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Friday, May 31, 2013

Bird watching : Charleston Slough

We went to Charleston Slough (Mountain View) on a Sunday morning upon a whim.  My 'Audobon Birds' android app (best $1.99 spent on Google Play) listed it as a local hot spot for bird-watching. It is quite close to Googleplex, the corporate headquarters of Google,Inc. We parked on Terminal Blvd, which true to its name is a dead-end street. Right from the parking spot you can walk into a trail, beginning from under a tree, which stands like a check-post to a wonderland. You can almost hear it say 'Welcome! Leave your worries behind.'

I had a bad back when I first went there. But the walk didn't feel so bad. There were people around walking with their pets or loved ones. I was with SG. We had a standard zoom lens (18-55 mm)- great for landscapes but a poor choice for wildlife. It was a blessing in disguise. I paid more attention to the view and sounds without having to worry about taking shots. I sat on a bench and enjoyed watching a retinue of water birds forage for food, until they were filled enough to turn their attention to post-meal chatter. Some of them tucked their heads into the back  feathers and rested, sometimes lifting a leg up. Now, that's a challenge for even the most accomplished yogi.

It was time to go home, but I promised myself to go back with a telephoto. Plans were canceled over the week owing to overcast weather and the disagreeable back ache. Every time I heard sparrows chirp beside my bedroom, my heart raced back to the swamp with an urge to see those feathery friends in their natural habitat. I told myself, 'Soon..'

We went back with a 75-300 mm lens, but were still myopic in our view. Nevertheless, here are some shots by SG with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i (until we can afford a super telephoto : say 600mm or 800mm)

 A pair of  Black-necked Stilts

Caspian Tern

Goldfinch (female)

Other visitors
 American Avocet with eggs
California Gull

Retro morning (That's me)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enchanting! Your ability to transport the reader to a different world is commendable.