Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as well birthdays to Crazy Steve, Chitaroni and other people probably. Snapped a few photos of Kyle and Steve over the Holidays while observing at Taz. But let's get to the goods, what I am really excited about.
While my goods friends were visiting, I stumbled across a snowy owl landing on my garage right in front of me. I snuck into the house and even removed my keys and change so I could be stealthy with the camera. He was gone when I returned 10 seconds later though. Fast forward to Christmas day - while driving on the highway, I see him (or well, another owl at least) perched in a tree but I don't have the camera. Of course. Then yesterday while on the way back from my sister's on the backroads I spot him with Brenna perched on a fence post near the road. I have the camera but the sun has just set. I snap a photo that would have been worthy had I not found him today. So today I returned to the fence post area to see if he is around. I don't see him, but I see a large dark animal feeding on a carcass in the same field. It's far away and figure it might be a fox or a coyote picking up scraps. I ignore it and turn back, but as I pass the "animal" a second time I notice a distinct white head. I have sharp eyes, but they are not what they used to be. I can't tell what it is, my gut says bald eagle but my brain says no way not out here. I use the camera zoomed to the max and shoot a photo, then I zoom in on that blurred subject. Sure enough it is a massive bald eagle feeding on what appears to be a downed vulture, raven, or maybe a game bird. The photos of the eagle are cropped and attempted to be sharpened a bit. Thank goodness for my versatile 18-270 tamron lens! Excellent walk-around lens for stuff like this. A Raven actually comes in to feed and shoes the eagle away. I spot him flying away, snap a few photos in the distance and then race in my car to catch upto him. As soon as I got closer I snapped a few more, but his path of flight was where no car can go and all I could do was watch him fly away in awe. This is the third bald eagle I have seen (Florida and Pennsylvania) but I don't think I was happier for the others than this sighting. Right in my backyard! I had to hit crappy tire, so I made sure to take the long route along the highway since I was doing well for bird spotting. I knew I would likely see a hawk or two, and maybe the owl. Well sure enough I found the snowy owl. I had to exit further and turn back in the opposite direction. I snapped a few and scared him off in the wrong direction. So yes, I reversed down the 417 and got closer for some even better shots! And you know what? What I bought at crappy tire was on sale too! Wow what a day. Make sure to check out the birds down below. It's pretty well known I love animals. But I just really get into these predatory animals, there is something so neat about them. They really are at the top of their food chain it seems and it's really exciting to see these rare (to me at least) animals doing well in the area.
Have a safe New Year.