautiful walk with comfortable temperatures and a little time to enjoy the birds. At the wetlands, the Northern Harrier seems to have stuck around despite being harassed by a Cooper's Hawk.

I went Whale Watching out of Long Beach and into the Catalina channel. We saw four Humpbacked Whales, thousands of Common Dolphin, and several pelagic birds. The weather was warm and the seas were flat. This made for perfect viewing.

Last month I went to the Antelope Valley and St. Andrew's Abbey with Pasadena Audubon. I went back again with two friends to spend more time and go at our own pace. We got there very early. The Ferruginous Hawks were cooperative for my photography, and I saw a new life-bird, Sage Thrasher. We then went on to the the Abbey and looked for Sapsuckers, which we found.

I went with El Dorado Audubon to the Seal Beach National Wildlife Reserve. We drove around in vans and saw many birds. Many of the birds require a spotting scope to get a good look, but a Peregrine Falcon managed to fly in front of my lens for a decent shot.

I participated in two Christmas Bird Counts (CBC's). At the one in Long Beach, I found a Black-and-White Warbler, Palm Warbler, Hooded Merganser, and a Hybrid Cinnamon X Blue-winged Teal. An Osprey entertained us greatly while it was taking a bath in the LA River. At the San Pedro CBC, the highlights for me were the sunrise and sunset, the Mew Gulls, and the fun plumage on the teenage White-crowned Sparrow and the Surf Scoter. A Large-billed Sparrow (Savannah sub-species) was new for me.

 

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_dec_2017 
 

 

Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_dec_2017

 

Whale Watching:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/whale_watch_2017

 

Antelope Valley and St. Andrew's Abbey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/north_slope_san_gabriels_dec_2017

 

CBC Long Beach:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/cbc_2017

CBC San Pedro:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/cbc_san_pedro_2017

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) audubon bird photography birds cbc nature whales http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/sights-of-december-2017 Sun, 31 Dec 2017 02:24:54 GMT
Farewell 2017, you will not be forgotten. Hello 2018, what now? http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/farewell-2017-you-will-not-be-forgotten-hello-2018-what-now I just re-read my 2017 post and this could say almost the same thing. The big changes this year were the addition of a granddaughter, my husband retired, and we lost a couple of good friends. These life changes will be felt for many years to come.

This year I really upped my game at birding. I added to my life list and can id many more birds by sight and sound. I didn't do as much hiking and camping as in past years, but I am quite happy with that. I might do more B&B's next year. I want to focus more on art and creative projects, but I will have to see how 2018 proceeds.  I am sure to continue enjoying birds, insects, spiders, and all that nature will show me.

A recap of 2017

Stats:

  •   250 volunteer hours (Citizen Science, Interpretation, Program Support )
  •   304 bird species for the year,  276 in LA County - eBird rank 21 in LA County
  •  over 2,500 observations, 750 species, 4,400 identifications logged in iNaturalist:  iNat stats

Classes/Conferences:

  • Oak identification
  • Botanical Illustration at Joshua Tree
  • Colored Pencil Botanical Illustration

Some of the things I did:

  • Presented at an information table on Nature Journaling at the Nature Center
  • Co-led a Spider and invertebrate walk
  • Gave a talk on common yard birds and creating habitat to the Long Beach Garden Club
  • Licensed a few photos to the Museum of Natural History for use in an upcoming book
  • Participated in an Inverebrate Bioblitz at Tejon Ranch with the Conservancy and the Lorquin Entomological Society
  • Participated in a nighttime Mammal Survey at Seal Beach NWR
  • Participated in monthly butterfly survey with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy
  • Participated n several Black-lighting Events with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy
  • Participated in monthly bird survey at Rancho Los Cerritos
  • Participated in monthly bird survey at Los Cerritos Wetlands with Sea and Sage Audubon
  • Served as secretary of the Lorquin Entomological Society
  • Volunteered as a Trail Steward for El Dorado Nature Center

Some of my favorite places I went:

  • Devon England
  • Santa Susana Field Lab: It was quite fascinating and I never new it existed.
  • Tule Elk Staute Natural Reserve
  • Pelagic trips/Whale watching trips
  • Joshua Tree NP always
  • Morro Bay watching sea otters
  • Piute Ponds
  • Sycamore Canyon
  • Deforest Park for warblers
  • West Fork San Gabriel River for butterflies
  • Chilao and Buckhorn Campground
  • Antelope Valley for raptors
  • St. Andrews Abbey for sapsuckers
  • Oak Canyon
  • El Dorado Park

 

Wishing you much happiness, peace, and nature in 2018!

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) feature special http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/farewell-2017-you-will-not-be-forgotten-hello-2018-what-now Sat, 30 Dec 2017 02:20:23 GMT
Sights of November 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/sights-of-november-2017 Holidays, household maintenance, and a broken lens have slowed down my naturalist activities. However, there are still many lovely things to share. I started the month with an East Coast bird that showed up a little lost in migration. The Black-throated Blue Warbler posed for me! I found a couple of other 'rarities'  in my local park and enjoyed other migrant and resident birds. A Northern Harrier was the highlight of my Los Cerritos Wetland monthly survey.

The Mexican marigold in my yard is blooming. It attracts many pollinators and other critters, so a have a nice collection of insect photos too.

I went on an Audubon trip to the backside of the San Gabriel Mountains. There didn't seem to be as many birds as last year and few posed. Between that, and my favorite lens in the shop (three weeks and counting), I have mostly scenery and a few fuzzy bird shots. There were lots of Ferruginous Hawks and some nice raptor watching in Antelope Valley. I finally saw a Vesper Sparrow and got good looks at a Golden-crowned Kinglet. Darn that broken lens!!! I will just have to go back when my lens comes back from the shop.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_nov_2017 
 

 

Back slope of the San Gabriels:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/north_slope_san_gabriels_nov_2017

 

Los Cerritos Wetlands Bird Survey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_nov_2017

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds nature pollinators spiders http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/sights-of-november-2017 Fri, 01 Dec 2017 22:25:01 GMT
Sights of October 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/sights-of-october-2017 Locally, I did only a little birding.  I gave a talk to a local gardening club on how to turn a garden into a habitat for birds. It seemed to be well received. I also showed some spider photos at the entomological society in honor of Halloween, although I didn't photograph them this month.

My monthly butterfly count had lots of Woodland Skippers and lots of spiders. We saw four tarantulas and many more Banded Orbweavers. There were even crab spiders eating butterflies. The weather was perfect!

I don't always post photos from my monthly bird survey at Los Cerritos Wetlands, but there was a fun encounter between a perturbed American Kestrel and a Red-tailed Hawk. I also saw a Wandering Skipper which is a butterfly associated with our wetlands.

I went with a friend on a brief trip to the local mountains. We found Lewis's Woodpeckers, White-headed Woodpeckers, and three kinds of Nuthatches.

The real highlight of the month was that I once again participated in an Inverebrate Bioblitz at Tejon Ranch with the Conservancy and the Lorquin Entomological Society. As always, a wonderful trip and with great people. We added many new species to the conservancy's list. We ended the trip with a great view of the Pronghorn as we drove out.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_oct_2017 
 

 

Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_oct_2017

 

Los Cerritos Wetlands Bird Survey:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_oct_2017

Chilao Visitor's Center and Campsites:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/chilao_oct_2017

Tejon Ranch BioBlitz:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tejon_oct_2017

 

 

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) birds insects nature spiders tejon ranch http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/sights-of-october-2017 Wed, 01 Nov 2017 06:08:43 GMT
Sights of September 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/sights-of-september-2017 At the start of the month it was so hot (and humid). How hot was it? It was so hot that I passed on my monthly butterfly count. That is something I truly hate to miss.  I did make it to the monthly blacklighting survey in the same area. It is much cooler at night and at the end of the month. Some nice moths, a couple of California Mantises, and a Walkingstick!

It's warbler season! With migration underway, I had to get out often. There is such a short time frame and every day may be different. There are always the welcome usual warblers, such as Black-throated Gray (one of my favorites), Wilson's, and Townsend's, but also the ones that get special attention for being locally rare: Blackburnian, Blackpoll, Tennessee, Lucy's and the mega-rare Dusky Warbler. Other migrants come through or back again too. I found a bullfrog at the Nature Center and I am seeing a high number of Warbling Vireos, Western Wood-Pewees, as well as flycatchers in general, such as the beautiful Vermilion Flycatcher. I caught a shot of a Bullfrog at the Nature Center and photographed it croaking. It created amazing patterns on the water. In the insect world, mantids (commonly called praying mantis) have been showing up everywhere! 

I took some notable day trips and one overnight trip too. At Piute Ponds, Lancaster Water Treatment Facility, and Apollo Park, I saw some wonderful birds including a Virginia Rail, Bell's Sparrows, and a Barn Owl, as well as quite a few dragonflies.

On a pelagic birding trip out of Dana Point, I saw shearwaters, jaegers, and lots of common terns. We even saw a few dolphin.

My favorite trip of the month was to Morro Bay with my husband. While I enjoy going out with Audubon groups and insect enthusiasts, it is the most wonderful to catch beautiful sunsets with the one I love. In addition to sunsets, there is also an overabundance of adorable sea otter photos.

Website 'improvements': I have reorganized my birds. I combined my two bird sections into one and have now put them into subfolders. My organization is not exactly taxonomic, but in some cases combines birds that might be confused such as sparrows and finches. Also, I am expanding the number of birds in this section to include birds in all of LA county and a few farther locations.  I am hoping this will make it easier to find and compare birds on my site.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_sep_2017 
 

 

Irvine Ranch Blacklighting:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_night_sep_2017

 

Pelagic Birding Trip out of Dana Point:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/pelagic_trip_sep_2017

Lancaster/Piute Ponds et al:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/piute_ponds_sep_2017

Morro Bay:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/morro_bay_sep_2017

 

 

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds insects morro bay nature sea otter spiders sunset http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/sights-of-september-2017 Mon, 02 Oct 2017 21:05:27 GMT
Sights of August 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/sights-of-august-2017 Summer is slow for some birds, but towards the end of the month, the shorebirds and few warblers are showing up as they migrate south. I continued to see young birds. On the LA river I saw a young Caspian Tern begging its parent for food. The parent was not giving in as the young one was big enough to fend for itself. A young Osprey kept close to the adult. At Bolsa Chica I saw the baby Ridgeway's Rails. They are both kind of cute and at the same time kind of ugly. I was very excited to see my first local Green Sea Turtle. I had heard about them in our area but finally got to see and photograph one.  I went to Bonelli Park in San Dimas looking for birds and insects. Knowing it would be a slow pace, I carried my large birding lens/camera on one shoulder and my macro lens/camera on the other. While the pickings were slim, they were still good. A highlight was watching Great-tailed Grackles catching and eating a large mantid and a Fig-eater Beetle. This is a big dragonfly month and I seemed to see them everywhere I went. The Neon Skimmer ws particularly striking. Outside my front door, I watched a male brown widow slowly approaching a female. He was very timid and kept running away before returning. By midnight he still had not gone all the way. I gave up before he did. 

I was busy at the Nature Center. I had two photographs on exhibit and in the middle of the month I had a table with information to encourage nature journaling. I did not do much of that this month, but I did do a little artwork including the feather in colored pencil.

It was hot and dry on my monthly butterfly count with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, but there was a pleasant breeze. There was a nice diversity of butterflies including a nice courtship/mating show by a pair of Northern White Skippers, predation by a crab spider on a Gray Hairstreak, and predation by a Green Lynx Spider on a Checkered White. Some other highlights were a tarantula hawk, Silver Argiopes, and a baby horned lizard.

At the end of the month I went back for some blacklighting in the same area. The people I expected showed up, as well as some other friends I know. Standing around the sheets with friends with common interest, makes for a fun party. We started off the evening by finding a tarantula walking across the parking lot. Then Bob Allen found us a trapdoor spider. There was an interesting diversity of insects on the sheets with at least ten different orders represented. I am mostly shooting to record the information rather than to make beautiful images, but you can't help but notice the beautiful patterns of nature. This tiny world is beautiful and fascinating when seen through the lens of a macro camera.

The day was cool and gray for my monthly bird survey at Los Cerritos Wetlands. We expected to see more birds than we did, but still we were not disappointed. There was a pair of young White-tailed Kites, an Ash-throated Flycatcher, and two young Blue Grosbeaks.

 

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_aug_2017 
 

Irvine Ranch Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_aug_2017

 

Irvine Ranch Blacklighting:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_night_aug_2017

Los Cerritos Wetlands Bird Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_aug_2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds insects nature spiders http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/sights-of-august-2017 Fri, 01 Sep 2017 06:05:40 GMT
Nature Journaling http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/nature-journaling "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

About a year ago I started to use my nature journal more often. This has been most satisfying and has helped me both as a naturalist and as an artist. As a naturalist, I find I look more closely and ask more questions about my subject. I look at things from a different perspective than through the lens of a camera. I observe a single object for a longer period of time. As an artist, it helped me get past judging and criticizing my work which stopped me before I started.

Just by doing more, my skills are improving. I now use my journal work to do a study of a plant before a do a detailed drawing at home. And from a personal level, I get absorbed in the work and take a break from the ills in the world.

The key is using the journal to capture information - not worry about making a pretty book. That may come, but that is not the purpose. Here are some tips to get started.

 

Do it for yourself:

  • It is for yourself!
  • The journal is the tool
  • There is no right or wrong
  • It doesn’t have to be pretty
  • Find what interests you
  • Get ideas from others and try different techniques

Deepen your connection to and understanding of nature:

  • See more
  • Develop appreciation
  • Learn something new
  • Expand your critical thinking
  • Expand your creativity  

Catsclaw - Senegalia greggiiCatsclaw - Senegalia greggiiAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, Culp Valley Campground 05/29/2016 Go slowly and with thoughtful intention:

  • Observe closely
  • Ask questions
  • Wonder
  • Connect with past experiences


Record what you see, think, feel, and wonder:

  • Record Date, Time, Location, and Weather
  • Note Habitat
  • Note Species of Plants and Animals (counts, sizes, locations, behaviors)
  • Write descriptions, write questions, write ideas, write feelings
  • Draw pictures. Stick figures will do with words attached.
  • Draw for information and observation

Field kitField kitField kit
Explore media but keep it simple:

  • If it is not easy and accessible, you won’t do it.
  • Notebook and pen or pencil
  • Optional watercolor, colored pencils
  • Get ideas from others

 

The key is just to start and keep doing it!

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) art feature journaling nature special http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/nature-journaling Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:05:57 GMT
Sights of July 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/sights-of-july-2017 Wow! What a great month for observing nature. I didn't expect much and went to a few local places, but there were bobcat, rattlesnake, hawk/kestrel fight, young 'cute' birds, and lots and lots of insects and spiders. And the topper (no photos here),  our new granddaughter arrived at the end of the month. I can't wait to take her into the field!

With family in town over July 4th, we took a nature walk at Bolsa Chica. The terns were out in force. Apparently there had been a common tern in the area recently, but I didn't see it. It was fun to run into friends toting scopes and cameras. It enjoyed seeing young terns. The LA River was also filled with baby stilts and avocets. I watched the trauma of a baby stilt swept away by the current. Fortunately it was rescued by a fellow birder. Some 'rare' birds brought out a flock of birders as well as birds.

Butterflies and bees were out and about at Irvine Ranch. Common Ringlet, Marine Blue, Acmon Blue, and Gray Hairstreak were most abundant on our transects but we were also lucky to see a Ceraunus Blue. In addition to the butterflies, there were many Yellow-faced bees and two swarms of Diadasia bees, which make funny looking tubes in the dirt. Another highlight was a California bee assassin living up to its name by assassinating a bee. Despite extremely hot days on either side, we had reasonable temperatures and a pleasant breeze.

Summer is slower for birds and we didn't see many at Los Cerritos Wetlands on my monthly bird count. However, we did see an epic battle between a Cooper's Hawk and an American Kestrel. The hawk chased the Kestrel and took over the spot where it was sitting. Kestrel didn't like it and chased the hawk. The hawk fought back. Finally another Kestrel came in and the hawk decided two against one was more than it was worth. 

Three of us drove up to the San Gabriel Mountains to find mountain birds.  We found a few, but the highlight was a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake on the side of the trail (which I almost stepped on and backed away from rather quickly) and at another location we came upon a Bobcat. In both cases, were were alerted to something to look for by the alarm call of ground squirrels.

 

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_jul_2017 
 

Irvine Ranch Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_jul_2017

Los Cerritos Wetlands Bird Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_july_2017

 

San Gabriel Mountains:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/buckhorn_jul_2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds insects rattlesnake terns http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/8/sights-of-july-2017 Wed, 02 Aug 2017 00:26:56 GMT
"You look like sh*t" http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/-you-look-like-sh-t When someone says "You look like sh*t", maybe it's a complement. At least that's what some critters think.

What better way to hide from predator and prey. No one is going to eat you if they think you're a turd!  These mimics typically rest on a leaf during the day. This mimicry is found in various orders of insects and spiders.

I have to admit that I find myself poking at bird poop these days. Sometimes it is exactly what it looks like, but other times it is something far more interesting. Here are a few from my photo collection.

This Bolas spider (Mastophora cornigera) is one of my favorite poop mimics. Not only is it cool looking, but it captures prey (moths) by swinging a line with a sticky ball at the end scented like a female moth.

Another poop mimic is the olive-shaded bird-dropping moth (Ponometia candefacta). This is only one of a whole subfamily of bird-dropping moths.

Several swallowtail butterflies choose this mimicry for their caterpillars.

This is an anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) larva.

Anise swallowtail - Papilio zelicaonAnise swallowtail - Papilio zelicaonFamily Papilionidae - Swallowtails This caterpillar of Western giant swallowtail (Papilio rumiko) not only looks like bird poop, but also is said to look like the head of a snake from head on.

Western giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumiko A Long Beach backyard 10/15/2015 Western giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumiko A Long Beach backyard 10/15/2015

 

Beetle larva, particularly that of leaf beetles, can also have this effect. Here is an example of the Three-lined Potato Beetle (Lema daturaphila).

Three-lined lema beetle - Lema sp. (parasitized larva)Three-lined lema beetle - Lema sp. (parasitized larva)Three-lined lema beetle - Lema sp. (parasitized larva) El Dorado Park, Area III, 08/30/2016

So the next time you see bird droppings, look again and you might just be lucky enough to find something really cool.

You're welcome.

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) feature insects mimicry special http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/-you-look-like-sh-t Sat, 22 Jul 2017 00:45:50 GMT
Sights of June 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/sights-of-june-2017 June Gloom and Record Breaking Heat

Cloudy gray mornings in the beginning of the month gave way to a heat wave. I was out of town for part of the month. While I had a chance to see some birds at the newly reopened Harbor Regional Park, El Dorado Park and Nature Center, and Santa Fe Dam (where I caught a whiptail lizard pooping!), I spent much of my spare time in my own garden enjoying the buzzing of insects. A friend gave me some buckwheat seeds. They quickly sprouted and bloomed, and have attracted native bees.  Leaf-cutter bees were active cutting circles out of leaves to take back to line their nests. I would have loved to find where they flew off to, but had to settle for watching them cut and fly. My front yard was abuzz with wasps and bugs and a few butterflies. One of my favorite wasps is Genus Gasteruption. They look like a flying thread, until they land and you see them up close. They are hard to find and photograph, but they are very bizarre looking. Western red shouldered stink bugs (Thyanta pallidovirens) invaded my yard. I've seen them here once before, but not in these numbers. I don't know if it is same one growing up or different ones, but I found the Mediterranean katydid (Phaneroptera nana).

At my monthly butterfly count in the Santa Ana Mountains, there were lots of 'blues' flying but not as many landing. It is hard to identify them in flight. Although the focus is on butterflies, we had to stop and watch two American Kestrels harass a Red-tailed hawk that was carrying a huge gopher snake, presumably back to a nest to feed its young.

I went up Rt 39 with my friend who volunteers in the San Gabriel Mountains. He has been documenting the nesting eagles. I got a few so-so shots of the family and enjoyed watching them. We proceeded up to Crystal Lake campgrounds for fine chili, the company of a travelling poet, and a glimpse of a gray fox. A fine day it was.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_jun_2017 
 

Irvine Ranch Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_jun_2017

Crystal Lake and Rt 39:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/crystal_lake_june_2017

 

 

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds insects san gabriel mountains http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/sights-of-june-2017 Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:09:32 GMT
Sights of May 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/sights-of-may-2017 Birds, Bugs, Travel, Computer Crashes. 

I saw some of the May migrating birds, but missed quite a few. Between my travels, my birding buddy away, and my major computer crash and subsequent new computer recovery, I just didn't get out to catch them during the short window of opportunity. But it was a lovely month anyway. Some bird highlights were an Ovenbird (who would give a bird such a sad name), two Yellow-crowned Night Herons that have been hanging out in my local park (unfortunately, one became entangled in fishing line and is now at a bird rescue center), a Hammond's Flycatcher, and a Snowy Plover sitting on eggs (her nest has been protected from predators by a mesh cage and from people by caution tape barriers).

I took a trip with Audubon to the West Fork San Gabriel River. We saw some nice birds, but the trees have grown quite leafy which makes it harder for bird photography. However, there was an amazing number of butterflies. There were literally hundreds, and maybe more than a thousand, Variable Checkerspots and several types of blues. I photographed eleven species and missed shots of another four or five. There were more butterflies on my bird walk than on my Irvine Ranch monthly butterfly count. At Irvine Ranch we saw a relatively high number of Brown Elfin; we have rarely seen any in the past. A few small gopher snakes were also a highlight. We had a night of blacklighting at Irvine Ranch. It was spectacular! Great diversity with highlights including what I photographed: daddy longlegs, some caddisflies, over 20 species of moths, about 10 species of beetles, and various other insects. There are still a few yet to be identified at the bottom. Any help?

A little further from home, I went to Devon England for a family trip. The weather was lovely and we enjoyed the family visits and the countryside.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_may_2017 
(insects and spiders first this time, scroll for birds, flowers, and art)

Irvine Ranch Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_may_2017

Irvine Ranch Backlight Night:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_night_may_2017

West Fork San Gabriel River:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/west_fork_san_gabriel_may_2017

 

 

Devon an Somerset, UK:  http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/uk_may_2017

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds insects http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/sights-of-may-2017 Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:38:53 GMT
Sights of April 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/sights-of-april-2017 So many birds, so many insects, so little time. I get distracted by everything all at once, so I had to visit some places twice: once to go birding and then again to look for insects. I went with a different group of people and different camera gear. Madrona Marsh, Sycamore Canyon in Whittier, Whittier Narrows Nature Center, Oak Canyon Nature Center in Aneheim, and local parks in Long Beach were just a few of the places I visited locally. Insect highlights included a Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar losing a fight with a Western Fence Lizard, images of larva, pupa, and adult Twice-struck lady beetle, and many butterflies. Spiders included a very large Araneus and a Slender Crab Spider. There have been many birds with migration season in force. First came through waves of Bullock's Orioles, then so many Western Tanagers it was hard to count. I saw more Warbling Vireos this month than I have seen in my lifetime. A  bright red Summer Tanager and a deep blue Blue Grosbeak were highlights.

Irvine Ranch was filled with wildflowers, butterflies, and a lazy Gopher Snake who would not leave the trail.

Boeing hosted a hike at the Santa Susana Field Lab for Earthday. It was a special event that you had to sign-up for.  A friend of mine had connections so not only did we join the hike but we got a private mini-tour of some of the other areas. The hike was long, very hot, and at a a pace, but I loved the area and was with good company.  Santa Susana Field Laboratory, according to Wikipedia was used mainly for the development and testing of liquid-propellant rocket engines for the United States space program from 1949 to 2006, nuclear reactors from 1953 to 1980 and the operation of a U.S. government-sponsored liquid metals research center from 1966 to 1998. Now the facility is closed, and they are removing the buildings and cleaning up the site.

 

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_apr_2017 
(insects and spiders first this time, scroll for birds, flowers, and art)

Irvine Ranch Butterfly Count:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/irc_apr_2017

Santa Susana Field Laboratoy:  http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/santa_susana_field_laboratory

 

 

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds insects http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/sights-of-april-2017 Mon, 01 May 2017 14:56:03 GMT
"I wish I brought the other lens" http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/i-wish-i-brought-the-other-lens As a nature photographer of birds, insects, occasional plants, mammals, and reptiles, it is hard to leave the house in the morning, because one big decision I need to make is what equipment to bring. Of course there are many factors that go into that decision, and I try to anticipate what I will see and what I want to do. However, inevitably, at some point during the day I say either to myself, or more often out loud, "I wish I brought the other lens." Here are some of my thoughts about what I carry.

My main camera is a Nikon D7100 (24.1-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor). I recently bought a second body as a spare with a slightly different strap configuration. I don't carry them both at the same time, but may pack them in the car if it is for a longer trip. I also have a point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix P300 which slips neatly in a pocket. I frequently carry it to shoot pictures of the habitat. My phone is not the most high tech and so is not good for photos. I may change that in the future. I carry a spare camera battery. The camera has two slots for SD cards. This has been handy for when I forget to put one back in after loading the previous batch of photos to my computer.

Tamron 150 to 600mm lens. BlackRapid shoulder strap. Cotton Carrier hand strap.

I mostly shoot handheld. If I am going birding then I will bring my Tamron 150 to 600mm lens. I carry it with a BlackRapid shoulder strap attached to the tripod mount.

The camera and lens are pretty heavy, so I use it for shorter walking distances (max about 2 miles). I have tried a monopod but it has never been successful for me. Many birds are in the trees or flying at different angles, and I often need to grab my lens quickly. The monopod has not been helpful in these situations and just adds weight. I have yet to feel comfortable with it.

 

 

Tamron 150 to 600mm lens. On a tripod. Studying Gulls at the mouth of the San Juan Creek in Dana Point. Coffee is a required piece of equipment.

 

If I am going to sit and watch birds, I will probably be close to the car. In addition to the big lens, I have a rolling cart and can carry a tripod, chair, scope, bird book, and a thermos of coffee. I take the strap off and put the lens on the tripod. I have done this when studying gulls. It was a very satisfying experience.

 

If I'm shooting insects, I'll bring my Tamron 90mm macro lens with a Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight and a Fotodiox 6"x9" Softbox. Again I shoot handheld. This too can get heavy. If I am walking with it, I will use my Cotton Carrier camera harness. I sometimes add a Raynox DCR-150 Snap-On Macro Lens for really tiny critters. Macro setup

 

 

 

 

If it's a longer walk, I will bring my Nikkor 70-300 VR zoom lens.  I wear my camera harness. This leaves me hands-free when I need it and gives me a break from carrying the camera in my hand. The drawback is that it is difficult to maintain good posture. I also carry the point-and-shoot and the Raynox snap-on macro. This setup is very versatile for shooting birds, macro, and habitat. It is probably the one I use most often. It is good for 'documentation' photographs and an occasional really nice one. I was happy I had this for my 3 1/2 mile butterfly survey. I could catch butterflies from a distance so that they wouldn't spook, and add my Raynox for close-ups, and it was a perfect lens for a gopher snake that was sunning itself in the middle of the trail.

 

Nikkor 70-300 VR zoom lens. Cotton Carrier camera harness. This photo was shot by a friend with my Nikon Coolpix P300. Nikkor 70-300 VR zoom lens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shot with Nikkor 70-300 VR zoom lens with Raynox DCR-150 Snap-On Macro

On some occasions, not on long walks, I bring my Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye lens or Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm zoom lens. These are good for landscape and other shots. I always carry my tripod in the car and I sometimes use it with these lenses for night shooting. Shooting with my fisheye lens

Shot with Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye lens

 

Somehow, I always wish I had the other lens, but I don't let the lens restrict what I shoot. Recently birding in Sycamore Canyon in Whittier, I had my big lens. There were many insects I would like to have shot, but missed. However, I still got decent shots of butterflies. At Madrona Marsh, I shot a Red-tailed Hawk being harassed by a Red-winged Blackbird, with my macro lens because that is what I had when the action occurred. I would have loved to have my big lens. Another time, at Tejon Ranch, when I had my macro lens, I saw a rattlesnake. Oh how I wished I had a longer lens. As I gained some bravery, and the snake seemed not to pay too much attention to me, I crept closer to get a better shot.  But when I used my flash and got a little too close, he gave a little rattle and I ran very fast.

 

Shot with Tamron 150 to 600mm lens Shot with Tamron 90mm macro lens

 

Another decision in carrying gear is where you are going in terms of safety. I often go out alone, but only to certain places where I feel safe. The longer the lens, the more attention I get. Often it's somebody asking if I'm a birder and then they proceed to tell me about a bird that they have recently seen. That's good attention, and I enjoy talking with them on the trail and educating people on birds. However, sometimes there's attention you don't want, and I feel it may make me a target. Sometimes if I'm carrying the big camera in a sketchy neighborhood I will wear a poncho to cover it up or, better still, to go with a group. When I become absorbed in shooting, I am not always aware of my surroundings. I have been approached for 'money'. In one experience I had a bare-chested, bald, tattooed man wearing nothing but shorts and flip-flops and carrying a can of beer say "That camera looks expensive." I responded "I don't know, it was a gift".  That made my heart skip a beat. Fortunately, although I separated from them, I was with a group and someone from my group came to my side.  Nothing happened and perhaps he was just curious about getting into photography, but it makes me more cautious.

 

My favorite day pack Camera, lens, and carrying method are not the only decisions to be made. I almost always carry Pentax 8.5x21 U-Series Papilio II Binoculars. They are close focusing and are good for birds and bugs. I have a favorite daypack, which also functions as my purse. It is a Mountainsmith Drift Lumbar Pack and is a good size for carrying smaller lenses, a journal, a water bottle, and various other essentials. I like that it converts from a shoulder bag to a fanny pack.

 

And, of course, I have other decisions to make such as, which shoes, hat, water bottles, snacks, lunch, and clothes (long or short sleeves, shorts or long pants, sweater?). Sometimes I like to bring my journal and small watercolor kit. Whatever I decide, it is always not enough and too much to carry!

 

Intense birding people often are less interested in stopping for photography, much less for an insect. It's not just the right gear that is needed, but also going with the right people and then choosing the gear for the group. I went  birding at Madrona Marsh one week and there were so many insects that I had to make a second trip with friends from my entomological society and my macro lens.

 

Whatever I choose, the most important thing is to always carry a camera, and I'm sure that you will hear me say, "I wish I brought the other lens".

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) camera feature lenses photography special http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/i-wish-i-brought-the-other-lens Mon, 10 Apr 2017 18:58:42 GMT
Sights of March 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/sights-of-march-2017 Crazy weather in March; one day it is 80F and the next it is 50F. It has been wet enough and warm enough to bring out some insects and spiders around my house, and wildflowers around the state. My monthly butterfly count was canceled due to rain and cold. I went birding with Audubon and on my own at local parks. I have discovered that I love plovers. I think they are my favorite bird of the moment. Their large eyes and the way they look at the camera definitely make the 'cute'.  I continued my quest to learn gulls. I missed the Yellow-footed Gull by a few hours, but found Thayer's, Herring, and Glaucus-wing. 

My husband and I went up the coast to Morro Bay for my birthday. The highlight was watching sea otters. Mothers held babies on their chests. One mother left her older baby to dive for food. The baby started screaming and swimming from otter to otter. When mom came back there was a joyous reunion with lots of otter kisses.

It was a long drive and short visit at Tejon Ranch to see wild flowers. It always feels remote and beautiful there.

What a delight to accidentally discover new places. I went with my husband to Buttonwillow for his job. We passed a sign on the way and made a detour to the Tule Elk Staute Natural Reserve. We saw elk and birds. I finally got a good look at a Swainson's hawk. I also found a Great Horned Owl's nest with a chick. I only wish I had brought my better lens, but at least I had a camera.  

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_mar_2017 

 

Monthly Los Cerritos Wetlands bird survey:  http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/hellman_03-23-2017

Morro Bay: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/morro_bay_mar_2017

 

Tejon Ranch: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tejon_mar_2017

 

Tule Elk State Natural Reserve: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/tule_elk_mar_2017

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds gulls insects morro bay nature sea otters tule elk http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/sights-of-march-2017 Sat, 01 Apr 2017 02:38:42 GMT
Sights of February 2017 http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/sights-of-february-2017 It is wonderful to see snow on the mountains and green all around. Our rain is finally improving our dire drought conditions. All the rain has been great for fungi (thanks iNaturalist for fungi ID's), and I'm starting to see more insects. Birds are starting to sing songs looking for mates, and I saw some pairs checking each other out. Each spring I have to brush up on my bird songs. I visited Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim. This is one of my favorite local places. It was a great woodpecker month with several species. 

I went out on a pelagic birding trip out of Marina del Rey. The weather was perfect, but birds were few. A highlight was a Rhinoceros Auklet.

I went on a trip with Pasadena Audubon to Quail Lake, Holiday Lake, and Antelope Valley. I saw some good birds at a distance, but it was not a good bird photography trip. One thing of note was how noisy it was. There were lots of trucks passing on the 138, and each one had to blast its horn three times. I am reminded that it seems in even remote areas there is the noise from traffic or airplanes.

Watch the slideshows or click on the links to look through at your own pace.

Enjoy the show! I always appreciate corrections to ID's.

Local stuff:    http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/new_feb_2017  (birds first, scroll for insects, art, and misc.)

 

Rancho Los Cerritos:  http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/rancho_los_cerritos_feb_2017

 

Pelagic Birding Trip:  http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/pelagic_trip_feb_2017

 

Quail Lake and Antelope Valley: http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/quail_lake_feb_2017

 

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kims.sight@verizon.net (Kim's Sight - Nature Photography and Artwork by Kim Moore) bird photography birds fungi nature http://kimssight.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/sights-of-february-2017 Thu, 02 Mar 2017 01:36:01 GMT