Hooded Orioles

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) male perched on the twig of a Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis, a native of southern Africa). Rancho Bernardo, California; March 2023.

The Hooded Orioles (Icterus cucullatus) have arrived in Southern California, which is in their breeding range. We’ve heard their chatty sounds for a week or two around our backyard now and on Friday, I finally managed to get a good picture of the couple (albeit individually) as it was coming through for some nectar snacks. πŸ™‚

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Relaxed Coyotes

Two Coyotes (Canis latrans) in a meadow along the Coast to Crest Trail, Escondido, California. February 2019.

I was riding my bike on the Coast to Crest Trail one day in February last year, on the way to photograph some flowers that I had spotted while out on a morning run, and as luck would have it, two coyotes were nearby.

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Urban Roadrunner

Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) with anomalous beak, Rancho Bernardo, California. November 2019.

We’ve seen coyotes on the prowl in our neighborhood, mostly at night of course, and sometimes they’d even pass through our backyard, even though we’re surrounded by other houses. A roadrunner in our suburban environment is pretty strange though.

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Winter Leftovers

In an attempt to de-clutter my main photography website, I’m trying to separate the more documentary photos from the ones that hold more artistic merit (at least to myself;-) – here are some “leftovers” from the winter morning in the back country in mid February. The “primary” photos are over in my photography website: Winter Moments in Southern California.

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Safari Park Animals

Southern Gerenuk Kissing (Litocranius walleri), Safari Park, Escondido, California, March 2018.

Some of our friends had a spare guest pass for the San Diego Zoo – and gave it to me! That was a nice surprise. The pass was good for both the zoo itself and the Safari Park in Escondido – the latter is relatively close to where we live so I decided to go there.

I brought the camera with me, but found the zoo animal photos so far outside of everything that I normally photograph that I decided to share them here, on my personal blog. It was interesting to realize how clearly I can draw the line in this case – even though I think I’m quite generous and flexible when it comes to adding photographs to my online photo archive… πŸ™‚

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Striped Racer vs Lizard

Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis lateralis) caught a lizard, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California, June 2018.

Something gory from our backyard – a California Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis lateralis) caught a lizard. The lizard of course dropped/lost its tail (a normal defense mechanism) and the snake had a pretty good grip on it, but the lizard was still pretty alive, writhing and fighting as much as possible. When the snake tried to get the lizard re-aligned towards its mouth in order to swallow it, the lizard got away. Good for the lizard (its tail will grow back), bad for the snake. Maybe the lizard was just too big for the snake to swallow.

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