Snowy Owl

One of the items on my Long Island “bird”  bucket list was to see a snowy owl, a friend of mine has seen one for the past few winters and I was hoping to be as lucky.  WELL  today was my lucky day.   Headed down to the Hamptons area early on this cold but promised to be a sunny day.  I have been to this beach during the summer, but my first trip in the dead of winter…looks very different.  My hope was to find a snowy owl but was happy to be out and see what I could find.   First sighting was a sandbar filled with seals… not very good shots as they were in the distance quite a ways….

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Then I as I was scouring the landscape there was a brightish something that just didn’t seem right….so sure enough as I got closer and looked through the 300 mm lens there she was!  I was so thrilled!  Took a few shots, walked closer, took a few shots walked closer  🙂  you photographers know the drill, have to capture an image even if it is only a record shot and hopefully eventually get that great shot!!

 

Snowy Owl

Immature female, Long Island NY

 

Well did get some good shots, but I think between the extender and the fact that I was so cold I was probably shaking the camera they are not as clear as i would have liked…but happy to have captured this pretty immature female Snowy Owl!

Snowy Owl

Immature female, Long Island NY

 

Kempf Preserve at Wading River

Today was my first adventure out from my yard with the camera.  I spend Friday night searching possible places, I had originally wanted to go to the south shore /ocean but the weather was saying clouds so I stuck close to home. Edward and Dororthy Kempf Preserve at Wading Rivier is where I finally ended up, a short 5 min drive from the house.  Very peaceful place indeed.   I didn’t capture many photos as the canopy is quite full and not good light for shooting, but saw and heard quite a selection of wildlife.  The usual songbirds, some wild turkeys, deer, chipmunks, a few heron’s and if I am not mistaken I also heard a kingfisher.

So now that I am back on Long Island I don’t have to worry about running into feral hogs, or snakes HOWEVER, there is a “predator” here. My BFF warned me to wear long sleeves, long pants, and spray with bug spray.  I did follow her advise and assumed I would be OK….shortly after leaving the preserve I starting itching and feeling like I was getting bitten…figured I had just rubbed up against some bush that irritated my skin…no such luck.  I finally pulled my pants leg up and horrors……ticks, itty bitty , way too many ticks all over my legs.   I mean no bigger then the head of a pin,  if they hadn’t moved I never would have seen them.  YUCK!   showered and scrubbed and washed everything I was wearing in hot water.   Felt much better, but I won’t be visiting any treed areas again until after the first frost…that’s fine I’ll stick to the beaches  🙂

Here are the only two photos worth posting from this morning’s walk.  An immature Cooper’s hawk that was carrying on like a spoiled little boy 🙂   And there were plenty of deer along the trail, caught one before he saw me and took off.

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

 

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

Quogue Wildlife Refuge

It’s been months since I’ve had any “me” time…work, a wedding, commitments, fundraising etc….I’m finally able to have some  time to do what I am passionate about…photography.  I had my annual summer visit to NY last August and yes I am just now able to start looking at the photo’s I took 4 months ago.  My thoughtful DIL Noelle made it a point to set some time aside to take me to Quogue Wildlife Refuge,  a 300 acre non-profit nature preserve that was founded in 1934 and is home to diverse wildlife. The outdoor wildlife complex houses permanently injured wildlife that require human care to survive including a bobcat, owls, falcons, a bald eagle, foxes and other native NY animals.   This beautiful bald eagle arrived at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in 1988, making him over 30 years old.  Unfortunately a gunshot wound resulted in the amputation of his left wing, leaving him unable to fly.

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Correction…

A few posts ago I showed a hawk that was outside my kitchen window, I mistakenly identified it as a Red-Tailed Hawk….ooops.  Well my visitor came by again yesterday and I was able to get a full body shot.  He is in fact a Coopers Hawk.  They are much smaller than the Red-Tail.  It’s been cold here in DFW area so I guess he is having trouble finding food, everything is iced over.  As long as he leaves my little birds alone I guess I don’t mind his visits  🙂

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk juvenile

Look who came to visit me today.  He was sitting on the fence by my bird feeders, obviously all my little birds were no where to be found.  I was going to go outside and chase him away, but had a grab a few shots through the kitchen window first 🙂  He apparently got tired of posing and flew off on his own.    I see I need to clean my windows again!Red-Tailed Hawk

 

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