Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We Are Not The First

Unfortunately, the temperature Wednesday morning was warmer than predicted and the skies were mostly cloudy, trending towards totally cloudy. That was not a good omen as I met Ken Proulx in the parking lot. Ken is another talented photographer, that periodically visits Great Meadows.

After yesterday's eagle visit we were hoping for continued freezing overnight pushing the birds closer to our cameras on shore. Unfortunately, the reduced light made photography more challenging. I played around with using my flash with as many failures as successes.

It was a cool, gray, quiet, almost boring morning. While walking along the upper impoundment near the poison ivy bench we saw coots running out of the reeds, collecting into a tight group. When they exhibit this sort of behavior, you start looking for the threat. Soon we spotted it. The eagle was content to make a fly-by pass, deciding that there was too much water and hunting coots would be too much work. Almost as quickly as they came together, they started attacking each other, and ran away to disburse.


Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;
A group of coots has many collective nouns, including a "codgery", "commotion", "fleet", "shoal", and "swarm" of coots. When we first saw them, this was definitely a commotion.

It was fun photographing with Ken. He has great eyes.   I hear most birds long before I see them. While wandering around he spotted this Brown Creeper. They are tiny, camouflaged to look like the trees. They are similar to the nuthatch, except for the fact that nuthatches general walk down the tree trunk, brown creepers climb up!
Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;
Sorry Alan, he was just poking beneath the bark, no signs of a nest.

There was a small flock of Goldeneye ducks in the upper impoundment. Thankfully one got within camera range and parallel to shore to show their distinguishing characteristic.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;


I always think of woodpeckers on trees, so I find is humorous when you encounter them on the cat tail reeds. The Downy Woodpecker was just doing was woodpecker do, looking for bugs.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;
An unusual viewpoint of the Downy Woodpecker

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;
A more typical pose


After finishing our photography of animals I decided to go check out the stone foundation that's back in the woods. It is a reminder that long before we started coming here, other people had tamed the area, erected buildings, which have long since disappeared except for some tell tale signs like a foundation, some bricks, and a bit of mortar.

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: gm20111214 &emdash;

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