Sunday, February 13, 2011

hawk owl and red fox

Wonderful sunny day today for a country winter picnic. We drive around the back roads looking for birds. Today we came across a Northern Hawk Owl (my first) and luck would have it that others had been previously to view it as a trail of footprints led in through the pasture closer to where it perched. So there I am a gimp with leather wrist braces which enable me to hold the camera up and the necessary leg braces holding both knees together attempting to step into large sinkhole footsteps that come up to the knees and deeper in places. I was determined though and half way there as my legs got heavier I thought, what if I fall, so I glance back at the car and thankfully Gerald was following behind me, he is such a sweetheart.
Now I am sitting in my recliner all achy and sore and really really tired; so was it worth it, you betcha.

 All these photos are cropped to enable you to see the owl better. The first two images were taken at the end of the sinkhole path and the last two were taken from the road way. We glanced up when we got back to the car and there he was posing. I believe he spotted some small birds and was thinking about flight, or else he was just stretching a wing. The last shot I washed out the exposure of the sky as I was shooting towards the sun, it worked as the owl is clear, yahoo.

 This beautiful fox was racing along the tree line, it stopped, looked, then turned tail. We went up the next road and saw a farmer ploughing his equipment yard so the tractor most likely frightened the fox as we again spotted it, this time on the roadway ahead of us. Then once again it spun round and headed back to the farm. I have been wanting to see a fox up close, this is the closest I have gotten. Both these images are cropped to show the fox better.
I was shooting out of the car window and hoped for a good shot as man-o-man can foxes run, and they are so light on their feet as though flying, I like this shot as foxy is air-born. We watched a coyote cross a field and it was sinking and stumbling continually, surely not as graceful as Red on the snow. We saw a few snow buntings fly past us and a grouse walked across the road while we were having our picnic.
 See the dark spot on the right of the road? 
Of course with my boots loudly crunching on the snow the grouse headed further into the brush where I could not get a clear shot, but oh well that the way of bird photography.
all in all a wonderful day, hugs to all!


Carol Blackburn said...

What beautiful shots, Teresa. You really shouldn't shoot and drive at the same time........:)

teresa stieben said...

Sometimes its the only way to get a fast moving critter.
Actually Gerald does the driving, I get to ride around in comfort and holler "stop" once in a while, lol.

Red said...

Great idea to get out for a winter picnic in this nice weather. Some of the early prairie explorers were out most of the time and there houses and heating systems were pathetic.
Good effort on all your shots.

Cathy said...

Great shots of the fox and owl Teresa. You were very lucky to get it mid flight. It always amazes me when I see the same red fox across the pond as we have in England.

Renee said...

Thanks so much for sharing these pictures. Love the fox! Great capture. I grew up in the country, but now live in the burbs, I do miss the wildlife! Take care!