Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stupid or Lucky - 11/21/2009

Today I had a Sharp-shinned Hawk sitting on my back fence - and from my kitchen window I tried to take a picture only to have it fly off as soon as I raised the camera. "It'll come back" I said to myself and it did only to sit on the fence in the next yard with its back to me. By the time I walked out the side door and got to the back corner of the house he was gone. "It'll come back" I said again to myself and about ten minutes later there he sat on the cables in the alley.

I grabbed my camera and made my way out to the back of the yard (no he didn't fly off) - I opened the gate that led to the alley (no he didn't fly off). I walked to the back corner of my fence and then preceded to walk to the end of my neighbors fence and "no he didn't fly off".

On one of the posts happen to be two squirrels chasing one another - than the biggest of the two decided to take a walk on the wire - towards the hawk. I watched in amazement this squirrel and this very patient hawk (or very stunned hawk). The squirrel got within a foot of the hawk and then the hawk made its move. All it did was stomp its talons (more or less). The squirrel moved its way towards the pole and then decided to come back for a second go. In the middle of his dare he did manage to stop and chatter with a few squirrels that were in the yard in front or back of him (which ever way you look at him) while this hawk kept looking at him I'm sure wondering what this squirrel was trying to do or prove.

In his last challenge this squirrel moved in and out over the cables and decided to sit just below the hawk (approximately another foot away). Yes - the hawk did look at him like he was nuts but obviously this squirrel knew something that I didn't. A Downy Woodpecker landed on a wire just above the Hawk (yes the hawk looked up) and the squirrel made his way back to the pole and down and then was gone.

I guess a sitting still Hawk is no threat to a squirrel, maybe the Hawk needed height to attack, maybe the squirrel was too big for the Hawk or maybe it was the squirrels lucky day. Til my next post.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Repeat Performance - 11/08/2009

This past weekend was called "Indian Summer". Sun shining, slight breezes, great temperatures, and great to be outdoors. Took my usual ride down to Pte Moo - Roberts Rd to Campau Rd and then on to Lake Erie Metro Park. Roberts Road gave me one bird a Swainsons Thrush. I hesitate at times to take their picture because I'm never sure if it is or if it's a young Robin. Campau Rd - the gate at the HQ has a lot of brush cover, trees, pine trees, etc. alot of places for birds to hide and fly in and out of.

The Cardinals are plentiful but there is one that seems to be the "Godfather" because he keeps "hissing" away other cardinals and certain other birds (black-capped chickadees). He doesn't mind sharing the top of the post with the House Finches or a House Sparrow. There are a couple of Goldfinches hanging out and of course on the ground White-throat Sparrows, a Junco and pretty much anyone who can't get to the top of the post (because of the Cardinal).

After about an hour of snapping and watching I headed on to LEMP. If you've never walked through the trail at the one entrance there is a statue of a Black Lab (?) who really does look kind of scarey, I like to refer to him as "Cujo". In the area of Cujo the trees are full of Cedar Waxwings and Yellow-rump Warblers. There are a few Downy's close by and in the distance I can hear a Red-bellied Woodpecker - just couldn't find him.
Half way around the trail I stopped and sat on the bench just before you get to the back deck of the trail. White-throat Sparrow are moving around on the underbrush and logs and high up in hte trees moves a small Gold-crowned Kinglet. I stood off the trail and watched his every move hoping he would give me just a little hope of a shot of him - then he was gone and it was time for me to move on. I got a picture of a Dragonfly and a Butterfly before I got back to my vehicle.

Before going home I decided to head back over to Campau Rd - see Saturday there was a Red-bellied Woodpecker that showed up about noon or a little after and I wanted to see if I could get lucky enough to see him again - that noisey fella didn't let me down. Someone had just left a handful of birdseed on the post outside the gate and he came cratching in knocking seed to the ground every time he landed. I did notice that the Cardinals didn't stay around when he came flying in, of course, he really wasn't quiet about it either.

Hunger finally overcame me and it was time to go home. Hope you all had a good weekend. Til my next post.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Relaxing Morning 11/06/09

Today I decided to give myself a vacation day. Although the day was slightly chilly - the sun was shining bright - who wouldn't take advantage of the day to go looking for birds to photograph. After breakfast I grabbed my camera and headed over to Pte Moo HQ - the tree just outside the gate was very active. The first birds that I saw were two Gold finch unfortunately they were too far for a clear picture. I entered through the gate and parked just inside the entrance. The movement in the trees was constant.

Cardinals (male and females), Black-capped Chickadees, White-throat Sparrows, House Finches (male and female), and Juncos. A Gold-crowned Kinglet came out of the pine tree close to the gate and a Tree Sparrow also came out of hiding.

After an hour the activity kind of stopped so I decided to mae a stop at Lake Erie Metro Park and take a slow walk through the nature trail. Inside the trail I was greeted by two deer eating in the bushes until I appeared then they were watching me as I walked pass and stopped to take a couple of pictures of them.

The trail was rather quiet but I kept on walking and stopped every now and then to listen. A white object flew amongst the brush and trees and finally when it landed I noticed that it was a Brown Creeper. Other than a Downy and a few more Black-capped Chickadees there wasn't much to take pictures of.

The walk took me approximately an hour and I decided to head on home to cut grass, fill feeders and trim rose bushes. Tomorrow is suppose to be another nice day and a little warmer - can't wait. Til my next post.