Thursday, February 28, 2013

3 species of Owl

What an Owl day in the Parker. Casey & I had 2 Snowy Owls, a Barred Owl, and a Great Horned Owl. Some of the shots are a bit far out...but you get the idea. Wonderful to finally get a few Snowy's on P.I. The cooperative "Parker Red Tail" also made a few candid shots today.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Great Horned Owl nest & Red tail

A Great Horned Owl is nesting in the Parker, after checking out the nest site, I cant say I think it is a great location. The owl is overflowing out of the nest, and is in a direct path of weather.


Tacking Lynx

                                                                    The North woods

My dad and I went way up into Maine this weekend to track Canadian Lynx with Walnut Hill Tracking. We went out with Nick and Valerie (the owners) for a Fisher tracking course last year, and decided on the Lynx course this year. We traveled to Moosehead Lake, the gateway to the Maine Wilderness for the tracking course. From Greenville, we traveled to the "Golden Road" the Maine logging road which runs north from Maine towards Quebec. The day prior Nick and Valerie scouted the road and picked up the Lynx trail. The north Maine woods are an incredible place, and this magical creature embodies the spirit of this frozen land. I can't explain the feeling of following this animal for a day, just sharing its space for that time brought me back to everything that has fascinated me with nature for my whole life. As we followed the Lynx through the thick snow covered spruce forest, we saw sign of the other winter creatures of the area; mainly Snowshoe Hare and Spruce Grouse & Ruffed Grouse. (Lynx's main food)    

Lynx track vs. human hand 

Lynx track's 

I found it interesting how little anyone knows about this Eastern population of Lynx. Nick and Valerie  noted that much of the Lynx studies were done almost 20 years ago, when only a small Canadian /  upper Maine population of cats were present to work with. With an increasing population today there are still only 2 collared cats generating data. As such, we really have only a very limited perspective of what is happening with this species in the East. 

                                                                      frozen wetland area
                                                                         Spruce forest
                                                               Nick measuring tracks. At this point the Lynx changed it's stride and pace, for what reason ? Who knows ???
                                                                          Lynx track
                                                         Riley and Valerie checking sign
                                                    Measuring the gate of the tracks. As Lynx are studied on such a limited basis, the information gathered is extremely useful for a current understanding of size for this Eastern population.

Vigorous training was necessary for such an expedition. As with anything, we applied ourselves to long hours of technical  study prior to departure.

                                                              Leaving the woods

It was another wonderful program with Nick and Valerie. I recommend anyone I know to attend one of their courses. Such an amazing experience.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Pine Grosbeaks

A small flock of Pine Grosbeaks at the Newburyport Industrial Park. A great winter bird we were fortunate to have around this year.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Various BIrds

I traveled over to Boxford to grab some lunch with the fam. Witch Hollow Farm had a number of good birds;  6 + Eastern Bluebirds, and a Carolina Wren among others. Another new addition to the farm was a new donkey friend for Anthony... "Legs". She was awesome.

After Witch Hollow we traveled to Gloucester to view Whitney's and Brian's house, an amazing spot which provided a flock of common Redpoles and a Brown Creeper. Other birds of note was an Eastern Screech Owl, and a Bald Eagle in West Newbury. The Eagle made me do a double take, despite its size it was perched in a "red-tail Hawk location," right over the road about 25 feet up in a tree.


                                                         Eastern Bluebird

                                                                Leg's and Anthony
                                                           Getting some sun in-between snow storms

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Short-eared Owls, Barred owl & Eastern Coyote

A truly amazing weekend for wildlife. For the past two nights at least 3 short-eared owls have been in the reserve. Seeing 3 owls in the same plain of vision at once. Another bird far down the road as a possible 4th owl. Seeing 3 of these owls hunting at once is a truly amazing experience. I also caught a Barred owl in the Reserve as well. Finally today while exploring the deep woods of Salisbury with my buddy we saw a beautiful cream colored coyote. My buddy's dad has seen this animal around the area for upwards of 4 years. I did not get the camera out in time to get a picture of the coyote, amateur hour on my part. 

This group of short-eared owls really come out at dusk, with about 20mins each day until dark, thus making good photos impossible. Amazing to watch though.


Couldn't quite get a shot of 3 at once