Thursday, December 6, 2012

Taking the Morning Off

I certainly know how to pick my days to visit the refuge.  This week it has been milder than normal, but I was busy with projects around the house.   Finally, I felt I deserved some time off as a reward.  That's why I ended up visiting the refuge the morning the temperature had dropped into the 20's.  Ugh!  Many of the creatures were hunkered down some place warm, or out of the wind.

There were several swans that alternated between the two impoundments.  I am not a big fan, but you have to admit they are beautiful.  Their initial takeoff has all the style and grace of watching a bus try to fly.  Once they are airborne they are impressive.  With their wide wing span, they make powerful and forceful beats of their wings.  When they fly over your head it sounds like their joints are arthritic and creaking.

Light Chronicle: GM20121206

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At first this one didn't look like it would gain enough altitude to clear my tripod as it headed towards me.

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 Unlike Joe McNally's photo of Brandon Wight we didn't have to order theses wings from Mother Plucker

As always there were the ubiquitous geese. Today we just weren't clicking on timing and setup. I did catch these two as they started their take-off "roll". Kind of looks like a foot race.

Light Chronicle: GM20121206

It was so quiet and clod that I was starting to question my wisdom of circling the lower impoundment. Towards the far end, I was rewarded with some great views of a Red-tailed Hawk hunting.

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The sun shining off the tail demonstrates that they are aptly named

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Puffed up to trap all the warmth it was generating, it reminds me of those puffy down jackets that were popular back in the 70's

Light Chronicle: GM20121206
Finally it saw and captured its next meal. Unfortunately there was asmall branch in the way, so I had to do a little Photoshop reconstructive surgery on the limb.