Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunshine at the Refuge

After two stormy days, the clouds broke this afternoon and the sun shone on the birds and water at the refuge. Still lots of duck hunters, but a relatively peaceful day out there. Murph and I walked a couple of miles down  a dike, played with white-faced ibis, and he ran and ran.  Always nice to tire out the lab.

Kestrels on the way in, an eagle eating a fish with two ravens in close proximity trying to steal some, a red-tailed hawk with its classic cry, duck hunters, and ibis.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Late December shots

It's getting later into December and a check of the refuge turned up the usual numbers of harriers and kestrels, plus these assorted shots.  The lone eagle sits majestically on his dead tree perch, and the redtails were prevalent in the trees along the road. A meadowlark passing through sat for a portrait, and an airboat gets ready to take it's passengers in search of the ducks and geese in the far parts of the refuge.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Catching up

I've two diverse subjects today as I got lazy and haven't posted for a couple of days.

First, last Saturday I shot pictures of a client's dogs out in a field.  The dogs were wonderful (people too), and here's a favorite of mine from the shoot!

Vegas and Cassius looking at a goofy photographer!

Early this week, Diana called to me to come see something - and here's what it was! 

I'm not sure who is purring more - Diana or the kittens!
On a technical note, I cannot remove the 'green-eye' from the flash with my red-eye removal tool; guess it only recognizes the color red!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring at the Refuge

Only the first 1.5 miles of road is open now, to let the birds of the refuge have a peaceful spring and summer.  I parked at the internal gate and walked down to the bridges, about 1.5 miles and sat and enjoyed life in the refuge. 
One or two harriers only and no kestrels or other raptors did I see.  But pheasant, herons, cormorants, lots and lots of ducks, pelicans, gulls of all sorts, avocets, black-necked stilts, Canadian geese, snowy egret, yellow-headed blackbird and red-winged blackbirds were all visible.  Heard in the distance were sandhill cranes - they have an unmistakable cry - but were way off in the rushes and not visible.
The little black spots visible in some of the bird pictures are BUGS, not spots on my sensor.  The bugs are out and only the slight breeze made them bearable.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Really Exciting!

It is interesting how life just sort of ambles along, and then, once it seems convinced you are going in a certain direction, things just take off!!
Well, check out and see my picture on the cover of their annual raptor migration report!  Then click through on gifts and go to other gifts and find my cards for sale!  Very exciting!  The American Kestrel t-shirt (long and short sleeve) are my photo's also!

Plus, I now have two weddings - May 28th and May 29th!  Yes I will be exhausted but I find that I am pretty excited about the challenge.  And both will pay!  I'm already scoping out what equipment to rent from Pictureline so I have the best lenses without buying them!

Great time to be alive!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday at the marsh

Back to the refuge today - sun intermittent between the clouds.  Lots of water around now, thanks to the storms.  As I drove by the ponds on the way in, the frogs were deafening.  Spring is here!!

Ducks are returning - many different ones, forcing me to go to my bird books to determine what they are.  Canuks everywhere and the refuge gate is now shut down the long dike and the gates to the refuge shut at 5pm.  All good and in support of nurturing our feathered friends in their pursuit of life.

This harrier sat on this stump all the time I was in the refuge and then, on my way out, flew off and showed off his flexibility!  They are amazing birds. One moment floating through the air and the next hanging straight up and down about to pounce on their prey!

Lots of Canadian geese everywhere - they often create a cacaphony of sound that can be pleasing or irritating to the ear. 

Murph went into the water at the far west ponds and several of the geese began to swim towards him - he left pretty quickly! 

There were several herons on the heron nests that had been built for them.  A rather obnoxious photographer walked close to the nests and scared them off.  Despite the signs, some idiots still believe they have no obligation to be concerned about the wildlife.

Note the two sitting there, and the additional one just peering over the edge of the nest.  They are such beautiful and majestic beings, and worthy of our respect and care.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nice to be back!

Murph and I visited the refuge today, almost 3 weeks since our last visit.

As Murph told me, that's too long!

Quite a bit of water, although mud is still showing on the edges of the large body of water.  That there is fish in that body was proven by a bald eagle who calmly flew low over the water, stuck his talons in and came up with a small fish!  The seagulls were congregated on the mud, eating busily whatever they eat.

Harriers everywhere as usual, no herons sighted and only one kestrel by the offices. Canadiens are settling in, looking like parents to be; and a nice group of Northern pintails in the shallows by the Canuks.  The pied bill grebes were out in numbers at the far end, and showing much less fear than before.

A seagull kept buzzing around me, so I took the opportunity to practice a few new settings on my camera to see how they worked!  Came out with a couple of cute pictures of the goofball (who's the goofball?).

Nice to be back again,  too long away!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring on the way!

A cold wind on the dikes today, but a sense of spring is on the way. Once again, harriers were everywhere!  Even on the ice eating on something caught out there!  A few eagles out on the ice and one flying overhead, but need a lot more to make next weekend's eagle spotting a real success.

Blackbirds were singing a lot in the morning, Canadian geese showing up in a lot of places, preparatory to mating, I believe.  A kestrel eating breakfast and a couple of blue herons way down the dike!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

'Twas a cold and gloomy day!

Well, not completely as the sun did come out a bit later, but it sure started out snowy and gloomy!  Nonetheless, the kestrels and harriers were out in force again, especially the harriers.  It is not unusual to see two crossing paths and sometimes three as they perform the hunting dance!

Saw a few shovelers today, first ducks in a while besides the coots.  The pied bill grebes that are usually hanging out at the far end of the dike were not visible today.  However, as if to say "Spring is coming" we saw several red-winged blackbirds!  And eagles, while not abundant, were around out on the ice.  Plus one that flew right over me as if he knew I wanted a nice eagle shot!

The most amazing thing today was the picture of the hawks on the fence!  I only saw two hawks when I took the picture.  However, after looking at it on my computer later, I counted 6!  Six hawks all in a row - and they all look like harriers, tho' hard to tell at the distance and resolution.

Once again, a fine day at the refuge!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Birds, birds, birds

Diana and I spent a few hours at the refuge on MLK day - and there were birds everywhere and lots of them.  Herons, kestrels and harriers were most prominent - eagles were conspicuously absent - perhaps they had gone hunting during the mid-morning.  Anyway, got a few good shots.