Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going to the birds....

I admit, I love birds and this winter was especially exciting with the Snowy Owl Irruption. When I travelled to Chincoteague last December to photograph Snow Geese I first heard about this phenomenon and hoped that I would be blessed to spot one. I have never seen an owl in the wild other than the burrowing owls in the west, so it was a true blessing when literally the next weekend as I was travelling north I had an up close experience with one at Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge! In addition I was able to see some Snowy Owls at our local landfill in Broome County, NY.
 Over the winter lots of great Snowy Owl images were shared online from all over the east coast and really sparked my interest in bird photography. I follow many excellent and informative bird pages on Facebook that share images and information and also help educate on migration and behavior. Facebook and the internet is a great way to connect and learn and I welcome you to subscribe to my bird list if you are interested.
 Speaking of bird behavior, we have many bald eagles living right here in the western Catskills of New York. Mainly they can be found around the reservoirs where fishing is good. I see them almost on a daily basis but never have I been so delighted as the day in late winter when I found a pair playing and tumbling in the sky. What a treat for me to see this! The eagles can often be seen out on the ice during the winter and it is wonderful to see them soaring effortlessly on the thermals.
Recently I took a trip south to Maryland to the Conowingo Dam, the second largest Dam in the US and known for it's Bald Eagle population. Here the Susquehanna River empties into the Chesapeake Bay watershed and powers much of Philadelphia. We were treated to lots of bird life here but the best was watching the Osprey busily building their nest.
 On our way back north we stopped at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management area in Pennsylvania, a lovely, peaceful spot known for it's Snow Goose visitors. While there was only a small flock of Snow Geese still left in the area we were also treated to Tundra Swans, ducks of many varieties, tree swallows and even a lovely little bluebird. This is a spot I will be returning to again! I hope you enjoy these photographs and promise I will be getting back to the horses soon!