Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Fun Day at Coot Lake

      I wasn't planning to write up a blog today but it was such a fun morning, I just had to share. I noticed last week that some common mergansers were hanging out on Coot lake. I knew they were just passing through and could leave at anytime. So I have been bringing my camera when Hazel and I go for a hike. I got a few decent pics of the common mergansers on Saturday but today I was hoping to get some better pics.
   So Hazel and I hit the trail about 7:30am. It was a bit chilly at around 30' but the sun was shining, so off we went!

This huge cottonwood sometimes hosts a pair of bald eagles but not today.....

We got to the large wood pile and heard the sweet song of the meadowlark......

We finally reached the south end of Coot lake and watched a couple of crows taking a bath...

We circled around to the east side and I quickly scouted the huge flock of ducks. There were at least 40 redhead ducks! I've seen redheads before but never this many at one time!
There was quite a bit of courting going on as they started to pair up.....

I thought I was photographing the common mergansers but I quickly realized these were red breasted mergansers! Wow! A life bird for me! I spent at least a 1/2 hour watching and photographing these ducks! Hazel was happy to lay down and enjoy the beautiful day while I took a million pics!

There were a few common mergansers on the other side of the lake and finally one got close enough for a pic.....

This guy was a bit far away for decent pics but I had to try as he was gulping down a big ol fish!

A Wednesday morning view.....

Finally it was time to head home, so we hiked back to the car. As I was getting Hazel in the car in the parking lot, a couple of guys getting ready to go running, noticed my camera. They told me they'd seen a bald eagle eating something on Monarch road just a few minutes ago. I quickly thanked them and I drove over as quick as possible.

Wow! Well I found him/her but it wasn't a bald eagle, it was a golden eagle! I know they are around but I don't see them too often. So this was fantastic! He/she was a bit far out in the field for a good pic, but I had to give it a go. The magpie was hanging around hoping for leftovers.....

When the eagle was done eating, he/she flew in a nearby tree and I able to get a few more pics!

Look at that wingspan!

Who would have guessed that a ordinary hike around Coot lake would lead to such exciting sightings of the red breasted mergansers and a golden eagle too!
That's why I live here! Colorado is a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 2, 2018

It's Owl Season

          Yea! It's officially owl season! Cher is on the nest! And there was a very interesting turn of events. 
My owl friends, Sonny and Cher chose a new nesting site last year after using the same nest for about 8 years. So I figured they'd use the new nest again this year but instead they moved back into their old nest. I was curious as to why, so as I drove to Boulder I checked in with Cher......
Here's what I got: 
                             She said the new nest was too sterile and cold feeling. Makes sense as 
                             they had moved to the golf course which is very manicured.

                             She missed having us humans around enjoying them raise their young.

                             She felt the old nest area was better suited to keep an eye on the owlets 
                             when they left the nest.

                              Very cool!

   I got to the nest area about 4:45pm. I couldn't tell if Cher was on the nest as it's much deeper than in previous years. But after a minute or so, I heard Sonny hoot and Cher answered him from deep in the nest! So I knew she was home!!!

It took a bit but finally spotted Sonny sitting high in one of their favorite trees.......

Myself and a few friends were enjoying listening to the owls hoot back and forth. Then just as it was getting dark, Cher decided it was time to take a break from sitting on her nest.

She flew along the creek to an overhanging branch where Sonny met her for a brief mating session.

Then she flew closer to us and landed on a branch.....we all appreciated and understood she was honoring us with her presence and was happy to see us!

Oh yeah, it's gonna be a fun owl season! Stay tuned!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017- the year in review

Happy New Year! I have had a long standing tradition of hiking with my dog on new years day. It started with Molly dog and now with Hazel dog. Then when I got into doing wildlife photography, I included that in my new years tradition. 

Originally, I was going to look for the snowy owl that had been hanging around Standley lake. But after checking the birding websites last night, it looked like no one had seen him in a day or two. So plan B was to go to Walden ponds this morning and do some photographing.
When I got up this morning, it was very cloudy which is not good for photographing wildlife. So on to plan C.......take Hazel for a new years day hike and bring my camera just in case I see something.

We headed over to Boulder Valley Ranch and were the first ones there! It was a balmy 12' as we set out to celebrate the new year! The hike was very fun but there was no wildlife to be seen except for a couple of magpies. Even the prairie dogs were still snoozing. I did want to do a new years day post and an idea came to me to do a year in review! So we headed home and after some coffee, I went through my 2017 posts and chose a variety of photos
to share. 2017 was a good year and I am looking forward to 2018 being a great year!

Enjoy the photos and thanks for reading my blog! Much appreciated!

Happy New Year!