New Life- Gosling

I went to a cemetery that has a couple of ponds. Last year the geese and ducks there had many babies. This year I only saw one so far. It had two adults guarding it like secret service protection. It made me wonder if there were other babies, but predators snatched them. Time will tell.

I was hoping to catch this one riding on a parent’s back, but no such luck. It swam across the pond behind one parent and guarded from the rear by the other.
This little one walked an swam well on its own an also was eating grass or other items in the grass.

Many find Canadian geese bothersome. However, you have to admit their young are cute. Go out an enjoy nature!

First Kayak Trip of the Year

The weather cooperated. It was time to take my first run of the year. I went to a body of water that empties into the Hudson River. Lots of men fish along it in various spots.

There is an abundance of wildlife along this body of water. Eagles from various local nests come here for sticks , mud, and grass. They also pop in for some fish. Many nests have eaglets this year and most are not quite ready to fly, so the parents use this location as there go to home supply store and supermarket.

First, I saw Great Blue Herons nesting. There were actually several herons on this creek. Some may have been stopping by or lived here. There was a nest above this nest in the same tree. There is also a pile of sticks near the bottom of this tree on the water that looks like a huge nest.

An eagle flew over me while on my way towards the river. I wish I had seen him approaching. Maybe next time. There is a nest on private land where this body of water meets the river. I had a view from my kayak and saw one eaglet and one adult. Being closer to the river I could not get a steady picture with my kayak moving around so much.

All of these photos were taken at quite a distance away with a zoom and heavily cropped.

At the end of my trip one of the fishermen came over and helped me load my kayak back onto my car. Something that is typical at this small boat launch area from what I have heard. It was a good thing. My arms were tired at the end of this trip.

Get out an enjoy nature and stay safe.

Lake Eagles

I see one of the parents perched by this lake on my way to work. On the way home I stop by sometimes to get a glimpse. It looks like this nest may have the latest born eaglets in the area. I am guessing these are less than 2 weeks old.

Proud parent on babysitting duty.
Sibling conversation
Sticking his tongue out at me or was it pleading for food?
Is that a hawk? This was the day before the other pictures when the sky was more clear.

Get out an enjoy nature! Stay safe!

Barn Quilts of Middleburgh

What are barn quilts? Barn quilts make me think of the Hex signs that the Pennsylvania Dutch painted on the sides of their barns for many years. Barn quilts seem to be a more recent take on it. Barn Quilts are square blocks that are made to represent quilt patterns. Some barn quilts are favourite family patterns. They can be placed on barns or other buildings. They are usually hand painted.

Some rural communities have barn quilt maps that you can follow. It is a draw to bring tourists in to travel the scenic country roads searching for them. I found these when passing through the main street and a few other roads of Middleburgh, NY. There were others I am sure I missed. Middleburgh is in Schoharie County in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Enjoy nature. Take a drive to a rural area and see something different along the way. It is amazing what is out there. Stay safe!

Growing Older

The owlets are growing up. One can see more colouring like that of an adult great horned owl. It is interesting to have this opportunity to view these youngsters. Get out and enjoy nature. It’s a perfect way to social distance and get exercise at the same time.

The eyes of the owlet on the left appear a little off. Is it just me?
I wonder what they were talking about.
Watching me leave.
Singing a song or pleading for food?
Sleepy mom at one point was in the tree.
A very windy day and the branches were moving about. In this photo you can see the two owlets hunkering down.

Winking Owl, Stealth Owl

I had to stop by after work. The weather has not cooperated, but I can not do anything about that. No drama today. The crows did a fly by , but did not see the parent.

It looks like one owl was winking at me. I am sure it had something in his eye though. The parent tries to be stealth around the nest. It did not work today. It has no problem being photographed away from the nest.

Yes, one seemed to be winking at me. It had one eye closed for a few shots.
The owlets are starting to get feathers it appears and I see what appears to be ears more prominently.
Parent is trying to be stealth. It did not work too well at this moment.

Get out and enjoy nature. It is the perfect socially distant activity.

Great Horned Trouble

It was another dark and dreary day, but it was not hard to find this parent in the woods. Just heard a bunch of crows loudly complaining. Did he eat their friend? The crows parked on the branches above him and around the owl. They flew close to him and dropped sticks on him/her. The owl went after one of them. I could not see what happened. Not sure if he killed it or injured it. Some left after that and when the rain started the rest of the crows left. The owl mostly looked up and away from me, but these few times it looked towards my direction, usually when a crow was flying around him from my direction.

The parent was actually not far from the nest.

These were taken from quite a distance away and were greatly cropped. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Great Horned Owlets

Some action around the nest tonight. A hawk was getting too close and was chased a few times by one of the parents. It did not seem to worry the babies. They spent their time snoozing and watching me. They are starting to look more like owls and less like aliens.

Cuddle time
Sibling love

These are taken from quite a distance away and heavily cropped. I am sure there are others with much sharper images out there. This nest is also on private land.

Great Horned Owls

Sometimes you are at the right place at the right time. I have been following this nest on private property for several weeks now. I knew there were babies as one parent was always sitting in the nest. Then today… poof ….I see one adult perched on a neighbouring branch and two babies in the nest that look quite large.

Owlet gazing at its parent.
Looking regal.
One owlet closer to me I had a better view of and one more I could just see the top of its head and eyes.
The parent had flown off at this point leaving them alone. It may have gone off to find dinner.

I kept a distance. This is one owl you need to give a lot of space to. They will attack people who get too close. I took these with a zoom lens and they are heavily cropped. Get out and enjoy nature. You never know what you find in your own backyard or a friend’s backyard.

New Year, New Life

The Eagles in New York are doing well and in fact throughout the country. Several newspapers including the NY Times reported that the American bald eagle population has quadrupled since 2009. This was based on a US Fish and Wildlife Service report. In 2009 there were about 72,000 bald eagles in the lower 48 states, while now researchers say the population is above 300,000.

Local nests are seeing new life. This week two babies hatched in one nest. Good timing for me as I had some days off this week. The weather may not have been the best, but I will take it.

Incoming! Duck! One parent bringing in a stick. You can see two wee eaglets hatched during the past week. They are the little grey heads sticking out to the right of the parent in the nest.
One parent eyeing one of the eaglets.
You can see what appears to be a bit of fish in the parent’s mouth. Two eaglets in the picture below the parent’s head.
Noticed me for a second.
Bit of fish?
The other parents arrives with more sticks and dirt. Today was nest renovation day.

Go out and enjoy the great outdoors!