Saturday, December 26, 2015

Close encounter with a Prairie Falcon on the Carrizo Plain

Returning from a long road trip to northern California, Marlene and I veered through the Carrizo Plain. We left the smoggy oil fields of Kern County west of Bakersfield and climbed the mountains on a thin ribbon of pavement, barely wider than a single-lane road. Down the other side of the mountain we drove into an enclosed dry, barren, grassland, surrounded by mountains. In the lowest part of the valley was Soda Lake--a dry alkali lake bed--tucked away in the inland of San Luis Obispo County.

Carrizo Plain

As barren as it was, there was little opportunity for spotting, much less photographing, birds. But at one point we spotted a Prairie Falcon on a fence post and were able to drive slowly by it and obtain the photos below.

Prairie Falcon
Prairie Falcon. Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo County, California. November 29, 2015. Greg Gillson.
Prairie Falcon
Prairie Falcon
Prairie Falcon