Serendipitous Nature – Wildlife Week

I had several encounters with local wildlife recently. I was photographing wildflowers and headed over to this marsh to eat my lunch – and be entertained by a few ducks and elegant egrets. Scroll down to see what else swam into view.

White egret near San Francisco Bay.

White egret near San Francisco Bay.

Look closely…see the swans?

Look closely...see the swans?

… closer… a little family of swans

swan fam med range_psE1282

Swan family

Swan family

And then to my delight the parents brought them near the water’s edge for a photo-op.

Baby swans

Baby swans

Second encounter:  I was staring out my window yesterday when a robin flew right towards me and knocked himself out on the glass. To add to my astonishment, he was being followed by a falcon that immediately put on his brakes when he saw me.  He perched on a chair on the deck twelve feet away, eyeing his prey…. and me, no doubt with annoyance.

Peregrine falcon(I think this is him). from iStock Getty images

Peregrine falcon (I think this is him). fr. iStock Getty images

As I decided whether to race for my camera or save the robin, the magnificent falcon took off, deciding to leave his (no longer so) easy prey. I wrapped the unconscious robin in a rag – just like we do for people in shock (well maybe not with rags) – and put him in a box for protection and further warmth.

Robin (from a blog in Russian)

American Robin (photo from a blog in Russian)

Fifteen or twenty minutes later I went out and the robin was still quiet until I lifted  him gently from the box. As I began to unwrap him, he struggled and swiftly flew off – without so much as a thank you.

I’ve done this before over the years and my success rate is three saved, one DOA. Least you criticize me for my many large windows which reflect the garden at certain times, I have put large, ugly stickers of hawks on most of them as well as garden chimes, but the birds either ignore them or are flying too fast to stop – like this robin.

Close Encounter of the third kind: I walked out in my backyard two days ago and a fawn scampered in front of me. This time I did run to get my camera and to my surprise there were two of them – twins. They still had their white, baby spots. I couldn’t figure out how they got in as we have a “deer-proof” fence, but went to open the back gate and shoo them out; I hoped mama was watching from somewhere. Then today they were back! I still don’t know how they get in, but now I wonder if their mother leaves them here thinking they are safer from predators inside the fence.

We actually live in a semi-rural town, but with a creek corridor in back and most of the property encouraged as native vegetation, we get to see a lot of wildlife. You never know what you are going to see – whether venturing afield or in your own back yard!

I could have called this post “Of Swans and Fawns.” Do you have a wildlife story to share? Or any suggestions on lessening the perils of windows for birds?