Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My first time as a guide!

California has some amazing wildlife photographers like Brian Small (one of the best out there). On July 26th and 27th I had the honor of guiding one of those photographers, Mr. Steve Kaye.  Mr. Steve has only been doing bird photography for three years and he is in my opinion nearly as good as Brian Small! On the 26th Mr. Paul Doucett and I guided Mr. Steve at the Tres Rios Overbank Wetlands off of 91st. It has been about four months since I have last birded this area. We arrived at the wetlands at 4:15PM, it was about 105 degrees out, pretty hot huh! As we approached the wetlands I could already hear a couple of Least Bitterns giving their rail like calls. Black-crowned Night-Herons, and American White Pelicans were flying over the thick marsh.
                                                        Black-crowned Night-Heron
                                                          American White Pelican
 I must apologize because I did not take many photos, instead I tried to help Mr. Steve with all of the birds we saw. We encountered many Lesser Nighthawks and a Great Horned Owl as it started to get darker and we had very close views of a female Least Bittern which I was able to get an okay photo of.
                                                                     Least Bittern
Before we knew it it was already dark so we called it a day. After getting about three and a half hours of sleep Ms. Haylie Hewitt picked me up and there we were off again Mr. Steve, Ms. Haylie, and I at the Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area (AKA the B and M). I love this area and I pretty much know where all of the birds are at this spot. When we parked the car it started raining so we waited a little before heading out. We started at the "Virginia Rail Pond" and it was not hard to pick him and the female Least Bittern out.
                                                                  Virginia Rail
As you can see with this photo the cloud cover was extremely thick and I was not able to get the best photo of him today but here are some photos I took of the exact same bird about a month and a half ago.

I did not take many photos again on this trip, either because it was super cloudy and I was busy helping Mr. Steve.  But hey, that's what it's like being a guide. I was able to show Mr. Steve the Barn Owls and a few other birds, but our next stop was at the Hunter's Ponds in search of Burrowing Owls. It was not hard finding the owls and we also had a few Black-necked Stilts fly over us.
                                                                  Black-necked Stilt
Before I knew it our mornings birding was over. Later that afternoon when I was at our friends house I found this Pacific-slope Flycatcher.
                                                               Pacific-slope Flycatcher

I was also trying to photograph one of the most depressing birds in the bird world, the Inca Dove. The Inca Dove was singing his "no hope" song over and over, which gave me a depressed feeling, they surely must have been saying "there is no hope for Caleb to get a photo of us" but I proved them wrong!
I know that this is not the best photo but it's a start! I must thank Mr. Paul and Ms. Haylie for helping with my adventures I could not have done it without you guys!


  1. Thanks Mr. Tommy!!! It was awesome getting to watch Mr. Steve seeing all of his life birds!