Readers’ wildlife photos

Please send in your good wildlife photos, as the tank is inexorably emptying. Thanks!

Today’s contributor is Bob Fritz, and I’ve put his captions and IDs in indents:

Here are some bird photographs taken at the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, 300 acres of coastal wetlands located in Irvine, California near the UCI campus.  Much of the area remains in a natural state, but it also includes a water treatment plant to clean urban runoff before draining into the Upper Newport Bay.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor):

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus):

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos):

Dowitcher – I am not sure if these are Short-billed (Limnodromus griseus) or Long-billed (Limnodromus scolopaceus).  Maybe some astute reader can enlighten me?

Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera):

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi):

A view of the wetlands with the Santa Ana Mountains in the distance.





  1. Charles E. Jones
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Wow! Glorious photos!

    What camera equipment did such a great job?

    • Charles E. Jones
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      P.S. I didn’t mean to downplay the skill of the photographer in capturing these moments. Those are some really great shots.

      • Robert Fritz
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Thanks! The camera is a Sony Alpha a7R III, the bird shots were taken with two lenses – Sony 100-400 with 1.4 Teleconverter and Sony 200-600. All flying bird shots used a shutter speed of 1/2000 second.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Oh nice. I have been shooting with my Sony camera (A7III) more and more. I’m too cheap to buy some Sony glass in a long prime because I really love my Canon 300mm prime and I could put it on my Sony with an adapter but then I might as well leave it on my Canon 5D Mk III at that point. Next summer I may get the very basic Sony 100-300 simply for sitting outside with hummingbirds….why? It’s black and doesn’t scare the crap out of them when they see me raise it.

  2. Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Wonderful stuff! That third one especially really startled me.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Wow – what a spectacular and variegated set!

  4. Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Great photos! Very dynamic. I can harly imagine the patience and skill you must have to catch those birds in flight like that.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The swallows on the wing are especially nice!

  6. CR
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Wow, these are amazing.

    To PCC(e): I don’t know how you can expect anyone to send in their merely “good” photos when there have been so many >great ones posted in recent months.

  7. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Lovely set of photos, especially the tree swallows. I am not at all expert in American shorebirds but I will venture at an ID for the dowitchers. Based on this little guide: I think they may be short-billed because they have barred rather than white lesser undwerwing covert feathers.

    I am fully prepared for someone who knows these birds to say I am speaking from my fundament!

    • Robert Fritz
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the link to the article, it is very helpful! I agree with you – it seems these are short-billed.

  8. Debra Coplan
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Very exciting photos! I especially love the Dowitchers. The pattern in the wings is wonderful.
    I also love that Cinnamon Teal.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Delightful pics! I find birds very hard to snap!

  10. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Fabulous pictures. All of them.

  11. Robert Fritz
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments! Lots of patience in the field followed by time back at home deleting most of the photos in order to get the few good ones!

  12. rickflick
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Great set of shots!

  13. ploubere
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Excellent work! Getting photos of swallows is especially impressive, you must have lightning fast reflexes.

    I used to enjoy the sanctuary when I lived in OC a couple decades ago. I’m glad to hear it’s still unspoiled.

  14. Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing that breathtaking collection, Bob!

  15. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photos! I especially like the silhouette of the white-faced ibis.. Stunning image.

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