Monday, April 27, 2009

Meals, Interrupted

We had just completed the Marsh Trail loop at Big Morongo Valley and I was bit exhausted. I was carrying my big lens set-up and it has started to make a dent (literally) on my shoulders. We had already added four more species to our year list. Not only that, we had photographed the bird we came to see - the baby Long-eared Owls. The adult, unfortunately was sleeping deep in the tangle of branches, leaves and vines that taking its picture was next to impossible. (More on this in another blog).

And so Cynthia and I decided to take a break. We headed to the parking lot. While we were enjoying some crackers and soda sitting at the tailgate of our Jeep, a Greater Roadrunner came dashing in front of us carrying a huge gecko in its beak. Before reaching its destination at the other side of the parking area, it was spooked by a young couple who had alighted from their car. In panic, the poor roadrunner dropped the gecko and scampered for cover back from where it originally came. This happened so fast that I didn't have time to react and just stood there open-mouthed watching this sight unfold before our very eyes.

As we resumed our snack, I told my wife that the roadrunner will return for its food. I mean this is one huge gecko and definitely worth coming back for. I pointed my lens at the gecko and waited. Sure enough, about ten minutes later, when the bird determined that the coast was clear, it shot out of the bushes, braked in front of the gecko, gave us a quick look, decided we were harmless, picked up the gecko and sped to the other side of the parking lot. Thankfully, I was able to get three (ok, two-and-a-half) shots before the roadrunner beep-beeped away into oblivion.



(the feet were not even touching the ground!)

Just like the speedy bird, we then continued with our meal in complete satisfaction.



For more great bird photography, please see:

13 comments:

Mel said...

Wow! That is a great sequence of shots! Amazing... last one reminded me of the cartoon character :)
Great job!

PSYL said...

Whew, a large gecko indeed. Those are some amazing captures. Thank you for sharing!

Penelope said...

Clever you, to wait for the roadrunner to come back, and nice shots!

ramblingwoods.com said...

I will have to add you to my blog list. My blog serves as my nature journal and most of my birding is done in the back yard near a pond and woods...Michelle

mick said...

A very interesting post and I'm glad you stayed long enough to get the photos. The gecko is indeed huge and I guess it was definitely worthwhile coming back for.

MaineBirder said...

WOW, incredible shots! One of these days, I will get to see one.

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

Superb image sequence! Thanks for sharing it with us all.

Christopher said...

Wow - just wow. Again, really excellent photos. I always love seeing what you post!

Tabib said...

Now I see the real roadrunner pictures not the carton one.
Good documentation.

Vickie said...

Great anticipation! That is quite a mouthful.

Horace said...

Such a clever speedy bird. I bet you had to have your reflexes going fast there!


*I Donated to Cornell Ornithology!*
http://www.opticsplanet.net/cornell-lab-of-ornithology.html

Larry Jordan said...

Super captures Bob! We used to see Roadrunners here but I haven't seen one in years. There have been sighting near me however and I am ready to begin an all out search at the local hot spots. They are such beautiful birds, and quick as you have noticed!

Nice job. Thanks for reminding me how cool they are!

Mike and Lizette's Travels and Thoughts said...

Amazing clear photos, glad you were able to get such great action.