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Archive for March, 2017

Immature Bald eagle

I ventured, once again, to the area of Crooked Creek Dam to see what things of interest I could see. However, this hike had another  reason. I had a 12 X 24 Pentax binoculars to test before purchasing. I wanted to see how the worked for me. The main issue I found was the fact of wearing glasses. I have always found a difficulty upon using glasses. To look through them with binoculars you see a smaller image. The remedy is to push the glasses over my eye brows to see a big view through the binoculars. I think I may be getting them.

The water  behind the dam was around 99% covered in a thin layer of ice. Searching about the ice I saw Canada geese; Ring-billed Gulls and Great Blue Herons on top of the ice. I saw an immature Bald eagle on the ice as well. In the few small pockets of open water I saw   Mergansers and some geese.

Ring-billed Gull

Several times while walking I heard the soothing call of a loon. Eventually I spotted the black and white bird in open water across from the side I was on. I place the camera against a tree and took some photos even though I knew clarity would be lessoned.

 

Loon

Later, I hiked below the dam’s spillway. I spotted an eagle perched in a sycamore and was blessed to watch the bird dive twice  after fish. I am assuming the suckers may be spawning.

Eventually, I saw additional eagles. Four immature Bald eagles were soaring over my head. Sometimes they would be close just above the tree tops and other times they would drift high. Suddenly a fifth bald eagle appeared. This one was a mature bird. I would watch two of them fly high and do their dance as if courting.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Other critters of interest included a Fox squirrel and one Gray Squirrel. I saw a Pileated Woodpecker close enough for some decent shots, too. I spooked a Red-tailed Hawk from a meal of dead rabbit. The bird allowed for a few photos before heading off for presumed safety. I am sure the hawk would be back at the meal within minutes.

Pileated Woodpecker

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Mountain Laurel

This past week I enjoyed some hiking and photography on more than one occasion. The weather during this same time frame was a hodgepodge of   varying conditions. One morning I hiked the Laurel point Trail at Crooked Creek lake area. I was searching for an elusive eagle’s nest. This day reminded me of an early spring day. I had a sweat shirt on and was actually warm. The sun was out shining with a warmth. The lake was a little high and brown.

I failed to find the nest, but I did see throughout the morning seven deer, mergansers and geese on the lake. I saw three Red-Tailed Hawks as well.

    Friday, March 10, produced a much different type of weather condition. This day had about four and five inches of snow overnight. Everything was beautiful come light. Every limb bowed to the weight of snow. Yes, this was a winter wonderland. I really wanted to spend much time afield with camera ready. However, plans would not allow for that.

 

Note Killdeers flying

The jeep was scheduled in the morning time for tire replacements. Also, a local computer company was to call after nine to work from their end to install and tweak a new virus software. The server I deal with, Windstream, was not cooperating at all. After much failure, they requested I pack up the ‘puter and bring it to them. The computer worked find under their server.

 

I left their establishment around 1:30 to a snow squall and high winds. Luckily, I had my camera with me and I traveled a back road towards home. I did get some interesting shots.                                                                                         

This morning, March 11, I left early for a walk despite the high winds and cold temperatures. We had a single digit wind chill around the area. My walk proved refreshing. Unfortunately, much of the snow-laden limbs had lost their weight from the winds. The first critter I saw was a rabbit among the briars. I tried to find a good opening to get a shot, but that wasn’t to be.

  Deer sightings were plentiful all morning. Overall, I had thirty deer sightings. One time I viewed down over a steep hill only to see six deer walking along. they didn’t see me. I was offered some pics. They angled up hill to about twenty-five paces. Unfortunately, at this distance downed trees and limbs obscured any photos.                                                     

I saw, at least, eight turkeys. I could see two with 7-8 inches of dangling beard material. I intercepted their tracks several times. They circled my approach and back tracked. Hunting this same situation without snow would have  found me not knowing the birds were so close at different times.                                                                   

I saw a woodcock flying from the snow depth and some ringnecks. I came along a bluebird box I had erected several years ago. I opened the front to see a Flying squirrel gazing at me.

   I would see some Evening Grosbeaks at one time.                 

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dsc_0006  I looked outside in the pre-dawn moments to see snow covering everything. Seemed like a great day to get out in the elements. I

Killdeer

Killdeer

chose   to venture back to Crooked Creek lake area to see what critters I could find.

I parked alongside a friend as she watched the horizon line for camera opportunities. She was surprised to look over and see me.

dsc_0008

I was dressed for walking and would soon begin a trek through the woods to the lake hoping to see eagles.

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The waters, as usual, yielded Canada Geese and Mergansers. I saw some gulls fluttering around and occasionally diving into the waters. I saw two Killdeers along the shoreline. Later I saw a large bird flying about. A second appeared as I identified them as bald eagles. Unfortunately I could never get close enough for any photos.

Later I managed some photos of Cardinals and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

Female Cardinal

Female Cardinal

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