California quail peeking out of the coyote brush.

I took this photo back in February. We were at Abbotts Lagoon and could hear the quail calling, but none were in evidence. I had a nice session with a common goldeneye, but the day was otherwise pretty much a bust.

As we were heading out, I stopped to photograph a sparrow “just to see if I can still feel something.” I was attempting to line the sparrow up to work around a busy background when I heard an quiet but urgent “Jacques! Over here!” I looked over, and Emily was pointing out a California quail couple hiding in the bush right near me. The female was too well hidden, but the male was kind enough to pop its head out, framed nicely by the greenery.

Now that it’s May, the quail are back up on their stages, belting out “chi-ca-go” calls from their favorite bushes and fence posts.