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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Feb 16, 2010

Real live Dragon?

A new wildlife discovery was made.  This tiny creature is too sweet.  Follow the link if you are  curious:


Turkey vulture in the Caribbean

Turkey Vulture wings spread wide

My Mom and I went on a cruise to the Caribbean for vacation last October.  We met at the Toronto airport and from there flew to Miami to board the cruise ship. It was a seven day cruise which included the visitation of four islands.  The trip was a real adventure for me, in many ways an eye opening experience and surprising to say the least.  I expected to see, and eagerly anticipated seeing new birds and wildlife, and therefore came prepared.

Feb 15, 2010

Swainsons Hawk

Swainson's Hawk soaring

The Swainson's Hawk is, at least so far, my constant birding companion.  Meaning that this is a bird I can count on seeing almost all of the time, every year.  The one place that I have found where I am guaranteed to see Hawks of any kind is near a golf course beside the freeway, especially during migration.  Here I have seen Red Tailed Hawks, kettles of Hawks in the sky, a Ferruginous Hawk, and of course the Northern Harrier.

Feb 14, 2010


The second hawk I truly noticed, that inexplicably captured my full and undivided attention, is what truly fed the beginnings of my desire for birdwatching.  This special Hawk had the ability to fire up my imagination and stir up all my latent creative instincts.  I wanted more than anything to be able to sketch him, perched as he was on a light post near the overpass at the freeway crossing.  To this day I really don't know why I noticed him. I  have seen, and still do see other Hawks at this particular freeway, near a transit station that I use quite often.  Back then I admired them briefly but, for the most part, I gave them no second thoughts.

Feb 12, 2010

Norther Harrier

Northern Harrier in flight

The Northern Harrier is singularly responsible for my interest in all members of  the raptor family.

It was the fact  that she was slim and stream lined much  like a falcon and had eyes like an owl that did the trick.  I have never forgotten exactly how she was perched on that baseball diamond fence, because like all magic moments, the image seems to be permanently imprinted in the memory banks of my brain and teases me still. At the time I didn't have internet access, so my curiosity about this bird continued to burn brightly within me for quite some time.

Feb 9, 2010

Merlin and the rewards of persistence

Persistence  really does pay off.

Merlin in flight
I had seen this little Merlin at this particular park once or twice before, although never for more than a blink in time, but I had high  hopes of  doing so again, which is why I took to haunting this particular park as  often as I could.   Sometimes even several  times during one day, hoping of course that  this little raptor had a consistent  habit of  doing so.

After some time passed, it  became apparent that he did not; that his visits to the park were in fact random events even though he hunts the neighborhood all the  time.  The problem with trying to get pictures of this small falcon around the residential neighborhood is off course the number of obstacles in the way of the camera.  As the months went by, I was beginning to feel more and more disappointed, as well as frustrated.  But I tend to be a tad stubborn, if not patient, and so I persisted in visiting the  park.

Downy wood pecker

Sometimes you see things when you least expect it

It is times like these that I like best. This is  also precisely the reason I carry my camera equipment almost everywhere, all the time,  as this  does  happen to me quite often.  Even in winter.  Some of my best pictures of Ravens were taken in the winter, for example.  I also, incidentally, dislike kicking myself for missed opportunities of  any kind, but especially where images of birds and wildlife are concerned.

Feb 5, 2010

Little Night Heron and a lack of patience

Nature seems intent to surprise me at every turn

Once again, at the local park I experienced a little life enhancing adventure.  I got into the habit of walking to this particular park each morning to visit the pond, in hopes of getting some pictures of a little Merlin who frequents it quite often.  But when I arrived at the pond there was nothing to be seen.  Not even a duck.