Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Perfect Morning - 04/25/2009

Saturday morning 7 a.m. - I decided to head over to Lake Erie Metro Park and walk the nature trail and the trail along the river to the boat launch. The air was just perfect with a slight breeze - a perfect day for a stroll with camera in tow. If you haven't been through the nature trail lately you'll notice that trees have been cut down or topped and there are more hiding places for the birds to go into for shelter or just hide from the paparazo passing through.

When I've walked the path along the riverside I'll find a Carolina Wren making its way through the rocks and branches close to the ground. This morning as I drove up from the boat launch there he sat in a small tree on the road side - surprisingly he sat pretty still.

Since the day was very pleasant I decided to walk around the nature trail and then took a walk on the path along the river and then one more walk around the nature trail. Besides the Carolina Wren I saw Black-capped Chickadees, a nesting Robin, White-throat Sparrows, a Yellow Warbler darting in and out of the trees and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet hopped from branch to branch. Feeling pretty good about the birds that I saw and hopefully the photos I captured - I decided to head home and get some of my chores done. After all - there's always tomorrow. Til my next post.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Priceless Moment - 04/19/2009

Saturday I went out to see if I could catch a sunrise and photograph it with my new lens. Recently I purchased Canon's EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM lens and since the sun was shining Saturday I thought it would be a great day for photos. I drove over to Pte Mouillee (Campau Road) parked and watched the sunrise. The water was like a sheet of glass and the colors forming across it as the sun began to rise were gorgeous. I hung around for about an hour and then headed over to Lake Erie Metro Park to check on the Great Horned Owl baby. When I was there on Friday baby would take a couple steps forward as if he was thinking about jumping - then he would step back - so I didn't know what I was going to see on Saturday. When I got to the outlook deck as far as I could tell there was no one in the nest. On a tree not too far away was mom, possibly watching her baby on the ground (if that's where he was). In an attempt to find a spot on the trail to get a picture - mom took off and disappeared. With no sight of her afterwards - and with a lot of things waiting for me to do I headed home.

Sunday - Inspite of the weather this morning I decided to go out to Lake Erie Metro Park and take a gander. Sitting on a branch just above but a bit behind the hollow was an owl. As I kept looking all I could think was "there was too much downy for it to be an adult." After watching for about an hour I decided to take a ride down to the boat launch. With nothing going on I headed back to the nature trail. Standing back on the overlook I now could see that it was indeed the baby sitting on the branch and mom was now inside the hollow. I watched baby move itself across the branch and with wings outstretched (as if he was doing a balancing act) move to another branch. I watched in anticipation to see what would happen next but was more afraid that he/she would make the wrong move and possibly fall so I began to walk away. A little ways down the trail I turned around and headed back - then told myself "no". After a couple turn arounds I headed back to the overlook only to notice that mom was out of the nest and sitting on the tree across from the nest - unfortunately by the time I reached the deck mom was sitting on the branch slightly lower than her fledgling.

I watched mom offer her baby what appeared to be the tail end of a fish, baby took and struggled with it, mom reached to grab it and like any kid hestitated in letting mom have it back. The baby finally did surrender his meal. I watched mom rip pieces of the meal and feed it to her baby. I watched her do this several times - every now and then she would stop and look at me to see if I was still around. With the last look she gave me I felt that I better leave and let her feed her baby in peace. As I walked away I suddenly felt overcomed by what I had just witnessed.

Although the day wasn't clear enough to get a good photo - what I witnessed in the sight of my camera lens was crystal clear and priceless. Definitely a moment I will not forget.

Til my next post.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Down To One - 04/09/2009

I left work Thursday around 3:00 p.m. and headed over to LEMP to check out the owl's nest. My friend Jerry mentioned that when he was there Wednesday after work mom was in the nest but he didn't see any babies. As of the previous Saturday there were two in the nest and a parent was close by. When I got there Thursday there was only one baby in the nest and a parent was on a close by tree. The sun was hot beating against the nest and the baby was really panting. The parent flew toward the nest around 5:30 only to land on a branch behind the nest instead of in it, about ten minutes later it flew back to the branch it came from. Since I didn't see any chance of the parent flying into the nest I called it a day.

Wondering how the baby was doing I headed out to LEMP Friday around noon - baby was still in the nest but there was no parent around - by the time I left around three and no parent in sight I couldn't help but wonder if this little guy was abandoned. I really hope not.

Since I learned of the nest(s) and especially with the birth of the babies I have seen people go to extremes to try and get photographs - alot of them trying to get through all of the dried branches and reeds just to get close enough to get a picture without any concern about the nestlings and the parents. Last Saturday one of the parents was sitting in a tree across from her babies a man trying to get "that" photo climbed down from the overlook and tried to make his way along the stream through the dried grasses to get his photo only to find out it couldn't be done. In this effort all he did manage to do was chase mom to another tree farther away from her babies and got no photo.

There are times when going after "that" photo is a good thing and then there are those times when you simply need to be patient and wait for it to happen.

Til my next post.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nature Trail @ LEMP - 03/27/2009

Since the weekend was calling for rain and then snow I decided to take advantage of the sun and head over to Lake Erie Metro Park. It's been reported that both Great Horned Owl families have had two babies each and wanted to see if I could catch a look at at least one of the families. As I walked along the trail I caught a glimpse of mom sitting in a tree not far from her babies. I had hoped that since I got out there about two that if I was still there around five she would had ventured in to feed these adorable feather dusters, but no luck. With the temperatures starting to drop I decided to call it a day and possibly head back out Saturday - weather permitting.

After my workout at the "Y" I decided to take advantage one more time of the sun and head back out to LEMP. I was greeted by this Tree Swallow sitting very quietly on a post - he sat very still while I photographed him. When I got to the Nature Trail I decided to start my walk from the entrance on the left and walk slowly around. The birds were definitely vocal this morning and there was activity on both sides of the trail, but would the banches get in the way. Of course they would. Anyway I did manage to get these shots of a Fox Sparrow, Brown Creeper and this deer that was sleeping under the tree that the Brown Creeper was traveling on.

Next stop to see if the babies were moving around, unfortunately they were sleeping with mom and dad in trees not to far from them. Since they were sleeping I decided to take a little stroll - when I got back mom was in the nest with her babies. Twenty minutes is all it took for my stroll - if I would have stayed around I could have caught mom flying into the nest or not - I'll never know and you just can't tell what's going to happen next. All in all it was fun watching them moving around, stretching and nuzzling with mom.

Til my next post.