Wednesday, April 7, 2010

AI: part two aka THIS is what we came here for aka birds of prey (29-32)

First of all, I have to say I wouldn't have got any of these shots without my new lens, and I'm so glad I was able to pick one up before the weekend after 4 kijiji deals fell through. I visited Owl Woods on the Island but was told that I had missed them by a few weeks. There are still short-eared owls on the Island in the fields but I kind of ran out of time so I'll have to go back for them, when I will hopefully get together with another birdwatcher who is a friend of my dad's and who is helping out with this study (the population declined by approximately 85% between 1966 to 2005...yet another sign that we clearly doing something very very wrong). For the Owl Woods, I need to try January to mid-March next year, but this one made up for it and more.

29: Snowy Owl; April 5, 2010; Amherst Island
Ok, the snowy is maybe my favourite. It is so big and beautiful. As I approached I could totally feel myself being watched. Normally we are the ones doing the watching, but sometimes there are these moments when you are watching a bird and and you know that they are watching you back...and it's kind of profound, you know? I was the only one in the field with this owl and I felt like he was permitting me to be in his presence. So was pretty amazing.
30: Red-tailed hawk, April 2, 2010; Amherst Island
Matt seems to have mastered the hawk picture the camera goes to him whenever hawks are around. All other times we argue about who gets to the use the camera! Anyways, props are due to him for this sick, sick picture.
31: Rough-legged Hawk; April 2, 2010; Amherst Island
This hawk was flying really high up. Hawks are so hard for me to identify, although I think I'm getting a little better. I'm 90% sure it's right, but if I got this ID wrong....please tell me!
32: American Kestrel; April 5, 2010; Amherst Island
These guys are so awesome. They are tiny hawks. They're so small that if you didn't look at them you would think they were blackbirds sitting on telephone wires. But they aren't, and they do all things exactly like hawks, hovering over fields and the like. Since I saw my first one and realized what it was, I started seeing them everywhere. You can tell them by the black bands on their eyes. I'm beginning to think I was one of the most non-observant people out there! But there are little wonders everywhere.

I also saw what I thought were Northern flickers but didn't get a decent shot. Sneaky buggers.

Stay tuned...I still have more birds to cover from the weekend.

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