Harrier Hawk

I have to combine my walks with where I may most likely see wildlife. This harrier is in the same area I have seen the arctic short-eared owls. This guy probably stole the owl’s prey a few times.

We have no snow on the ground presently. I am not seeing that as necessarily a bad thing. It is cold this week. Possibly the lack of snow makes it easier for the harriers and owls to catch voles. If you stop long enough at this location you can see or hear the voles moving around in the grass.

These shots are taken at a distance and are heavily cropped. It was close to sunset.

Get out an enjoy the weather when it allows. Exercise and fresh air are good for the soul.

Rhinebeck Door

I love old doors with character. This one definitely is interesting. I saw this one in Rhinebeck, NY. They must not use this entrance to the house as the wreath covers both halves of the door.

Get out and enjoy the decorations in your area this time of year. To me the most interesting ones involve the old and the new. Do you agree?

More Short Eared Owls

Still hoping to see short eared owls up close. I caught these right before sunset. Occasionally you may have to opportunity to see them earlier in the day, but many times they come up an hour or two before sunset.

In hunting mode. They seem to get a lot of voles here.

Short eared owls sleep on the ground, making them susceptible to predators. I heard possibly a coyote got one at this location a few years ago.

Once again I saw an owl and a harrier fighting over food, although I did not include it here.

Just two short eared owls having fun.
Sitting on a rock and staring at me.

Again, these owls are very far away and these images are heavily cropped. Regardless I got in a long walk, and it is fun to see them from afar as well.

Raptors In Captivity

I saw a sign up for a raptors show when I was on my way to visit a relative. Of course I had to stop. The program was more than halfway through, but I was able to take these photos the short time I was there. It was in the basement of a building so the light situation was not good.

Barred owl

I love barred owls. I have followed a family in the wild for three years. I always say the mother owl found me. She flew right over my shoulder one day when I was walking. I returned to that area every year she makes herself known to me. I feel lucky. Seeing one this close up is great even if the light was bad.

Barn Owl- They said this one is rare in New York. Oddly, I know someone who has seen one in their yard. Their yard borders forest and farms are nearby.

I hope to see a barn owl in the wild, but realise that may be on a to do list for an England trip.

A wild bird rescue introduced these raptors. They are not falconers. I think most if not all of the birds for one reason or another are not capable of being in the wild. They may have been hit by a car, be partially blind, etc.

Two greyish screech owls in front and one reddish one huddled in back. Never got to see much of that one.

I was lucky enough to see one of these in a tree hole in the wild. Again, it was a thrill to see them up close.

Buddies
Peregrine Falcon

I have seen peregrine falcons in the wild. They fly too fast for me to get a picture of one. I only got some of them perched on a cliff.

Your best view of these birds would be through a falconer or a rehabber who has an educational program. Take advantage of one of these programs, especially if you have kids. The children there were mesmerised.

Beacon Murals

Do you like murals? Do you like animals? One type of expression in the artsy town of Beacon, NY to see are some of the murals around town. The ones pictured below are on one building in a park. Three were taken on a cloudy day as they appeared better photos than the ones I took on a sunny day.

My personal favourite. I am partial to owls.

These are part of a community project led by the artist Joel Pimentel. I think the artwork is very well done. I hope you enjoy it.

Fox
Wolf
I am guessing this is a llama.

Which one is your favourite? I love all of them. I like the owl one best because it is, well, an owl. Need I say more?

End of November Adirondack Scenes

I made a world wind trip up to the Adirondacks. I almost brought my kayak. There was one body of water where I could have kayaked safely it appears with where to launch looking okay, but most places around Saranac Lake had snow and/or ice around the launches and ice on the lakes.

I was hoping they would turn on the lights, but they never did. Christmas tree on a dock as seen from the village of Saranac Lake.

The funny thing is on Thursday this lake had ice on it. On Friday morning the ice was gone. When I left on Saturday morning the ice was back. It is crazy how quick the ice forms and disappears at this point in the year.

South Creek boat launch looking the opposite direction from Upper Saranac Lake.
East of Lake Placid. I think this may in be in or near Keene Valley. This area did not get much snow.

If you are American, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. If you live in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the transition into winter. There is beauty in every season.

On Lake Placid

There are two lakes you can access from the town of Lake Placid in New York. From the main business street in the village you can see Mirror Lake. If go on west towards Saranac Lake on the outskirts of the town the much larger lake is Lake Placid. Lake Placid , the lake, has a few hotels along it, private land with mostly summer residences, and some land that falls under wilderness or forest preserve.

These were all from an end of September trip to the Adirondacks. I took one long trip on the lake, and a couple of short trips. I started out from the Paradox Bay area of the lake on the southern end. This area of the bay has shallow areas and attracts wildlife. Basically most of the wildlife I saw along the lake was in that section.

There is a boat launch with ample parking outside the bay on the lake.

On the lake

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is Whiteface Mountain in the background. The issue with large lakes in the Adirondacks is many times when you get away from shore it can be quite windy. On my long trip the first day I was there I did fine hugging the island on the way towards Whiteface landing, but on the return when I crossed the lake to the east side is was a struggle to head south hugging the shore. The wind was pretty strong. I did see a few other kayakers out there. I think one whom I talked to briefly ended up getting a ride on a boat. I was too busy trying to paddle to get any decent pictures on the return.

A different trip

There are a lot of summer homes along the lake. Some are only accessible by boat.

Traffic

Canoeists out for short paddle.

In summer this lake is very busy with a lot of motorboat traffic. I shy away from paddling this lake during the summer months. In September after Labor Day many of the summer people have left and there are more kayakers and canoeists than motor boaters. I highly recommend going before or after summer and staying close to the shore of the lake.

Wildlife

Common Loon- I only saw once and it was right where the bay met the rest of the lake.

I did hear and briefly see a kingfisher several times. At some lakes they will pause long enough for you to get a snap of them, at this lake they don’t. I saw two adult kingfishers on the bay.

The heron liked to hang out of the southern end of a bay. There were ducks and also 2 what appeared to be juvenile snow geese I think I included on another post.

I recommend visiting this lake to canoe or kayak before or after summer. Always be prepared and dress appropriately. Be familiar with the conditions. It is a beautiful lake!

Cardinals

What do you do on an unseasonably warm November day? I returned to the same spot I went to last week, a park on the Hudson River. I forgot to bring bird seed, but someone had already put out bird seed. The majority of the birds visiting were titmouse, but I also got to see male and female cardinals and some bluejays.

This was the closest I have been to cardinals. The ones who visited my feeder came quickly and left. I sat on a big rock to take these photos and I have a zoom.

I plan to return to this park again a few times before it snows hopefully. This time the titmouse were flying right at me and buzzed over my head as I sat taking photos. They were too fast for me to capture. Get out and enjoy those sunny autumn days before the snow arrives.

Skeletons and Signs

I am usually not much into Halloween. However, creative displays I am into. The first two below are part of one such display in Fishkill, NY.

This one was part of the same display of the skeletons below. They had a whole cemetery set up with headstones. Obviously a joke.
This is creative so to speak. It goes beyond just having a skeleton in your yard. They also had two skeletons on a seesaw that was constantly going up and down. It was hard to get that one in a picture being close to the house and close to a fence.
These signs are not Halloween related. It may be half joke, half serious. This was on a rural road in New York. Those of you fleeing NYC, welcome to upstate New York.

If you celebrate it- Happy Halloween!

Autumn Birds

Have you ever felt you missed out on something? I missed the peak of leaf season. These were taken maybe 1-2 weeks after peak. When I arrived at the lake there was a thick fog. Maybe 15 minutes later it started thinning out.

Great blue heron when the fog was lifting.
Do all gulls look this peeved? Maybe he’s not looking forward to going south?
The swans were flying circles around the lake. Usually you only seeing them swimming. Could they be getting themselves in shape to fly south?

The swan has some hitchhikers on it. The black objects attached to it’s body are what locals call bull’s heads or steer’s heads. They have multiple sharp points. They are not fun to step on.

Swan wing noise in flight from Cornell Lab of Ornithology MacCaulay Library

or here :

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/248438

Get out and enjoy the conditions while you can. It will be winter before you know it.

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