As I was watching the snowy egret I noticed a large bird flying around about twenty feet above me. It looked like it was wanting to "land." Well, I guess it was picky where it wanted to land. As you can see from this picture the great blue heron chose to land here next to a snowy egret. What a great opportunity for a photo shoot, comparing the sizes of these beautiful birds. I couldn't imagine these two birds "socializing" with each other. Mmmm. But wait, there's something else in this photo that has me wondering. Take note that the snowy egret's bill is a pale color. Why is that? Is this a juvie? Is that why the bill is a pale color? But all the guides I checked on say the immatures have black bills. I'm really confused on this one.
As I looked across the way on the other side of the trail I saw this great egret. Looks like it just sat there waiting for its picture to be taken.
A little while later the great blue heron decided to move, and flew over to a brushier area, but still close to the pond. Another perfect photo moment. This bird did much the same as the great egret - it seemed to be posing. And it stood there for the longest time, so I was able to get shots of it from various spots. But this was the best shot of all. Isn't this an elegant looking bird, just as elegant looking as the great egret?
In another pond was this Canada goose - all by itself. I guess this bird wanted it that way. But again, I was given another good photo moment. The only problem I had was that this bird was dipping into the shallow water for whatever it is that they eat. So I would have to try and catch this bird in an upright position each time it came up for a breather, which was less than 2 seconds each time. Doesn't that water look serene? And to think there is this noisy freeway about 50 yards to the east of this "serenity."
Off the side of the pond where the Canada goose was I spotted this (I think) ring-billed gull - all by itself. He/she caught a small flat fish and was "playing" with its food. It was fun to just stand there and watch this bird. It would hold the fish in its bill, then drop it, then peck at it (even though it was totally dead), then pick it up and hold it its bill, drop it, and peck at it again, etc. You could say I was being totally entertained by all these "solitary" birds.
I then decided to walk the trail a little further, heading north. And on the trail I came across quite a few scrub oaks. And here is a shot of their fruit. I guess you can say it's fall around here - we have subtle ways of seeing the seasonal changes around here.
As you walk further down the trail it's like you are straddling between the ponds and you are on a higher road where the vegetation is drier, and the water is farther down the hill on each side. There are some power lines crossing over the trail and there are always some birds perched on these wires. Across the way were these double-crested cormorants. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it for myself. There were at least a dozen cormorants spread out, perched on the wires. Closer to me, just above me, were about the same number of rock pigeons. As I'm standing there taking pix of the cormorants I sensed something else flying around out of the corner of my eye. I stopped to see if I could ID the bird. Well, it finally perched itself in the top of a tree. The tree was about twenty feet ahead of me. I caught a beautiful sight of (I think) a sharp shinned hawk in my binoculars, but when I went for my camera, by the time I focused in on the bird.... Yes, we've all had these stories -- kind of like a fisherman's story of the big one that got away. ;-) Meanwhile, I looked up at the pigeons and told them that one of them will probably be his/her dinner for the evening.
I guess another good sign of fall around here are all the places we find lots of spider webs. I saw this on the trail not far from the power lines. This whole area of vegetation was full of webs. How about that blue sky for a background?
And here is another form of fruit from another plant growing in abundance on the trail. I think it is so attractive, even though it did have quite a bit of webby material around it. Click on it to enlarge to see the webby material.