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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flying ace in a cool cave

This sandstone cave at the Chimineas Ranch was new to us.

A steep bank of loose sand separated it from the creek bed below and required a rather high-stepping fandango to reach it.

The cool interior was a welcome contrast to the heat of the arroyo, and we wondered what species normally visit such a place.

To answer the question we staked the camera without bait or lure, and since the camera would be constantly in shaded light, we set it for 24 hr.

There were no surprises, no tawny snoozers in the heat of the day, just a California ground squirrel, woodrats, and cottontails.

The woodrats of course used the place as their latrine, which attracted a buzz of flies.

The Say's Phoebe caught them on the wing, giving an entertaining air show while performing a much needed public service.

1 comment:

Bay Laurel said...

Really lovely bird-in-flight shots!