It has been foggy for the past couple of weeks, when I woke up this morning and looked out of the window; the fog was in and visibility was less than 50 feet, I couldn’t see the road from the house. I returned to bed, it may clear by noon. There have been afternoons that were clear this was one of them and I went outside; I actually got some good pictures.
I have seen these Greater Scaups in the slough but was unable to identify them, of course I assumed they were Mud-hens. When I looked through my binoculars I started taking pictures of them. I like how his golden eye stands out against the dark plumage. I honestly didn’t know what species they were on sight, I had to dig through the bird ID books; again.
There are two in the species the Greater and Lesser Scaups, they are nearly identical in appearance; however the lesser is smaller ( there are times names make sense). They are fast flyers as the flock of four individuals makes daily runs from one bend in the river to another. It makes me wonder what makes these birds fly from one spot to another just to continue on with what they were doing where they took off from. The Scaups aren’t too bad about that but those cagey Cormorants cannot stay in one spot longer than a few minutes; they are always in the air.
Then there is this Hawk, he flies from the far side of the slough right towards me between 11:30am and 1:00. He doesn’t do it every day but about 4 times a week he takes the same air route. I decided this morning I would be set up waiting for him, and I was. However when the big moment came I was watching a Sea Gull on the pylons goofing off. I raised my head nearly too late and was able to take a few images of him. Had I not been watching that Sea Gull and kept my eyes glued to the horizon I would have gotten the photo I’ve been waiting for. Well there’s always tomorrow.
I was able to take this picture during my monthly ride down to the roads end by the marina. I ride my scooter there a couple of times a month, the road is tricky and an old guy on a mobility scooter needs to be alert. This Hawk is the female of the two, she is a large bird almost twice the size of the male above. I came across her several times on that one mile stretch, I missed a few and got a few. I am able to see their nest in a large tree across the road and far into the pasture beyond.
She is a magnificent bird I like this shot of her against the deep blue sky perching on an old abandoned utility pole. Last year I wrote in a blog I wasn’t taking any more pictures of Hawks on utility poles, well I have to crawdad on that. I will change it to no poles with insulators on the cross arms.
In a short while the critters will begin the mating season the best show in the world to watch. The Sea Gulls are already starting to develop their pecking order by fighting over the pylon. I see groups of three Geese or Ducks which may mean two males and they are a bit confused perhaps. The Otters are soon to out and about; in short order they will be tossing last years kids out to fend for themselves. It’s going to be a great show.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance