Portraits of an American Robin

Thursday, November 19, 2020,

This is a Robin that I photographed at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside last month. It appears to be a female in mid-molt but I really do not know for certain. It was chowing down on some Juniper berries when I found it. Apparently the berries were more interesting than  me because, other than a few glances in my direction, it pretty much ignored me. It was kinda like being back in high school.  JK




Savannah Sparrow

Monday, November 2, 2020,

This is a Savannah Sparrow. This is a newish bird to me. I’ve heard of Savannah Sparrows but I never expected to photograph one. In fact, when I took this pic, I thought it was a Song Sparrow. However, when I was looking over my photos, I had second thoughts. There was something about the face that didn’t seem right. I couldn’t place my finger on it, but I knew who could. I sent this photo to my friend Daryl Ramrattan. Daryl is another wildlife photographer that I’ve known for a couple of years. More than that, he is one of the best birders I know. Daryl identified this bird as a Savannah Sparrow, which, no lie, kinda made my day. I had another sparrow under my vest, except I really don’t. I don’t think I could really ever identify this bird or another one like it as a Savannah Sparrow. Luckily, I still have Daryl on speed dial. It’s good to have friends. JK.

Yellowlegs, Both Of Them

Wednesday, October 28, 2020,

This is a photograph of two different species of Yellowlegs. That large bird, the one in focus, is a Greater Yellowlegs. The bird in the foreground is a Lesser Yellowlegs. Note the size difference despite the fact that the smaller bird is a foot closer to the camera. Another identifying character is the size of its bill relative to the size of its head. The Greater Yellowlegs has a comparatively longer bill. These two species can be very difficult to differentiate and while I had guessed correctly, I’d like to thank my friend Mike Farina who is the Conservation Biologist at the Marine Nature Study Area for confirming my guess. Over the past two years Mike has been essential to us here at Joe Kayaker. He’s not only invaluable when it comes to identifications but Mike is completely knowledgeable about habitats and animal interactions. We just may offer him one of the unpaid staff positions at Joe Kayaker. JK.