Sunday, January 18, 2015

More Northern Pintails

I headed down to the Lake Mattamuskeet area yesterday to see what was around and do some scouting of a nearby area.  I am already looking ahead for new places come spring.  Saturday is not really the day to go but the weather was going to be fairly nice and with gas prices low, it seemed like a good way to spend the day.

I took so many photos I am going to break them into separate post so this one I will focus on the Pintails.  They were quite phenomenal today.  Constant take offs and landings meant there was always something to watch.  A pair of Northern Harriers steadily buzzed the marsh causing large groups of the Northern Pintails to take off, circle and land again.

It was a good time to practice flight shots.  I have gotten out of practice and that is what it takes.  The light was a bit better today than it was in early winter but is still takes practice to capture the shot when the light optimally captures the details of the birds.   I played with the background a bit on this photo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Red-breasted Mergansers

Although it was very overcast today, I did go over to the park for maybe an hour.  Several Red-breasted Mergansers had arrived on the pond which is a new species for the park.

I stood for quite a while hoping they would finally raise their head but they moved around on the pond with their head tucked.

I got tickled at the one lone Ring-necked duck.  Not sure if it thought the black heads of the RBMs were one of its own or it was just hanging around with them.

Finally as I was leaving and crossing the bridge across the pond, I looked down and one of the mergansers was up however at that point I was fairly far off.

Hopefully they will stick around at least one more day since the sun is suppose to be out tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Flooded Beaver Lodge

Rain, rain and more rain.  I had no intention of going out today but after hearing the otter had been spotted at the millpond, when there was a break in the rain this morning I risked a quick outing.  I wished two things when I arrived at the park....I had taken the long lens and a wide angle lens.  I just planned on being able to move quickly between showers if needed so I traveled light.

No sign of the otters but there were beavers!  There has been so much rain that the beavers had been flooded out of their lodge.  Over the past several months they have increased the dome size probably making a two layer lodge but obviously the water breached the higher layer.

Several times as I was watching them one would go under but quickly come back out.  The two younger beavers spent much of the time swimming about while the two adults chewed on clumps of dried grass, twigs and eventually spent time grooming each other.

This is one of the younger beavers.  I saw two swimming together while the two adults were on land grooming.  The two younger are quite a bit lighter in color than the adults.

Hopefully the water will recede quickly enough they can get back in their lodge by nightfall.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perplexed Song Sparrow

A Song Sparrow was slip sliding and pecking on the ice trying to get to the water.  It finally found a little island in the ice to stand on before finally giving up and flying off.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gathering of the Eagles

The winter gathering of the eagles has begun.  For the past couple of years a strong cold front seems to be the signal for the gathering to begin.

They began arriving in mass as the recent cold front was arriving.  I was unable to get out until today and there were by no means as many as the past several days but the numbers will fluctuate for the remainder of the winter.

The immature eagles outnumber the adults.  It is interesting to observe the various coloration of the     immature eagles based on their age.

A few shots from today.  Some are looking a bit ragged.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brrrrr Cold

It has been one of the coldest days of the winter today and other than a trip to the mailbox and to put some bird food out, it has been an indoor kind of day.

The birds have been hitting the suet feeder and the water fountain heavily.  The pond behind the house has a light coating of ice and the bird baths are frozen so when the birds found the fountain running, it has been a steady stream of visitors.

I have been checking US temperatures all day and it looks like the jet stream is already pushing back up north a bit which is fine by me.  Hopefully I can get out a bit tomorrow.

Brown Thrasher

Eastern Towhee

Carolina Wren

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Nature lover, animal lover, lover of life.