Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sand Hill Cranes, Continued

We made our normal Sunday morning trip to Circle Bar B Reserve this weekend to check on the Sand Hill Crane Colts and the Barred Owl chick.   I'll save the Barred Owl for a separate post and provide an update on the Cranes here.   The Colts are now about ten days old and are able to follow the parents pretty much anywhere.  They are often seen up on the pathways around the Reserve and are not at all shy around people.  After spending four hours waiting on the owls we were leaving and found the Cranes on the path as we were leaving.  As they were walking toward us I sat along the edge of the trail and got the following pictures as they walked to me.  They passed right by as if I wasn't there.  The photos are a little "harsh" in the noon sun, but they are still cute.

After passing by they left the trail into high grass.  Here is one last photo before they disappear in the marsh.

As I mentioned above we waited for four hours for one of the adult owls to return to the nest for feeding but it never happened.  We did get a few photos of the chick peeking out of the nest and a picture of dad in a tree nearby.  My next post will be on the Barred Owls.

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sand Hill Cranes at Circle Bar B

We've been watching a nest of Sand Hill Cranes for a month now and Friday we finally saw the two new "colts".  We were told one hatched overnight Wednesday night and the second Thursday night.  Mom was still on the nest and the two colts peeked through the feathers and climbed on mom's back.  Here are my four favorite pictures (took several hundred) from Friday morning.

I will be following these little guys over the next few weeks.  It is amazing how quickly they grow.  I'm also watching a Barred Owl nest and was able to confirm today that there is at least one baby in the nest.

For best viewing visit the blog and "click" on a picture to enlarge.

Thanks for visiting.  David

Monday, March 12, 2012

Circle Bar B Reserve

Visited the Circle Bar B Reserve this weekend.  We didn't get many photos but are excited about what the next several weeks will bring.  We located nests for sand hill crane, barred owl, red shouldered hawk, blue heron and a limpkin.  All of these nests are viewable from trails in the Reserve.  We could see movement in one of the heron nests but too early for pictures.  We did come across this raccoon along the water's edge.

Oh, I forgot to mention this red-bellied woodpecker preparing a nest.

This red shouldered hawk kept a watchful eye on us as we passed below him.

This mother barred owl gave us a peek once in a while but stayed firmly on the nest.  We've seen owls on this nest for several years now.  Can't wait to see little owls.

As always, thanks for visiting my blog.  If anyone is interested in an introductory tour of the Reserve you can email me at this address.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yellowstone National Park

Last week was Yellowstone's birthday.  At 140 years old it was our first national park.  As most of you know I'll be returning to Yellowstone this summer, again working at the Lake Hotel Front Desk.  I'm looking forward to another summer with old friends, making new friends and of course capturing the beauty of Yellowstone in pictures.  As I begin to plan my trip I wanted to post a few of my favorite pictures from previous summers.

Of course the Bison is the iconic symbol of Yellowstone.  Spring time brings the birth of new "little red dogs".

and this new Mule Deer fawn.

As the snow begins to melt the bears emerge from hibernation.

Days off from the hotel often mean a trip down to Teton Nat'l Park to hike and look for Moose.

And last the lower falls of the Yellowstone River.  On a bright sunny day you may be lucky and see a rainbow in the mist of the falls.

I'll be back out to Circle B this weekend and hopefully find several new Sand Hill Crane Colts that should hatch any day now.

Thanks for visiting,  David

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Great Egret

This week we visited the Alligator Farm at St. Augustine, FL.  With us were friends from working in Yellowstone; Larry & Sue and Marie.  Marie was vacationing at Ferandina Beach and invited us to stay for a few days.  It was a fun Yellowstone reunion.  Our primary goal was to photograph the birds of the famous rookery there.  It is still a little too early to see chicks but the Great Egrets put on a great show for us.  We also saw Spoonbills, Snowy Egret, Wood Stork, and Black-Crowned Night Heron. Below are several photos of the Great Egrets.

Building a nest

Looking for a companion

Little Egrets and Spoonbills should be making an appearance in late March, early April.  Remember you can enlarge the picture by "clicking" on it.

Thanks for visiting, David