Monthly Archives: December 2014

December 13, 2014

To Hanna Park again where this time I remembered all of my gear.  But at the end of our first lap on the South Loop, the flange on my rear hub broke and five spokes sprang free.  So another extended bird watching session for me.  Most of the birds from last week were there, plus a Belted Kingfisher, a paddling of Ruddy Ducks, and the Green Heron below.  The Green Heron was a cool character, moving very, very slowly, and then striking for a small fish.  Occasionally it cast an accusing yellow eye at me, and I ended up moving along before it did.

HUM_2969

Green Heron

HUM_2985

Green Heron

December 10, 2014

This afternoon at Nathan Krestul Park I spotted an Osprey enjoying a meal.   Also saw an extremely skittish Northern Flicker who bailed from the top of a very tall tree in the middle of the creek the instant it saw me–way down below in a flooded field–sloshing toward the water’s edge.  It was very high tide, the highest yet I’d seen the creek.  A couple of weeks ago, after cleaning my tennis shoes for the umpteenth time,  I invested in a pair of duck shoes, which I keep in the van.  These days when I arrive at Nathan Krestul Park on the way home, the routine is to exchange my work shoes for the duck shoes, loop the camera around my neck, lock the van, and stuff the keys in a pocket.  I’ve also learned not to chance sandals for inevitably on any dry patches of the field, an ant or two will bite my feet.

And as I was typing just now (I’m now at the kitchen table), a hermit thrush took a bath in the bubbler.  Sunset is in just a few minutes, so no picture.

HUM_2905

Osprey

December 9, 2014

Today I arrived at Nathan Krestul Park at the same time as a woman with a well-fed vizsla.  Both of us saw the Great Blue Heron standing at the water’s edge, and we both gave it a wide berth.  When we left, the Great Blue Heron was still standing at the water’s edge.

HUM_2869

Great Blue Heron

 

December 6, 2014

Back to Hanna Park this morning to ride our mountain bikes and take pictures of birds.  For biking, I remembered my heart rate monitor, shoes, socks, riding glasses, gloves, and a hat to hide helmet hair afterwards.  But no jersey?  Hmm, doable in a T-shirt.  No riding shorts?!  Maybe possible for one South Loop lap.  No helmet?!?  Dealbreaker.  So no mountain biking for me.  While my better half went riding, I strolled around the lake with my camera.  Saw dozens of Turkey Vultures, one Black Vulture, two Brown Pelicans, a dozen Double-crested Cormorants, dozens of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, several Anhingas, several American Coots, two Common Gallinules, one Palm Warbler, one Common Yellowthroat, one Wood Stork, one Red-bellied Woodpecker, two Great Egrets, one White Ibis, one Osprey, one Red-Shouldered Hawk, and one Great Blue Heron. Best shots turned out to be a pair of vultures.

HUM_2806

Black Vulture

HUM_2834

Turkey Vulture

 

December 2, 2014

Such beautiful days!  Stopped by Nathan Krestul Park on the way home from work.  An Osprey was sitting at the top of a dead tree with a great view of the water, so I staked out a spot and waited for the Osprey to dive, whereupon I would take a Spectacular Shot.  While I was waiting, a Belted Kingfisher showed up on the far side of the creek and made five dives, scoring several mouthfuls of fish.  A Pied-billed Grebe surfaced maybe fifteen feet from me.  Several fish jumped, making big splashes.  A second Osprey showed up and wheeled overhead before flying off.  After half an hour, the Osprey flew to a higher vantage point and I packed up and went home.

HUM_2654

Osprey

HUM_2633

Pied-billed Grebe

And for my sister, who prefers multiple birds in each picture:

HUM_2676

Belted Kingfisher on Another Successful Dive and the Osprey that Did Not Dive