Photos from the "Elk Horn Slough Reserve" on a sunny Saturday, January 15,2011

This is the "Least Tern" which is common to the Pacific Coast.

One good Tern deserves another.

The Tern is quite an excellent fisherman, frequently diving for its meals and rarely finishing a dive without the catch of the day.

That maelstrom in the background is the aftermath of a diving Tern.  A Tern dives from
heights of 10 to 50 feet, never braking, always full speed and always spectacular.
They can and do helicopter over one spot when a fish is sighted, before breaking into a dive.

It appears that these "Snowy Egrets" are in need of a traffic controller.  
Upon closer inspection, the two arduous males are in fact trying to woo that (I assume unmarried) female.  

"Pick me, pick me, Martha, I have much prettier plumage then Fred."

A male and female Snowy Egret.  It doesn't get much prettier.

A "Great Egret" in it's extended fishing position.

Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets?  How can I tell the difference?  In a word, the beak.  The beak in a Great Egret is yellow, the Snowy Egret is mostly black. If you can see the feet, the Snowy Egrets feet are orangish, the Great Egret's feet are black like their legs.

A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand? or is it vice-versa?  This is a Sparrow, possibly a "Fox Sparrow."

My best guess? This may be a "California Towhee" patiently waiting for more mail to arrive.

In the synchronized flying category, the winner is Fred and Martha's team. Lets hear it for the winning team.  (Sound of one hand clapping in the back ground)

Hard at work, while snoozing away.

A fishing boat and a research ship, taken at the marina in Moss Landing, CA.

All of the pictures in this series were shot with my digital SLR Canon EOS 5D MKII camera and one of two lens: a panoramic zoom lens; EFS 24-105mm 1:4 L IS USM and my reach out and touch somebody zoom telephoto lens the; EF 100-400mm 1:4.5-5.6  L IS USM.  Since almost all of my shots are action shots, I shoot with the smallest F stop setting for the lens I am using.

Disclaimer:  No animals or humans were hurt in the taking of any of these photos.

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