"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold

"THE TABLES TURNED"

"COME FORTH INTO THE LIGHT OF THINGS. LET NATURE BE YOUR TEACHER"....William Wordsworth


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Red-shouldered Hawks

Commonly seen in neighborhoods, as well as rural areas, the red-shouldered hawk is probably more frequently seen in these parts than its larger cousin the red-tailed hawk. 

The photos in this post were taken while driving on small rural roads, not specifically looking for hawks to photograph...





 
 
Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.




Red-tailed Hawks

Red-tailed hawks are among the largest raptors commonly seen in our area.  At this time of year they are often perched on utility poles watching for prey...




 
 
Mature birds can be easily identified by their distinctive red tail feathers.  Juveniles can be more difficult...

 



 
In the final photo a red-tailed hawk is hunting from a tree limb on the edge of a field...



Thanks for visiting and come back soon.


Between Here and There

I drive a good bit every day looking for something to photograph.  Sometimes, between here and there, I snap a photo that does not fit into a particular category or for any particular reason.  The following are some examples. 

This tree can be seen at the Worthington Farm section of the Monocacy National Battlefield...


The small streams have frozen and thawed several times lately and each occurrence presents a unique view...



 

No matter how cold the water, great blue herons continue to search for fish...


They are able to find food on land when necessary...


A light snow fall gave these weeds the look of a cotton field...



A dead deer provided several days of meals for these black vultures...


Even individual weeds can be interesting when the light and background cooperate...

 
Cows are curious critters and this one reminded me of a popular advertising icon from my youth: "Elsie the Borden Cow" that originated in 1936...
 
 
Keep your camera ready.  One can never tell when a photo op will appear.
 

Conowingo Dam and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

With Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge as our ultimate goal, we took a detour to visit Conowingo Dam with the hope of seeing the bald eagles that often can be found there.  At this time of year most of the eagles have departed and many are already nested with eggs.

A few eagles were present but those were not flying much because none of the turbines were running.  The turbines stun and kill fish which makes them easy picking for the eagles, herons, cormorants and gulls which frequent the site.

We did observe one eagle harassing a great blue heron that had captured a fish...





The heron swallowed the fish and the discouraged eagle passed a little closer as it flew to the trees behind the parking lot to rest...


Since there was very little going on, I snapped this photo of a gull flying by and we continued our journey...


This was our first visit to Bombay Hook so we were not sure what to expect.  The first wildlife that we saw were snow geese flying overhead...

 

As we drove the wildlife circuit of the refuge we found a great blue heron fishing in the shallows...


A number of northern harriers were hunting over the marshes...


Frustrated at not finding the short eared owls and red fox that many others described we headed for Port Mahon Road which was touted by online sites as being almost as good as the refuge itself for wildlife viewing.  There we were able photograph one red fox resting in the tall grass...


The highlight of this trip was seeing a snowy owl perched on top of a petroleum storage tank.  Even though the distance was too far to obtain the image I would have liked, just seeing this visitor from the North country was a special opportunity...


As the sun was setting, we started the three hour drive home.  I am looking forward to visiting Bombay Hook and the surrounding area again.

Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Squabble Over Food

While photographing birds recently I observed a female northern cardinal and a white-throated sparrow squabbling over a spot at the table...

 
 
 
I did not realize until later that the sparrow had no tail feathers.  One can only speculate about how they were lost.
 

 

 
 
It was entertaining to watch the antics of these birds.  When I returned a few days later they were eating together without conflict.
 
Thanks for stopping by, come back soon and be well.
 

 
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Carolina Wren

A year-round resident in our region is the Carolina wren.  Although not flashy, these small birds have a certain level of attractiveness that can't be denied.  One word that I often hear to describe them is "cute" and I believe it fits them well...






 
Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.