Tag Archives: red tailed hawk

Equinoctial Photographic Magazine

Today on the trail I met two chaps observing something through a huge 3′ telescopic lens. I stopped to chat, curious about what they were looking at. It was a hummingbird nest.

hummingbird nest

I looked but didn’t see it at first, thinking it must have been 100 feet away. But it wasn’t – it was close at hand right on top of a bare branch, exposed to the weather. The mother returned and flitted around for a minute or so before a lighting on the branch, whereupon she began feeding the babies. I could see wide open tiny yellowish beaks from where I stood, but there was no sound. The big camera began clicking away and I didn’t want to horn in while watching, so I waited until many pictures had been taken then raised my own camera and focused on the mother. She stopped feeding, looked up and flew away. I did get one picture of her, however.

hummingbird and nest

Not far from there I saw a squirrel lying unusually still.

squirrel at rest

The field nearby is full of daffodils.

daffodils

Going through the pictures from the last month I was struck by how much the weather has changed. In February we had plenty of snow.

Today when the sun came out it seemed like winter was long gone. Three days ago I saw a turtle, sunning.

People here are saying spring is a month later than normal.

red tailed hawk

flicker ground feeding

one of the “wild” cats that hang out in the park

a mouse, after the owl ate it

crocuses

hooded merganser

blue bug on the window

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Three of a Kind

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A few more for your viewing pleasure:

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Strolling in the Park

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Today in the park, I saw some new wildlife at long last. I can’t fathom why the past month or so has seemed so utterly barren of birds out there. But today all seems suddenly better. There was a Great Blue Heron preening as I walked out onto the floating bridge. Then a Cormorant came along.

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Nothing exciting, I carried on to a bridge over the creek that flows out of the lake.

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Then I spied the Hawk in a tree. Haha! It was back. I stepped off the path and took a picture with the long lens, then hurried forward. By the time I reached the tree in question the hawk was up circling.

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Nearby I saw a Cat on the path.

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I carried on, and came to a Spider that had just strung a line of web across the path. It must have just done so as only minutes prior several runners came along from that direction, and the web was at chest height.

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Further walking and I detected a soft squeaking noise Looking up I saw a Woodpecker excavating a deep hole in a dead branch. It went right inside and came out with a beak full of wood fibre.

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Carrying on I saw another Cat in the field, and it seemed to be waiting for a Mouse to come along.

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Not far beyond I came to a man holding a Snake he’d found beside the creek. He was looking down at another Snake in the leaves. He told me that he’d seen a Barred Owl yesterday. So they are here, but I haven’t seen them yet.

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Besides this there were numerous Towhees, Tits, Sparrows, Robins, Gulls and Squirrels black and grey. Also a man taking pictures, and another one shoveling wood chips from a pile into a wheelbarrow.

Now I must to my typewriter to write my daily words for NaNoWriMo. I’ve done it 5 times already, so it’s a habit now. This year I’m trying something different, a memoir… if only I could remember everything.

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Surely, Slowly, Springly

There has been a noticeable shift in the weather lately – despite almost constant rain for days, the sun’s warmth can be felt when it deigns to shine. Spring means migration, and the appearance of birds which either left town or went into hiding over the winter. I also got a very close look at the heretofore very shy muskrat, which inexplicably one day last week stood its ground despite the loud attention of numerous enthusiastic kids, and me with my camera almost in it’s face. Only the attack of an irate duck sent it on it’s way. Green buds abound in the brush, and in the field I saw new flowers poking up suddenly.

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Between Wet Squalls

Between wet squalls
sunshine and rainbows
the lake trail calls me

Down the street the trail forks
which is the road less traveled
on a circle?… no matter

I choose right
by far the most frequent choice
I am habituated

Prepared for whatever
two cameras ready
one for close up, one far away

At the floating bridge I wait
at hand the short telephoto
hoping to catch the muskrat

I’ve seen it rarely
small brown rodent in the rushes
shiny wet hairy junior football

Each time I see
it sees me too
I blink and it’s gone

In the bushes I detect
kinglets, hairy woodpeckers, finches
they too elude the camera

Halfway round luck changes
a hummingbird, tired of diving
rests close at hand, flashing green

The sun peeks in and out
the rainbow waxes and wanes
several runners pass

At the Garry Oak meadow something very tiny
another hummingbird
even smaller – maybe a Calliope

Sun in my eyes, I move down
into the grass to look for it
but it buzzes away

While I wait
from out of the trees
a Red Tailed Hawk appears

It makes a line
straight towards the tree
the lone tree it calls home

In the field I look up
there looping about the sky
an eagle soars

Perfectly lit by the low sun
the eagle circles
while I focus

Later on I reflect on pictures
the tiniest and the
mightiest of birds

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Endangered Species

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Olivetti Tropic – modded

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I have plenty of bird pictures, however, and recently many of hawks. While not strictly endangered, I do think raptors are not having an easy time of it. Not far from here a landowner cut down 10 acres of old forest so he could grow hay. There was a hue and cry about it, but the saddest part for me was knowing that the birds and other wildlife just lost another chunk of habitat. A naturalist said that those woods were home to a number of owls, just for instance.

As much as I enjoy photography, and while I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not it is or isn’t art, I love drawing and painting in another way. When you take a picture of something it is easy to forget what you really saw there. When you draw something, it really sinks into the mind. Yesterday I painted this picture of a hawk that I photographed just a few days before. I feel like I really got to know this bird better by painting it.

Red Tailed Hawk at Swan Lake

Red Tailed Hawk at Swan Lake

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Winter Birds

During the last weeks we’ve had a lot of sunshine here, which makes for good lighting when it comes to photographing birds. I’m trying to be diligent and not venture out into nature sans camera with telephoto lens affixed. My reward has been a few good bird sightings. We made a special trip last week to seek birds in the farmland nearby, but had no luck. So we went down to the beach that faces east to the mainland and were treated to an excellent view of Mt. Baker in Washington.

Mt. Baker, Washington

Mt. Baker, Washington

Back at the lake we watched some ducks slip sliding around on a frozen section. Parts of the ice were so thing the ducks kept falling through, which was hilarious.

Ducks on ice

Ducks on ice

We’ve seen plenty of raptors lately, including one Red Tailed Hawk that had just captured its lunch – a rat. I only noticed the rat when I downloaded the pictures.

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

I was too busy snapping to notice the tail of the rat!

a closer view of the rat

a closer view of the rat

We were treated to a perfect view of a Bald Eagle one day last week, sitting in a tree right beside the path. It’s very rare to get so close to one of these; they usually sit at the top of much taller trees, generally evergreens, too.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

A Cooper’s Hawk showed up, too. Sometimes I have a hard time discerning the Cooper’s from the Red Tailed.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

More birds here, somewhat easier to identify:

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Red Wing Blackbird

Red Wing Blackbird

Glaucous Winged Gull

Glaucous Winged Gull

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

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