Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SHOOTING DUCKS

Advanced warning--bird photo overload.
My 70-300 Nikkor zoom lens has been burning a hole in my camera bag, begging for an opportunity to digitize something moving and far away. There is a game reserve a few miles from my home where fishing is not allowed until June. I drove there the other day and had the place pretty much to myself except for a LOT of wildlife. I have tried to identify the birds in these photos using Kaufman’s Field Guide to Birds of North America. Please feel free to point out any errors.
Goldeneye
Bufflehead
Gadwalls
Common Merganser Red Breasted Merganser(I love the mergansers. They dive for minnows and have the coolest hair. They have an attitude of bravado that goes with the hair).
These ponds are a favorite nesting area for Sandhill Cranes.
The noise they make sounds like someone starting up a chainsaw. They are huge birds and do quite a showy, joyful mating dance.
Of course with all the ducks, there were predators. I think this is a sharp-shinned hawk. I tried to stay as still as possible and after a while was rewarded
when a family of otters
came out on the bank to play. I knew there were bald eagles in the area and hoped to see one, but finally ran out of time. As I stood up to walk back to the car…
an eagle flew out of the cottonwoods just behind me. Most likely he had been there for quite a while, probably laughing at me. I only got a couple of blurred photos before he was out of range.
He landed on a dead tree far across the pond and scared the daylights out of some Trumpeter Swans.

11 comments:

Laura said...

OMG a Bald Eagle perched on a dead tree, two swans a flying a beautiful background...who could of ask for anything more....Accept for a family of otters, punk-ta-fied mergansers (never seen one but the hair do looks so cool)!!! Wow, I would not have wanted to leave. I'd like to know how many pictures you really took that day :-) I know I'm bird snap happy, would imagine you are too!

Jenn Jilks said...

For a moment the post title worried me!

I love the mergansers , too. But they all are glorious. We had them before the ice was out. They would dive under. Very cool, until my son went in at Easter, too! He doesn't even have feathers...

Flea said...

I didn't know hawks had shins!

Hilary said...

What a field day you had. Wonderful shots.

Pam said...

So much to see! What a great day!

Linda Sue said...

WOW gorgeous shots gorgeous birds! Wild thang!

DayPhoto said...

OH! THANK! YOU! I have never EVER seen otters! I love the bird photos, but I have never seen otters.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordprss.com

Jeannelle said...

Oh, I love the colors in that last scene!!

Woman in a Window said...

This was all on one day? I'm always amazed to see what you are able to see.

olivia said...

What a fantastic outing! Sounds like a dream having such a place to yourself to wander around w/ the critters. Your photos are lovely -- the merganser hair is wild! LOL.

rhymeswithplague said...

Better be careful or we'll all want to move to Idaho, and then it would be ruined.

In the fall, high above our part of the world, we can hear them first -- great flocks of sandhill cranes migrating -- and then we look directly up and can barely make them out against the azure sky. Your post stirred up some great memories.