And so, here it is, the last story that I will be posting for 2016. I am scheduling this for next week at my regular time, as my wife and I will take Casa Paquito, our Shasta trailer and travel out to the remote desert area of the Baja for the Christmas to New Years vacation week. It has truly been an incredible honor joining the team here at 10,000 Birds. As I have said several times, I have always considered myself a photographer first, and a writer third. So, with that in mind my final posting for the year, will be working towards my strengths. If a picture truly is worth a 1000 words, then this in going to be a long story. Here is what I consider to be my favorite images from the past 12 months. They are in no particular order, I just pulled them from my files and posted them here. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did taking them!

This Reddish Egret was doing some major inspections….and made of a couple of great images.

reddish-egret

 

I never have been able to figure out what it is that this California Scrub Jay has, but it make for a nice photo.

california-scrub-jay

 

 

After nearly landing on my head in my blind, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron landed in the shallows in front of me.

yellow-crowned-heron

 

 

There in no question that the bird of the year for me, at least from a purely photographic stand point is the Black Skimmer. I must have keep 400 images in the file of just this one species.

black-skimmer-2

 

 

I caught this Lark Sparrow at San Blas, near Magdalena Bay , just as the sun was setting.

lark-sparrow

 

 

There is a small Federal Reserve, set aside on the white sandy beach near San Jose Del Cabo, in order to protect the nesting Least Terns.

least-tern-nesting-site-3

 

 

We have a small resident population of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. I don’t get to see them very often, but they showed up early one morning near the tidal flats.

black-bellied-whistling-tree-duck

 

 

This Great Blue Heron came in for a landing, providing a nice angle that I rarely get to see with a camera in my hand.

great-blue-heron-2

 

 

We have a Green Heron here in the marina, that has become quite adept at fishing with bait. It will grab small bits of bread or crackers that are thrown from the near by restaurant patrons, who feed the fish. It then uses then to lure in the fish close enough to grab.

green-heron-4

 

 

This Yellow-crowned Night Heron had a great crab breakfast, and I just happen to be watching.

yellow-crowned-night-heron-1

 

 

One of my favorite endemics, the Xanthus’s Hummingbird is always a treat to feature.

xanthuss-hummingbird

 

 

I was able to catch this Snowy Egret dancing and chasing the other egrets out in one of our tidal flat areas.

snowy-egret-1

 

 

This female Costa’s Hummingbird had its head way down in the bloom of this Cardon cactus.

coatas-hummingbird

 

 

This late evening photo of an American Avocet is one of my all time favorites of this species.

american-avocet

 

 

 

While California Quail are quite common all around North America, getting a really nice shot, out in the wild is always a challenge.

california-quail

 

 

This White Ibis was not the least bit shy about sticking its head way down in the mud to find something to eat.

white-faced-ibis

 

 

I want to spend more time working on my flying shots in the next year, but that seems to be a reoccurring theme for me, as it was also my goal last year. This Snowy Egret flew by while I was watching the birds out on the tidal flats

greater-egret

 

 

This Long-billed Curlew was showing off all its color on a recent early morning shoot.

longbiled-curlew

 

 

The Northern Cardinals that inhabit this area tend to stay in cover and the dense thorn bushes, so getting this male up on top of this cactus was a treat

northern-cardinal

 

I hope nobody minds, but I wanted to share a couple of non-bird images. While in Kodiak Alaska, I did get a few very nice Kodiak Grizzly Bear shots. This large bear was chasing salmon, and paid me little or no attention. I know it is not a bird, but they certainly are in my personal favorites for the year.

chasing-salmon-4

And it was quite successful…

salmon-dinner-7

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season, get to spend some time with family and loved ones, and take a day or two, go for a walk, and see what new birds you can find to start of this upcoming new year!

 

 

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Written by Tom Brown
Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. Now his wife, Jeanne wanted to travel the world, and he thought that sounded like fun, and a great way to see a bunch of new birds! So far they have sailed north from Seattle, up thru British Columbia, Canada and down the West Coast of the US to settle (for now) in La Paz, Mexico. When he is not scouring whatever area they are in, looking for the next great bird photo, he can be found trying to earn enough money for the next adventure, and of course, a new lens or camera body! Having been nick-named “The Bird Nerd” by his last remaining friends and family, Tom continues search for that next lifer, and the accompanying photo that goes with it.