We’re back to readers’ wildlife photos, so please send yours in. Today’s batch, part 1 of 2, come from reader James Blilie, who encloses photos taken by his son Jamie. James’s text is indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
It’s been a busy time for us. I am finally getting around to sending in some of Jamie’s recent wildlife photos for your consideration. Sometimes it’s a little hard to get Jamie to move his photos from his camera to a computer location from which I can put them online or submit them!
This past February, we took a road trip from our home in southern Washington state to Palm Desert and Seal Beach California. It was very nice to be somewhere warm and bright for a couple of weeks in the middle of winter. We plan to do something similar each winter from now on.
Both the Palm Desert area (Coachella Valley) and the California coast near Seal Beach provided ample opportunities for Jamie, now 19 and a student in engineering at Washington State University in Pullman Washington, to enjoy his passion for spotting and photographing birds. Most of these birds we hadn’t seen before.
In the desert, we visited the Thousand Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree National Park, the Canyons along the foot of the Mount San Jacinto, and some local sites in the valley, such as Sunnylands Estate. From Seal Beach, we visited Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, the beaches, and Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Then Gambel’s Quail cock (Callipepla gambelii), taken at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge The Salton Sea, 236 feet below sea level, was a spectacular place for birding in winter. We drove all the way around the Salton Sea, stopping in Calexico within a mile of the Mexico border (but not crossing).
Next are a several birds photographed along the shore of the Salton Sea on our circuit around it. Some are taken at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge and some are taken at the various state park locations and pull-outs along the eastern edge of the sea.
Some Northern Pintail ducks (Anas acuta) in flight.
Next are two shots of a Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). Jamie has had a passion for finding shrikes as they are quite rare everywhere we’ve lived or visited. These were shot in Joshua Tree National Park and you can see some Joshua Tree foliage (Yucca brevifolia) in the photos.