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Old Jan 27, 2007, 10:50 PM   #1
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I was told by a mutual birding friend on flickr that Huntington Central Park is a great spot for birding. He had pics of a mandarin duck, a great horned owl, and other birds that I have not come across yet. Needless to say, I was excited to explore this new birding spot. After a hearty breakfast, I packed up the wife and baby and headed out there to take a walk. It was a cold and overcast day. Shooting with Av set at F8 on a cloudy day necessitated at least Iso 400 and sometimes even 800.

I really wanted to get some shots of a mandarin duck and a great horned owl. I lucked out and found the mandarin duck quickly with the help of another birding couple. In fact, it was the only mandarin duck that I saw all day at the lake. Initially I didn't even spot it because it was hidden in a small pond filled with about 30 other assorted ducks. I use to revere pintails as my favorite ducks, but this mandarin takes the cake.




My first green heron. They are much smaller and compact than the great blue herons that I normally come across. This makes them a bit more difficult to spot since they seem nondistinct from far way. I wouldn't have spotted it without the help of that birding couple and their binoculars.



Here's a couple of shots of a black phoebe that would dart down from it's branch to catch insects flying over the grass and weeds.





This is a white faced ibis. It is the same bird that Mtngal captured in flight at the salton sea. This particular one was wading in the shaded marsh area. I really should have upped the Iso to 800 to get sharper pics. When it flew off, all I got were blurry shots.



I was walking next to sandy and the stroller along the path that took us through a dense wooded area. I notice a rabbit darting into the bushes and soon after a "swooshing" noise though the branches. Lo and behold this fellah lands on a branch about 10 feet from my wife and I. :shock:


I believe it is a Cooper's hawk. I snapped off as many shots as I could before it flew off. It was in the shade deep in the bushes. My white balance was set to daylight shade and it gave the pic an odd greenish tint. I tried to correct it in photoshop, but there is only so much you can do with a jpg file. Ah well. I still like the shot. No owl spotting today, but I got some nice keepers nontheless. Thanks for looking.
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 11:58 PM   #2
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Love the mandarin duck - what a spectacular duck! All of your photos are very nice, but the duck is by far my favorite. Your hawk could also be a Coopers Hawk - they are larger than the Sharp-Shinned, and your fellow looks pretty good sized. I can't much difference between them from my book, and I'm certainly not an experienced birder!
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 12:47 AM   #3
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Beautiful shots Royce! All top notch!! That Mandarin Duck is fabulous......cheers.......Don
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 2:17 AM   #4
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Great shots. Love the duck and the hawk. The colours on the duck are really vivid.



Darren
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 3:43 AM   #5
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Roy

Nothing but great shots, i can't even find a favorite in them, or better said all are favorites.

Ronny
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 8:46 AM   #6
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Hope to see more from your new haunt, these are all stunning. I can't decide on a favorite either

Bev
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 9:33 AM   #7
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rhermans wrote:
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Roy

Nothing but great shots, i can't even find a favorite in them, or better said all are favorites.

Ronny
NOT ME!!!

it's the monster we created

VERY nicely done

roy
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 10:34 AM   #8
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What more is there to say? It's time for you to look for an agent, Royce.

Kjell
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 1:18 PM   #9
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As usual very nice.

Tom
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 9:46 PM   #10
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I think you are correct Harriet. When reading up on the comparison between a Cooper's hawk and a sharp shinned hawk, the big difference is the size. The sharp shinned hawk is suppose to be the size of a blue jay/dove. The cooper's hawk is the size of a large crow, much bigger. This guy was definitely large, bigger than an average crow actually. So yes I think it is a Cooper's hawk.

thanks

- Hung

mtngal wrote:
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Love the mandarin duck - what a spectacular duck! All of your photos are very nice, but the duck is by far my favorite. Your hawk could also be a Coopers Hawk - they are larger than the Sharp-Shinned, and your fellow looks pretty good sized. I can't much difference between them from my book, and I'm certainly not an experienced birder!
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