Please feel free to comment, correct me if I am wrong, or provide helpful tips of any kind

Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Apr 23, 2010

Celebrating Earth Day

Mallard on ice
In honor of Earth Day, which in my opinion should be every day, I decided to put together this post to remind myself what is important. To do that I needed to ask myself what I would do if I did not have contact with the natural world, if there were no birds left in the sky or wildlife was so scarce that I would be unable to find  it to photograph, or if  I were unable to find places where I could walk in the shelter of trees listening to birdsong, to sit beside a stream or pond listening to insects drone, close my eyes and soak up the peace which only nature can provide for me.  I realized very quickly that being unable to do so would simply be devastating to me.

American Coot feeding young

Apr 21, 2010

Red Tailed Hawk

Today was the best!!!

I went out early, as usual, on bird watch headed to my favorite place near the golf course.  When I got there nothing much was flying except  the ever present sea gulls, so I went a little further than I normally do.  The first thing that happened was that I startled some Grouse into flight in a place that I didn't expect to see any, never having come across them in the city.  They startled me almost as much with their sudden noisy flight, so of course no pictures, but I kept going hoping to flush out some more of these birds so that I could get some pictures.  I came across some tracks that I believe belong to Elk next and kept going listening for any unusual sounds.  Nothing much was to be seen for quite a while, and then I spotted a large bird at the top a tree  in a stand of woods straight ahead of me.

The Grouse were immediately forgotten, in favor of getting closer to this bird.   I have visited this particular location earlier this spring and noted a large nest there in one of the trees.  This bird was in close proximity to that nest.

Red Tailed Hawk landing on nest

Naturally I started taking pictures right away, because you never know what you might have in your sights.  Pretty soon I heard the bird cry out nervously and knew immediately that it belonged to the raptor family, but since the sun was behind the bird, I still had no idea which kind it was and then it took off.  It flew behind and below the tree tops and for a minute there I thought I'd lost sight of it altogether, but then I heard it again and looked up only to see two birds, a male and female.  One of them had flown to perch on the nest I mentioned and a few minutes later one was flying around me in agitation, and in so doing, revealing itself to be a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk.

Red Tail coming around

Apr 17, 2010

Swans in flight

I just love it when I spot birds (or wildlife) that I don't usually see or have never taken notice of.  So it was a wonder to me when I went out early only to witness the flight of migrating Swans and another type of large bird flying in formation that I have yet to identify.  The latter were too dark all over in coloring to be a Canada Goose, as well as too distant to identify correctly. All I was able to note was long sweeping wings and long necks, as well as an all black silhouette.   I am hoping to see them again, if not this year perhaps in the next.

We all see large birds flying in formation overhead often during migratory season in the spring and fall, but how do you tell the different species of birds apart when they are so high in the sky that you only see their silhouette?
Swan in flight