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Monday, April 10, 2017

Owl Weekend Getaway April 2/3 2017

     For several weeks this past winter ,I have been following the sightings of great gray owls in northern New York State. Now I am not one to travel around adding birds to a life list ,heck I don't even have a list but this one intrigued me. Owls are awesome creatures and the chance to drive 300 miles instead of thousands to see a possible once in a lifetime owl made it extremely tempting. I made a contact who frequented the location every day  and when it was spotted, off to the races we went. 
      After several hours worth of driving this majestic owl  made its appearance around 6:10 pm. It did not want to play nice and spent much of its time intently hunting in thick woodland  a distance away.While keeping a respectable distance ,we followed the owl down the parkway giving us good looks here and there and left when daylight waned . We arrived  the following morning at sunrise hoping for another glimpse to no avail. A couple barred owls on the roadside  happily obliged the absence of the great grays and made for a memorable trip back home . A quick stop at an owl hot spot on the way home also yielded  us  a couple northern saw -whet owls to put the icing on the cake .

March Images

I didn't get out much this past March . A little time was spent at Tift nature preserve and Reinstein Woods . Saw my first of the year mockingbird and northern pintails at Tift.  Meanwhile 2 hrs were spent hunched down in hiding at Reinstein Woods . The goal was to get close enough to a few hooded mergansers who are just so so skittish for me. They did start approaching  but just not as close as I had hoped . The darn geese didn't have a problem coming in . Managed to grab a couple more portraits on the way out. There was a definite sound and smell of spring in the air as the end of March approached .

northern mockingbird 

black capped chickadee

northern cardinal

northern cardinal

hooded merganser drake 

canada goose

northern pintail

A Few Winter Portraits

Work has been hectic and one big stress fest lately.  6 day workweeks ,too much overtime  and duties at home leave little time  to do what my passion is . Here  on a cold February Sunday I needed to venture out and chill with my feathered friends .

Blue Jay
red breasted nuthatch

tufted titmouse 

house sparrow

hairy woodpecker

downy woodpecker 


Monday, January 30, 2017

A Long-eared Owl and a Merlin

It is always nice to run into a long -eared owl ! Such magnificent creatures which always seem to be buried in the thick evergreens . A merlin was also sighted not far from the owl which made my day .

Christmas is for the birds !

I usually find my way out to the woods on the day after Christmas to get some nice peaceful relaxation time away from all the holiday hustle and bustle. It really works wonders on the mind and soul ! Try it sometime I am sure you would go back home in a nice relaxed state of mind .

Tufted Titmouse 

northern cardinal

red winged blackbird 

black capped chickadee

red breasted nuthatch

Short -eared Owl

Catching some  short -eared owls is proving to be a challenge this year.Yes they are around in several counties of Western New York ,but finding them with some decent lighting is becoming a difficult task. Here are 2 that were spotted in Chautauqua County . They were out there a ways as daylight was turning to dusk .

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Horned Grebe 12/23/2016

Spotted a Horned Grebe down in Dunkirk harbor this past Friday. Since I am not an avid duck and waterfowl photographer I couldn't believe how different these grebes look in their non breeding plumage . That black and gold breeding coat you see in the spring makes for a totally different look of the  black/white winter coat . About the only thing that stays the same is that intensely red eye .

horned grebe  non breeding  12/23/16

horned grebe breeding plumage  april 2014