Venice Beach, California.

A man was feeding a small “colony” of seagulls and we stopped to watch the action.

Note: I always have my Ricoh GR set to Auto ISO but twice now I’ve found it set on 3200. I have no idea how this happened, I’d never set it to such a high ISO manually. These shots would have been at most 200 ISO had Auto been set.

Anyway, most of the images I took were terribly over exposed because of the forced high ISO but I was able to pull the exposure down in Lightroom and salvage these.

One thing I learned is that all the action flight shots I got with both the GR and the Fuji X100T had too much background stuff in them; the flying birds were not isolated. This could have been solved by changing where I was standing so that I could shoot against sky but I was reluctant to move for fear of scaring away the birds. Too bad, I caught some great flying action and great expressions (gulls are real characters) but t’s tough to see it because of the background.

Still, these are fun images and show a bit of gull action.






Birds at The Japanese Garden

Two coots

Japanese Garden, Van Nuys, California. The Japanese Garden is a little gem, right next to a water reclamation (sewage treatment) plant, it’s a beautifully designed and maintained traditional Japanese garden right in the middle of Los Angeles. We’ve visited this garden many times but today there were more birds than ever.

These are coots which not only make some wonderful sounds, they have amazing feet, sort of a hybrid of talons and webbed duck feet.

Coots coming on land

My mother in the wheelchair thought they might attack but they just marched past us heading for a lawn they like to graze on.

Cute coot feet

This is the “money shot” on the coot feet, they’re from another planet. Check them out here.

Coots grazing

Here we can see what those talons are for: they’re pecking and scratching around for (worms?) on land but they also eat seaweed in the water. Amazing little birds.

Black-crowned night heron fishing

This Black-Crowned night heron was sitting there motionless and we almost missed him as we crossed this bridge. We stood here for ten minutes hoping he’d find a fish to catch but he only shifted his feet and butt around and never looked up at us. This is a big bird, at least 18″ long. There are also a few great blue herons at the garden.

Snowy egret fishing

We saw one large great egret and many smaller Snowy egrets like this one fishing across the waterway from the night heron.