I haven't had much luck getting photos of birds at the Fill lately. The winter birds that sit out on the lake are almost all gone, and the songbirds are safely camouflaged in the Spring foliage. I can still hear them, though, which can be ever so frustrating.
This past Sunday, however, I had excellent views of the birds. A Black-capped Chickadee was at the pine snag, excavating a nest hole.
As I continued along the loop trail, I heard the distinctive call of a California Quail. They're not very common in this area, though they do turn up from time to time. It was somewhere by the main pond, which naturally is surrounded by trees and shrubs with dense leaves. And quail typically prefer to hunker down on the ground, so I didn't think I had a chance of seeing it -- but after half an hour or so of searching, I spotted a quail-shaped shadow up on a tree branch. Success!
Then there are the Common Yellowthroats -- a warbler that turns up here in the Spring and often sticks around all summer to breed. For the past two weeks during my Fill visits, I'd been hearing their song, and failing to see a single one. After my good luck with the chickadee and the quail, I thought, Maybe this is the day!
And sure enough, on our way past the southwest pond, a beautiful male popped up to sing away on his territory. At first he played a little peek-a-boo, but eventually I got some fabulous shots.
Hurrah! The birding magic was working that day for sure,