Random Picture Time

Thought I'd share some of the more interesting photos I've taken this year - although that could be read as 'the ones I took that didn't make it to Mel's blog'! That said, there's some lovely 'hummingbirds' (you'll understand the quotations when you see them) that I think she should have posted.

I'll start with the flowers:

They are all flowers of the Asteraceae family, and although the daisy of the last picture dwarfs the others above (shown in background of photo), it is truly a giant compared to those that I grew up seeing in the UK. If my memory serves correctly, height of 1 to 1.5 centimetres compared to this one of about 1.5 feet! [tommydisclaimer]I may be wrong of course, I've not spent any real amount of time in the UK for nearly three years now.[/endtommydisclaimer]

Now for a few birdies :)

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)
Tacna, Perú

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Arica, Chile

Incidentally, this picture wasn't a split-second capture of the bird spreading it's wings. It actually sat there in that exact position, wings held wide, for at least a few minutes! I don't know the reason for this, unless it was just catching some of the sun's rays! (It was very hot that day) Maybe somebody else could offer a better theory though?

Harris's Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
Lima, Perú

We saw this hawk stalking a group of around fifteen smaller birds (I think they were finches), though I'm not sure if it was for food or just for it's own amusement. Don't think the smaller ones enjoyed it either way :s

Now, the bugs... What?! No hummingbirds?! Not yet...

A random red spider found in the street
Tacna, Perú

This creature (is it a cricket or related?) decided to sneak up and 'tickle' my arm with it's antennae while I was playing around on my laptop. Yes, I jumped rather quickly, as although I don't mind insects, I don't particularly like them if they're around the size of half of my hand or more. Or if they look intent on feeding on any part of me.

Finally, these little beauties:

At first we thought this was a type of hummingbird - it's behaviour is very similar, fast wings, hovering and darting around the flowers - but it's not. It is a moth called the White-Lined Sphinx, also known as Striped Morning Sphinx, and it seems some do know it as the hummingbird moth! The main difference I realise now but didn't know then, is that while hummingbirds fly away when you approach them, these moths didn't seem to mind me standing mere inches away from them. The third picture is a little blurred, but really shows it feeding perfectly!

Well, that's about it. Maybe it's time now for a BIG sandwi's'ch from this place we found in Tacna:

All pics copyright of Tommy (jajaja)


Mel said...

Great memories from all those moments. Different places, different beauties :)

Mel said...

I like all these pictures and the moments shared on each of those trips.

I miss my birding-nature-watching partner A LOT!! Come back soon!!

Susan Gets Native said...

I bounced over from Lovely Mel's blog...
Turkey vultures will hold the "heraldic" pose to allow the sun's rays to bake off bacteria. In times of extreme cold, they will herald to warm their bodies.
Must have been baking off lunch? Roadkill tartar?