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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Unplanned Bushwhack

Getting started on the west side of Tortugas
Becca and I did some unplanned bushwhacking after stopping at the Electrical Lineworkers school grounds to photograph a noisy Ladderback Woodpecker.  I spotted the white chest of a raptor in the distance, and we closed in on the bird--a Red-tailed Hawk-- to take some photos.  It sat still for quite a while before taking off.  Hoping it had flown to a nearby perch we did some hill climbing and dale dipping in search of the raptor.  I didn't see him in the near distance at first, but when I did we made some slow-motion maneuvers in his direction so I could snap more shots of the magnificent creature.  He was very cooperative, sitting on an Ocotillo while we closed in.  I thought he was hunting for a meal, but after he finally took off we discovered the feathers of a pulverized White-winged Dove close to where the raptor was perched, no doubt the breakfast he recently had feasted on.
Hikers heading up a steep mountain trail

Don't look directly at the sun

The Soaptree Family

Heard pecking from these poles at the Electrical Lineworker school

It was a Ladderback Woodpecker

Quite a handsome individual

Striking across to the west

Pastel mountains

Narrow arroyo west of the mountain

Heading west

Old dirt road

Crazy clouds over the mountains

Becca spots three mountain bikers

The western vista

Can't get over these nutty clouds

More distant view of the clouds

Hikers headed up the mountain road

Flank of Tortugas Mountain and the Organ Mountain peaks

My favorite yucca and the Organ Mountains

Another view of my favorite yucca

Somebody has ridden a bicycle down this arroyo

Spotted an unmistakable white breast in the distance

A little closer look at the raptor

A beautiful Red-tailed Hawk

This is where we were when we spotted the hawk

Same Red-tailed Hawk who flew to another perch

Thought it was hunting for breakfast

Majestic raptor

Nice profile

The Ocotillo he perched on

Uh oh

Scratching his face

Guess I took enough photos of him

One more

Apparently he'd already eaten a White-winged Dove

The area of the outback we bushwhacked through

Heading back to the mountain

Pleasant morning view

Yep, we're going all the way up there

Looking back the way we just came

Looking back in black-and-white

Wild clouds this morning

Normal-looking clouds

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Incredible photos of the red-tailed hawk. The bushwhacking was well worth it.

Bushwhack or Not to Bushwhack

1st 2:  this morning's moon Another morning doing our regular hike, this time with added distance; we bushwhacked out of the left branch...