Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oh Deer!

Green is scarce on the bike path right now.  There is much greater visibility this early spring than I remember in the past.  Deer are around the river and forest in the area, but I very rarely see them.  Over the past week, I have caught fleeting glances of white tails, but behind all the trees and branches, the deer have been difficult see, let alone photograph.  

A lot of people are amused at my excitement for seeing all this wildlife on the bike path, but as a lifelong city girl, I have not seen deer in the wild before, only occasionally at a zoo!  Last week, there was a day where I was fortunate to see two sets of deer.  Pretty soon when all the brush fills in, the deer will be hard to see, but here's a few shots from the other day.  I am really hoping to see a buck as well as a fawn or two one of these days!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Turkey Vulture Visit

Turkey Vultures are common North American birds.  They scout around searching for fresh roadkill and also can be found hanging around dumpsters.  I have often seen them circling in the air, mostly in small groups but had never seen one up close.  Yesterday while riding on the bike path, a huge bird flew by and landed in a tree just ahead of me.  Once I grabbed my camera and zoomed my lens in, I saw his face and instantly recognized this as a turkey vulture.  

He only sat for a few moments and then flew off to join two more of his friends that were circling a hundred yards or so from the bike path, probably searching for lunch.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Beautiful Swan

Today's ride on the bike path was rather quiet.  There were slightly more signs of spring on this bright, sunny day.  The red river turtles were sunning themselves, several more varieties of birds were flying around and the tap, tap, tap of the woodpeckers echoed along several miles of the path, although no herons were to be seen.  

I caught a glimpse of a beautiful white swan just sitting in the water, right by the rivers' edge.  I sat at the edge of the path and took several photos.  The swan watched me with neither any interest or fear.  

Soon the trees will budding and allergies will be in full force.  Spring is finally here!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Great Blue Herons Along the Bike Path

Spring has sprung.  I began my third season on the bike path this week.  In spite of the calendar, the trees are bare and there is not much green yet.  Robins abound and there is a stray cardinal, titmouse and blue jay here and there, but still relatively few and far between.  But the Great Blue Herons have been out.

I enjoy watching them stand motionless, then all of a sudden pluck a fish, frog or small rodent out of the shallow water.  In the time I've been frequenting the path, occasionally I see one fly off, but usually under the cover of trees without being able to get a good photo.  That was until yesterday.

There was a young heron, relatively small and very curious on one side of the river.  When I stopped and took out my camera, he intently watched me.  I approached slowly and snapped a few photos.  As I got closer, I saw him preparing to fly.  He slowly took off and I was able to get a couple of good photos.  He only flew a short distance, so I cautiously approached him again.  Hee let me snap a couple of shots, then flew off again.

Today I saw the same heron in the same area.  Again, he watched me, curiously but not overly frightened.I snapped a couple of photos but was unable to get a decent in flight photo.  A few miles down the path, I saw another heron perched in a tree.  He must have been napping and was standing as a flamingo does when it sleeps, with one leg up.

Within the next few weeks the trees will start to bud and the path will be a flurry of activity with rabbits, Canada Geese with their babies, ducks, deer, squirrels, chipmunks and all kinds of species of birds.  But for now, I am enjoying seeing the herons after spending a very long, cold, snowy winter in the city away from the bike path.