Merlin Arts

Here follows a picture gallery of my recent tour of Big Sur and Palo Alto. The images were taken with the Leica de- lux 2 camera with adapter and Leica Televid APO 77 Telescope. This was the first occasion I had to use my newly purchased equipment. Enjoy.

Click on images to enlarge


California 2006
These Black necked Stilts were also a very common sight on the mudflats of the Baylands Preserve in Palo Alto. To find both of these graceful birds ( Avocets and Stilts ) here in such profusion was truly spectacular.
On my trip back to B.C. somewhere outside of Sacramento I spotted these White Pelicans on a slough in a large tract of agricultural land.. Thank God for wetlands and their inhabitants.
These California Condors were the highlight of my trip. I had given myself only a remote chance of seeing these rare creatures and the preponderance of rain limited my chances even more. However a lucky break in the weather and immense good fortune allowed me to see these birds up close for more than an hour. The image above has been edited in Photoshop to eradicate any sign of the numbers that grace all these birds that have been released into the wild. I was happy to restore it to its more primitive state.
In the same field I spotted these White tailed Kites that were obviously nesting. These birds were a considerable distance away so I was extremely grateful for my Leica equipment. I love the balletic geometry of the bird to the left, a view possible only with camera.

This Common Murre colony in Big Sur was about a mile from the Condor viewing site. Included in the portrait are several Western Gulls and Brandt Cormorants.



TThese elegant Avocets were a common sight on the Baylands Preserve in Palo Alto . There were hundreds of breeding pairs scattered over this extensive wetland. The photo below shows a mixed flock of Avocets, Black Skimmers and Dowitchers. All these birds were forced to flee at the sudden approach of a well -fed Peregrine Falcon.
This Snowy Egret I chanced upon during a rare break in the showery weather that was most unusual for California. It was wading in a lagoon at the Baylands Preserve in Palo Alto. I was very excited to see how much of a difference having the Leica camera and adapter made in the quality of the image.
This jaunty little California Quail was foraging quite tamely with his harem in a parking lot adjacent to Andrew Molera State Park
A Ruddy Turnstone's camouflaged mantle makes it almost invisible on the rocks near Monterrey


One of the great things about birding in new places is the delightful sense of novelty in seeing birds that are very common to the average resident. One such bird is this California Scrub Jay photographed in the parking lot of Andrew Molera State Park.

The Western Meadowlark in all its early morning glory in a field at Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto.
This Long-billed Curlew on its northward migration makes an interesting study. This bird was photographed in the marshes of Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto.
A Black bellied Plover in its Breeding plumage is well camouflaged as it roots among the dried kelp on the shorelines of Asilomar.
A pair of male Shovelers and a lone Green winged Teal make an interesting grouping in a slough at Bayside, Palo Alto.
This Surfbird is also extremely well camouflaged except for its yellow legs.