Today was a gift... a day of warmth and no rain after predictions of all day dampness. It's always a gift when friends from the coast join me for a day of local birding. To have a good weather day this time of year, and plenty of good birds, makes an even more memorable gift. The only thing lacking was decent photos from me. However, I've decided to consider these photos impressionist paintings, rather than "bird photos".
Our first stop found White Wing, the impossibly beautiful Red-tailed Hawk with white wings that has hunted for many years near the Nazarene Church in Grand Ronde. Today he was bright in the unexpected late October sunshine.
I did not even try for photos at Shenk Wetlands, where we found two very distant White-tailed Kites. I tried, however, for a photo of a light phase, juvenile Rough-legged Hawk, one of several at what we have come to call Carol and Paul's Raptor Field. Paul and Carol discovered dozens of raptors hanging out in this sheep field some weeks ago and raptors are still there, running along catching somethings in the grass. The view is a long one and so the photos blurred... or impressionistic.
At McKee road pond by Amity, the shorebirds that have been there not long ago are gone now, with the rising water. But we found these two Western Bluebirds, their soft colors blending with the autumn scene.
Another Rough-leg hovered in front of us on Farmer Rd., near Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge (although you couldn't prove its identity with this photo).
At The Narrows on Coville Rd. in Baskett Slough, a Glaucous-winged Gull posed.
All the rest of the birds at The Narrows became Impressionist photo paintings in my hands... published here just so I can look back and remember the gift of this day.
A real photographer stopped by to see what we were looking at. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the huge lens hanging out his driver side window. You can bet his photos are in focus.
We headed homeward then, passing carpets of Canada Geese and Cacklers that winter on this refuge.
It's pouring rain again tonight. But today was warm and dry and lovely, an October gift.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
One of our fledgling Barn Owls spent the day in a dead tree right outside the barn. Crows dived at him in the morning fog, but he didn't move and they soon gave up and left him (her?) alone. As the day cleared, baby down feathers on his shoulders became obvious. He is still a very new fledgling. He never moved all day long, not through periods of rain and wind, not when the sun made his warm golden colors even more obvious, not when a family of seven with three loudly excited young children came to visit the farm animals... and admire the stoic baby owl. Not even when the sky turned pink behind him did the owl move. But as the sky darkened, his siblings still in the nest box in the barn loft began their begging calls. Then the owl slowly began to wake up, rocking back and forth gently, stopping for long minutes, then rocking again, until finally, when the sky was too dark for photos, he began preening and exercising his wings... nearly falling off the branch in the process. Then he began his begging calls in earnest. At 6:45 p.m., sky dark, he flew to the peak of the new barn.
His rocking wake-up: http://youtu.be/QA8XLp8tk6Y
His begging calls: http://youtu.be/aYfNlM7YWSw