Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Compared to last weekend, we found very few ducks, many geese and eagles and a few pelicans. Many of the ducks that we spotted were in flight exiting the refuge. Gunshots from neighboring properties were plentiful.
THE COOT SPOOKED FROM THE REEDS INFRONT OF ME AND RAN ACROSS THE OPEN WATER AND ICE TO SETTLE ABOUT 40FT AWAY.ONE PED BILLED GREBE WATCHED ME CLOSELY AS HE SLOWLY SWAM INTO THE SUN
The snow geese and white fronted geese were thick on the surface of the water. There were a few canadas, but they were overwhelmed by the others and went unnoticed by drivers. We saw many eagles- more than twenty -the majority of which were juvinals.
It was 4:45 and the sun was low when we came to the 1/2 way point shortcut. We knew the refuge would close at five and didnt want to rush through the remaining five miles. We took the road - past the eagles nest and into duck country. We found a handful of N.shovelers, a few grebes and a coot. In the distance, a lage eagle continually swooped the larger goups of ducks and the horizon glittered with the light that was reflected off their underwings.
It was gorgeous, and the sunset was the sugar on top! I cant wait to visit it next weekend during eagle days!
Friday, November 23, 2007
After returning from lone jack, I accompanied my mother for a walk along the Missouri River. We strolled over a mile of sandbar- there were no winds, and the surface of the river was glass aside from the occasional fish jumping. It was peaceful and serene, and the sounds of the birds and the river set the mood.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
COMET HOLMES in between clouds. As of the 18th the comet is fading. - I could hardly get it here with my 300mm lens!
Geese- snow, blue, canada, and white-fronted flocked and swarmed areas of the NWR.
Ducks like mallards, pintails, gadwall,teal and shovelers were also common- I saw others too-wood ducks, ruddy ducks and widgeons.
The hawks were numerous and eagles were present. I found herons and pelicans. Monday's warm weather summoned hoards of reptiles and amphibians.
A heron snatches a bluegill from squaw creek NWR- a piedbilled grebe disappeared while i was watching him, and reappeared with a frog. Of all the places to grab it!
The Bullfrog was glaring at me- you would have been scared too!
Other critters also enjoyed the warm weather- muskrats and beavers were very active.
A JUVI BALD EAGLE was the only eagle I was able to take a pic of- He was on a beaver mound about 100 ft out when I drove by. I quickly stopped- eager to watch him. He lifted, dropping his meal, and flew at me. He flew about 10 ft above the truck- about 20 behind me.
I wondered past the "do not pass" sign on the side of the road by foot- I got this photo at about 4pm. I think its my favorite from the trip. (right)
MALLARDS and PINTAIL
For both of these photos, I changed contrast, brightness and midtones with office photo to enhance colors and shadows.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Today was cloudy, cool and windy. There were periods of sunshine, and those without wind- but by 10am, the day was lost to the poor weather.Today I hoped to get my first quail and maybe a duck while I was at the lake. i loaded a few rounds of steel #4 shot into the gun.
I circled the lake, and found nothing in the wooded portion of the property. The nieghbor has re-marked the property line with violet painted trees and fence posts. Once I got to the first clearing, and frequently from there on, I found a dead deer. The first was a large buck. his hind end was smashed- hit by a car? Many skeletons of deer, turkey and small game lay beneath the trees where they were killed days, weeks and years before.
I continued through the thickets of the far end of the area, and burst out onto the field of indian grass. A small, yellow and red-lookin sparrow welcomed me to the stand. Maybe a le conte's?
Cardinals and juncos swarmed the woodland edge.
In the grass, where I was hoping to flush those quail for a shot, I found this guy. My best guess is a song sparrow. A flock of goldfinch were nearby. no quail
Here, edible oyster mushrooms which are often inhabited by small black or black and red beetles scale a dead tree. I picked a bunch, stashed them in my bag and continued.
A bit further, while crossing a stream I found a handful of cricket and bull frogs. He posed for a picture where i found him and then left him
I walked. All of the sudden a squirrel poped up. This was no dilema-I mounted my gun. Within a split second, the smaller covey of quail erupted from a few feet away. five birds I counted.
I usually hear the quail in the leaves before I get so close- but this time the wind blinded me. Now I was in a dilema. Quail or Squirrel; camera or shotgun? I safetied my gun and took a second to hand my camera and pack on a tree limb next to me. I was about 20ft from the thick stand of trees where the squirrel had startled me, and was facing into the woods-where the quail had flushed to. I creeped up on the tree where i saw the squirrel- no squirrel. I continued in the direction where the quail appeared to have flown, with my gun ready. I found nothing for a long time, and then a single bird flushed from beneath me. he quickly dove behind a stand of trees and continued flying out of sight before i could get my shot off. I kept my gun aimed, and then he appeared. I disengauged the safety and pulled the trigger-
The quail burst into a flurry of feathers; I knew he had been shot. I went to where the feathers were still floating in the air- and spotted my bird- he was running behind a tree.
I had shot at him with a 3" #4 round- much too large for a tiny bird.I was lucky toi have hit him.I put my gun on saftey and chased him. the poor guy ran into a raspberry thicket. I continued after him until he stopped. I couldnt reach him, so I mounted my gun. He was only 3 ft away from the end of my barrel. I knew that if I pulled the trigger, there would be nothing left of the little thing- I continued to chase him until I had become so entangled and cut by the thorns and briars-- -I lost site and gave up.
On my way out I flushed a woodcock. I hadnt seen one in two years!?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Kansas City Wildlands minor park honeysuckle removal workday. the group, a large number of 'campfire leaders', arrived at 7am this morn. by 10am, they had removed enough bush honeysuckle to create a pile 80'x20'x10'high. The group had a significant impact on the park.
It was cloudy, warm and humid today. Not too typical of November, but Im not complaining. It was nice to work in. The river is up; many gravelbars are now islands, and are not accessable by foot. The water was clear, dark and still; the reflections would have only been better if the colors were there.