This was such a wonderful place I returned to it after leaving Denali. A lot of time has been spent observing the residents. This Northern Harrier has a female chick who has fledged. Four times I’ve seen the adult fly around with something in its talons and heard calling between her and the chick. Then the chick would fly up and catch the food in mid air as the adult dropped it. I’ve seen and photographed falcons doing this (2016 OR coast) but didn’t know hawks would do it. I was never able to capture the action, not surprising since the adult’s territory covers a large area and they are usually high up and away when it happens. Binoculars made seeing it possible.
The beavers have been industrious as usual, but they don’t keep regular hours, I have to watch for them. One afternoon I was able to capture one eating off a branch it cut down and dragged into the water. Every once in a while it would stop to either scratch or groom. Great fun to watch and every time I look at this image I grin.
Did manage to see a cow moose relatively close and as she was moving away I realized she had a calf with her, but it was even further away.
I’ll miss this place but have some very good memories to take with me!
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It’s been an interesting week, learning more about the refuge and its inhabitants. Early morning is a wonderful time to get photos, the light can be challenging at times but rewarding. Once in a while there are a few clouds at sunrise, this means added color and the chance for some unique images, IF the birds are in the right place! This particular morning there were some Sandhill Cranes in the water and as the sun came up I had a great time!
I try to get to the refuge 3 times a day, sunrise, around mid day and then late afternoon. Often at mid day the Snow Geese are gathered in the water right near the refuge entrance.
While I’ve been here I’ve seen both a Kestrel and a Northern Harrier hunting the fields. The Kestrel is small and really too far away for me to get an in flight image. Today while I was watching a Bald Eagle eating his lunch (too far away for decent photos) a Northern Harrier was working the area in front of me and I managed to get some great images of it.
Do you wanna dance?
Always fun to see the cranes dance!
I finally saw a Roadrunner! They aren’t particularly large and seem to keep to the gravel road across the water from where the public can drive so I had to crop my original to get this.
The Festival of the Cranes kicks off on Tuesday. I’ve signed up for several photography workshops and look forward to learning new skills.
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