2016—Flight Practice

 

After I figured out that I could tether Mady to me by hooking her leash to my fanny pack or to a belt loop on my jeans, lots of opportunities presented themselves.  Saturday morning, smug with my new “freedom,” I returned to Antelope Community Park in hopes of capturing more in flight photos of acorn woodpeckers.  I didn’t count on Mady seeing a squirrel.  She doesn’t chase squirrels—she thinks she can wait and they come down out of the tree.   She becomes riveted on where she last sighted one, she sits down, and she will not budge.  All dog commands fall on deaf ears.   She seems as if she weighs a couple  hundred pounds and tugging on the leash has no result.  So, I had, as it turned out, twenty minutes  for some flight practice.  The birds that were nearby were juvenile yellow-billed magpies.  I was glad to see quite a few in the park.  About ten years ago I participated in a UC Davis study of the effects of West Nile Virus on Yellow-billed Magpies (which live no other place in the world than California’s Central Valley) and spent an entire nesting season observing these birds in the park.  This is the best shot I got that day.

flying-yellow-billed-magpie