Thursday, December 12, 2013

El Centro trip #3 - the doves are still winning

...but the views are just beautiful!  Here, grazing sheep at a sheep farm.  The grass is green in this desert oasis because the water is piped in.






We went to Imperial Valley/El Centro again last weekend and sadly, we discovered that my <repaired> shotgun still fails to fire from its left barrel.  This means we have a single shot when we shoot, and although that's okay for target practice (we're getting good at that) it's not so convenient when hunting quick-flying game.


I was okay with that this time though because we expended so much energy identifying birds - and there are a couple of species which resemble doves in distant flight.

One species we saw a TON of, surprisingly, was this kestrel - in flight from below they are about the same size as a dove with the same pale belly, but when they perch and show you their face, behold!


Classic kestrel, as seen here:

photo credit: Ingrid Taylar

We also saw a ton of these Eurasian doves, which are an invasive species crowding out the smaller, indigenous Mourning doves... but they were poised over a cattle farm lot for which we did not have hunting clearance:


And for fun, we got some lovely views of the ubiquitous Red-tailed hawks, no doubt waiting to steal anything we successfully shot in our favorite hunting spot.


Here flying overhead ~


Better luck next time?  
xo

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