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Old Feb 2, 2012, 9:48 AM   #1
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Default LA Arboretum - Fauna

I didn't think I would be doing much other than taking pictures of flowers when we went to the arboretum so I took the DA200 instead of the DA300. How wrong I was - there were a number of birds I happened to spot and I missed having the 300, but here are some of them, taken mostly with the DA200.

Dan took this one (K7, DA 55-300) and while it's got the obvious fault of having the ducks in the shade, I liked the ripples and the effect caused by the duck's passing. In fact, while reviewing all of the pictures I looked at the water abstract patterns far more than the ducks.

Since you can't tell much from that picture about the ducks, here's the female:

Along with her mate:

I don't know if this pair of wood ducks are wild or belong to the arboretum - they are supposed to live wild in California, but I never see them except in domestic settings like this (probably don't look at the right places, I guess).

Here's a bird I'm sure is a migratory wild bird. Again, I was more struck by the pattern in the water than I was of the bird (does anyone like coots?).

The arboretum is known for their peafowl. As a child growing up my parents would occasionally take us on drives around the streets around the arboretum and it was easy to spot them on people's lawns and in the street (many of the residents were NOT happy about this state of affairs). It got to be such a problem that the arboretum auctioned off 150 birds, to try to get the population under control, and I assume that they must control the breeding now. In any case, there are still some on the grounds. Here's a peahen:

Her mate didn't like all us tourists, and decided that a tree was safer:

I actually saw far more Canada Geese than peacocks though. I don't know if they've taken up year-round residence, but they definitely seem to like this place for wintering.

Finally, I spotted someone having lunch. They obviously stock the ponds with fish (I did see one very large koi in another pond, too big for this bird to catch and eat I assume). What I thought was interesting was that this black crowned night heron kept dunking the fish in the dirt, then picking it up again (then watching me watching him). I got a whole series of photos, but will only post this one:

The pictures are all cropped to some extent, the 200 isn't long enough to be a good birding lens, though it's certainly sharp enough. Next time I'll have a much harder time leaving one of the 300 lenses at home!
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 9:08 AM   #2
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Beautiful shots, mtngal! This is also my favorite place for photography, and I get to go often because I work closeby! I think you did a fabulous job of capturing the beauty of this place. That's a huge fish for the night heron! Would have loved to watch him swallow that! Great shot.

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Old Feb 4, 2012, 9:28 PM   #3
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Thanks, saly. I'm sorry that I didn't take the 300 this time, it would have been nice to have something longer than 200. I was pleased with the way the night heron worked out, (s)he was fun to watch. I wonder how the people who run the Arboretum feel about losing their fish?
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 9:49 PM   #4
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Just like your photos of the flora, these are delightful. Wood ducks allegedly nest around here, but I have never seen one, either in the wild or in a captive setting. In warm weather I love kayaking in remote lakes and ponds, and I've seen zillions of their nesting boxes, but for some reason, I have never seen the critters themselves. I admire your fine shots.
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Old Feb 5, 2012, 8:16 AM   #5
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Like Mtnman I am another who has not yet photographed a wood duck in the wild. We have a pond in our town that has wood ducks but they seem to be always on the other side of the pond when I am out taking pictures. Nice shooting!

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Old Feb 5, 2012, 6:01 PM   #6
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Nice, Harriet. I, too, like the ripples in the first one. I think that is my favorite of all these.

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