So the walks this weekend were polar opposites of each other—Saturday was totally foggy, and Sunday was sunny without a cloud in sight. Therefore the pictures for the weekend are going to somewhat showcase the difference between a sunny day and a totally foggy day.
So the above picture was taken on Saturday, and I was actually surprised that I managed to see the heron through the fog sitting in the tree. Luckily I’ve been watching them enough that I knew where to look.
Then basically the same location on Sunday, and either the same blue heron or another one was sitting in the tree deciding on when to go hunt for breakfast.
Then I managed to get a picture of an egret back in the creek area of the lake. This is one area that I want to explore a little more–but I need to get some hiking boots first, plus some decent pants as well (summer isn’t the time to be in the woods with shorts on).
So there is this one egret that I always see under this tree on the creek side, come fog or sunny weather.
So even slightly unpleasant weather can lead to interesting pictures, especially when you can do an comparison shot within a few days afterwards. I probably could have tried to go back out Saturday afternoon and see what photographs I could have gotten–but these are roughly the same time but one on Saturday and the other on Sunday.
Something new to aim for–getting certain photographs in certain areas at roughly the same time each day (or each week) and then compare them to each other………..
The winners of today’s photography challenge are the birds. Since today was a holiday (no work, :-)) that meant I had the time to go for another zen walk around Boomer Lake this morning. I managed to get several pictures that I will be sharing this week (in addition to other pictures I managed to get over the weekend).
But today’s picture is of a couple of egrets, some ducks, and a heron (it almost makes me want to think of a bad, corny joke—but I’m currently too tired to do so). Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting the two in the background (the second egret and great blue heron), as I was focused more on the egret and ducks in the foreground.
As migration season kicks off, the limbs of the different submerged trees become prime spots to both fish from, and just generally sit on—so they’re usually always have something sitting on them—be it egret, heron, or cormorant (and sometimes the terns and gulls).
Currently the cormorants haven’t started migrating though (they should be here within probably two months or so—just as the egrets move further south), so the limbs will be having either egrets or herons sitting on them.
I’m going to have to start keeping a tally record and see who sits on the various branches and logs the most during my walks–the great blue herons or the common egret.
For today–I’d have the say the egrets were on four branches/logs and the herons were on two branches/logs.
Well the winner of yesterday’s photography challenge is the great blue heron (I thought I had posted it before shutting the computer down–my bad). These guys are regulars up at Boomer Lake, and I consider it a good day if I manage to see at least two of them on my walk (even if it is a short one).
This one seemed to be acting as king of the mountain yesterday morning (and wasn’t happy with the hawk flying past).
Usually when one thinks of great blue herons–it is where they’re wading through the water hunting their prey, not sitting on top of dead trees overlooking the little cove.
I’m not exactly sure what this one was either looking at or watching for, especially since it wasn’t looking down towards the water.
Then on my return walk, I noticed that it was still on it’s perch–but it was starting to groom it’s feathers….
This is one of the few pictures I’ve managed to get of blue herons grooming themselves where they’re looking upside at me.
Hopefully the temperatures and/or the humidity will slowly start dropping in the coming weeks and I can get back to doing a walk at Boomer Lake on the weekends in the morning. I’m interested to see what birds I might be able to see passing through on their migration to warmer climates in the south.
One other goal for the coming year(s) will be that during any travel, I have to try to get at least one picture of an animal (and preferably not counting visiting zoos or aquariums) on a walk or hike.
So today’s post is going to be on the short side–mainly due to the fact that it is a Monday, and it took me a little longer than I thought it would in choosing today’s picture series.
So on my walk yesterday I managed to get several pictures of this heron fishing for it’s lunch. I really liked the result of this picture, where you see the water actually splashing up as it goes under water to grab it’s meal. This was after it had already caught and eaten one fish.
So I was able to quickly snap a picture of the heron coming up with the fish caught in its beak.
Then I managed to snap the picture of it swallowing the fish–though it popped it in quicker than I could get the picture–but you can see it’s throat slightly bulging from where the fish is sliding down to it’s stomach.
By the time I got around to the other side, to where I could try to observe without scaring it off, that is when I managed to get the picture at the top. I was a little too far off to notice if it actually had caught the fish or not (and if it did–it quickly swallowed it).
Hopefully over the course of the summer, I may actually be able to get a photo series of it fishing from start to finish.
Today’s post is going to be short. So who would have thought that even great blue herons like to sit and roost in trees?
I had accidentally startled this one, and it flew to this tree and stood there watching me turn around and leave (after apologizing). I’m sure that it flew back down to continue fishing after I left.
But great blue herons actually do make their nests up in the trees–I’d always thought that they would nest closer to the water, but they don’t nest closer to the water. They’re fishing birds and they still have to protect the young, so it’s nesting in the trees they go.
So today’s photos all have a central theme–birds flying overhead or flying away. It is a challenge to get a good picture of a bird as they’re taking off or landing on the water or a songbird flying between different bushes. Though this is one challenge I’m willing to accept–getting a good picture of a bird in flight (or possibly taking off or landing).
Since cormorants haven’t left town yet, I’ve managed to get several pictures of them in flight, taking off, and landing in the water. Now that I’ve seen where they roost, I know better than to make the assumption that any large low-swimming bird is automatically a loon (which is what I did when I first saw them on the water).
So here was one that was flying low over the lake, but around the little island in the middle of the lake. This is where they had found a tree to roost in (the geese were “nice” to share their island with the migrating cormorants).
I have enough pictures of the great blue heron that I’m probably going to dedicated an photography page to this beautiful animal. Since there are at least four herons at the lake, I have pictures of them hunting, standing, and in flight (as I’ve accidentally rousted them from their stations several times during my walks).
So the shovelers decided that they didn’t want their photos to be taken (or they decided to leave before the storms really came through).
One bird that this back for a good six months or so–is the turkey vulture. With living close to the lake, we usually always see at least one of them circling in the sky daily. Hopefully this summer I can get a closer picture of one.
One goal is to see how many different birds I can get pictures of–both perching somewhere and then in flight. With the migration season upon us again–there are numerous different bird species coming through and I’m thinking that a cool afternoon is the perfect time to walk around the lake again and explore to see what birds and other critters I can get pictures of.
So today’s photos are from my afternoon walk at Boomer Lake. Since we’re going to be coming into spring, I should hopefully be getting back into the routine of doing a small walk in the mornings (mainly to catch the sunrise) on the weekends. Right now it’s still a little too chilly and I’d rather drink a nice hot cup of coffee and watch the sunrise.
Today was a perfect late winter/early spring day—mainly sunny with a few clouds and not that much of a breeze, with the temperatures in the mid fifties.
Since it was only partly cloudy–the clouds were more wispy today. Though there were some of the more fatter clouds, but I was more in the mood to take pictures of the wispy clouds. If I had to guess the type of cloud, I would have to go with the cirrus clouds, since it does look a little like a horse’s tail.
One thing I’ve noticed with doing a walk at any other time other than dawn, the odds of seeing a great blue heron is usually pretty slim. I know in part its due to their hunting (they do change locations during the day), but also it is due to the amount of traffic at the lake–when it is really crowded I don’t see any, when it is moderately crowded I may see one or two (like I did today–though I think it was the same one that I saw twice).
There were also numerous turtles out sunning themselves on the different branches throughout the park. I managed to get pictures of at least four different groups of turtles as I walked around the lake (I do know that later in the day is better timing to see the reptiles and amphibians at the lake). I’m still hoping that at some point this year that I can see the beaver(s) at the lake–you can tell that they are around, but so far I haven’t seen them.
There are also red-wing blackbirds coming back into the area. The robins are migrating through, and I think the double-crested cormorants are also migrating back through as well. The gulls and terns are gathering as well to head back towards their summer habitats. I’m hoping this spring to get a picture of the white pelicans as they make a brief stopover at Boomer Lake.
So it was another cloudy morning during my walk at Boomer Lake, though I can’t complain about the temperatures (it was in the fifties). Since the temperatures have been up and down for the quite awhile, it doesn’t seem that there as many birds up at the lake, compared to early last month.
But of course I’m not going all the way around the lake, so there could be more birds on the other side of the lake (also there are little coves that are harder to get to, and there are probably numerous birds in those locations).
This morning, while there weren’t numerous birds at the lake I did manage to see three different great blue herons. I saw the first one at the beginning of the walk, and then I saw two basically back to back close to the first little bridge. This one was standing under a tree among the roots and other brush looking for small fish (or other small critters) for breakfast. The third one was actually walking up from the lake and I did manage to capture a picture or two of it taking flight and flying off.
I am going to continue doing my weekend walks, but probably only in nice to slightly warm weather (mainly because cold weather makes it difficult due to cold weather fogging up my glasses–which makes it difficult to see what I’m trying to take a picture of; and then thick gloves makes it difficult to actually focus and get the good photograph). Cold weather photography is something I’m going to work towards, but it may not be this coming week.
So today was the first weekend in quite a few weeks that I was able to get up to Boomer Lake for my weekend morning walk. The past three weekends, it was either way to cold and chilly (temps in either the twenties or teens, with wind chills even lower), or it was raining/sleeting and I don’t enjoy walking in those types of weather conditions. Though I know I probably could have gotten some good pictures, but oh well. Maybe by next year I’ll work up the fortitude to be out and about in less than ideal weather conditions for doing nature photography.
So this morning, was a dreary, cloudy morning and not that many birds were actually out and about. There were the usual Canadian geese and mallards, but not that many other birds. That was why I was very happy to spot this guy/gal on my way back home. I’d just looked over towards the lake and noticed it’s beak.
The great blue heron won today’s award for best at hide & seek (though I know it wasn’t aware that the game was being played). I’ve noticed that these birds are great at blending in with the brush at the edge of the lake, and if you aren’t careful you can scare them out of their hunting grounds (if there is tall grass next to the walking path–been there and done that several times this winter).
These tall majestic birds are actually the most common heron to be seen in the United States. I’ve actually seen them catch and eat fish a few times on the walk, though I was amazed to also learn that they will catch and eat mice and other insects as well as fish.
I wonder if I will be able to get a picture of a young great blue heron this coming spring/summer? New goal……..