Debs Creative Images: Blog http://debscreativeimages.com/blog en-us (C) Debs Creative Images debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:02:00 GMT Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:02:00 GMT http://debscreativeimages.com/img/s/v-5/u422674491-o327319943-50.jpg Debs Creative Images: Blog http://debscreativeimages.com/blog 120 109 December 7, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-7-2017 Life Bird - Snowy Owl

Tis the season for raptors to migrate south and one that I've been on the search for for 3-4 yrs now is the "Snowy Owl". I've followed ebird.com and kept hoping one would eventually come to my area, but none ever have. On a few occasions I've driven to locations where they were spotted and had no luck. Well, today luck was finally on my side as I drove almost 2 hours away to look for a Snowy Owl that has been being seen by others. When I first arrived at the beach someone in the parking lot told me it was indeed around and that I had to walk at least a mile down the beach to go see it. So, I got my cold weather gear on and grabbed my equipment and headed down the sandy path.

On my way out, I passed several people. The first person was relatively close to the parking lot and informed me I was in for a very long walk. Then I saw the second person roughly half way out and he said I still had a long way to go, close to 20 more minutes of walking (which was an exaggeration, lol). Then the third person was shortly before I arrived to the small crowd of photographers. She was heading out because she was freezing and it showed.

I approached the group of 5 photographers and I got this feeling of being unwanted there. I said hello and introduced myself, but most of them pretty much ignored me. Only one of the guys engaged in small talk. Whatever, not a big deal as I wasn't there to see any of them anyway. LOL. A couple of other people came and went and at the end of my time I did come across two nice people to chat with.

Anyhow, the Snowy Owl was sitting on the ground, in front of a wooden post with chains and a buoy. The ground was filled with shells that had washed ashore and the bird was in a spot that protected him from the wind. Although, he did periodically get splashed by the water that was hitting against the rocks.

The light was really harsh as it was behind the owl and not behind us and the background wasn't the prettiest, but luckily he did move away from the post for a little while for photos. He was a gorgeous bird, although a bit dirty as he had mud on his feet and underbelly. He didn't do much during my time there. He pooped two or three times, coughed up a pellet, yawned and slept a ton. In fact, he snoozed during most of the 2 hours I was there watching. A couple of times he perked up and looked around which gave us hope he would do something, but he never did. He just sat and posed. In fact, he was still sitting there when we all left.

It was truly an amazing experience and I'm so glad I took some time off of work and drove down to see the beautiful owl. It took me so many years to finally see one in the wild and it was clearly worth the wait as this species of bird is simply magnificent. 

Snowy Owl facts:

The Snowy Owl is a large owl (the largest owl in North America) that resides in the Arctic Tundra. It's white coloring provides as camouflage during winter and often times the Snowy Owl will migrate south during the cold winter months in search of food (sometimes below the Canadian boarder). They have a bulky body and round heads with no ear tufts. They often will sit on or near the ground in wide-open areas and they perch on sand dunes, fence posts, hay bales and telephone poles. When in flight, they are often close to the ground and in hunting mode. They generally eat small mammals such as voles, mice, squirrels and rabbits. And when they are in coastal areas, they may feast on birds such as ducks, geese and grebes. Due to these beautiful birds not being from the United States, when one is spotted all kinds of people flock out to see the rare bird. It surely is a beauty to see!

Do remember, if you head out to find one of these beauties it is important to respect them and give them proper space. Also, make sure to use proper birding etiquette by observing quietly and not doing anything to disturb the bird. Having these beautiful specimens is such a treat so please make sure to show proper respect if you come across one!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography arctic best bird shots bird birds of a feather flock together birds of prey nature nature lovers nature photography natures best photography natures best pics nuts about birds owl raptor snowy owl tundra wild wildlife wildlife perfection wildlife photography feathers talons wings beach connecticut sand shells water tide http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-7-2017 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:01:53 GMT
November 17, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-17-2017 Conowingo Dam - Day 3

Today was day 3 at the Conowingo Dam. Once again we left the hotel at 5:30 so we could arrive and set up by 6. As we arrived and were driving down the hill to the dam we noticed the sirens were already going off which meant they were opening the larger turbines. Generally speaking that would encourage the eagles to fish, but since it was still dark, they held off until the light started to shine. By that time it was almost 7 and not only did we notice the eagles in the trees behind us, but we also noticed that the parking lot was full.

The morning starting off strong with some good fishing and chases, but the light was bad. I was hopeful for a good day because the action started so strong so early and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. However, as the morning progressed, the wind picked up. Although the sun was shining so nicely, the wind made the temperatures feel more bitter. Even though the temperature rose as the morning progressed, it actually got colder as the wind picked up. Although sunny in the 40's, the wind was roughly 7-12 mph with gusts up to 20 mph and that made things feel more bitter.

We hung tight and endured the lack of eagle activity for a few hours. Then later in the afternoon when the winds died down, the eagles began to move. We got to enjoy watching them fish and then watch those who were hungry chase after an eagle with a fish fish. We saw many chases, but there were two that really stuck with me. The first memorable one happened right in front of us. There were two eagles chasing after the one who had caught the fish. It was amazing to see all three eagles fill the frame of my photos as they flew near me and then away. In fact, my blog photo is one where they got close enough so I could get one of them chasing the other. This shot is not at all cropped.

There were many chases between that chase and the second memorial chase. The second memorial chase was a little distant, but probably the most entertaining chase I've ever watched. It started when this adult bald eagle came into view and dove down to catch a fish. Once it caught the fish other eagles began to chase it and caused it to drop its catch. The adult then flew off and a juvenile bald eagle swooped down to catch the same fish. That juvenile then proceeded to the rocks along the island to eat and other bald eagles started to dive bomb him/her. Eventually an adult bald eagle won and stole the fish (I'm thinking the same adult who originally snatched it out of the water). There wound up being one heck of a fight on the rocks while several other adult and juvenile bald eagle tried to come in and steel it over the course of 10-15 minutes. Eventually, the adult who ultimately claimed it won and got to enjoy it.

Although we froze through most of the day, the action in the mid-late afternoon made up for it and we all walked away happy little campers with plenty of photos to go through.

Once again, our time at the Conowingo Dam was very well spent!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey conowingo dam day debbie quick debs creative images eagle fish fishing flying maryland nature raptor sunny wild wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-17-2017 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:32:13 GMT
November 16, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-16-2017 Conowingo Dam - Day 2

Today was our second day in Maryland and we got up very early to head over to the Conowingo Dam before sunrise. I was out of bed at 4:30 and we had the car packed with wheels rolling by 5:30. We arrived at the dam at 6 sharp and got the car parked and immediately claimed our spots along the fence. 

The morning began a little cool, but not too bad. We lucked out by not waking to frost or bitter cold. As the day progressed it got warmer and the sun shining on us felt really good. The first half of the day was very sunny with beautiful blue skies and in the afternoon we had some dramatic clouds roll through that made the scenery interesting. The dam looked beautiful when the sun shined right on it and the dramatic clouds rolled through over the top. I was too lazy to switch lenses and put on a wild angle, so I at least took a shot with my cell.

The activity during the nice light in the morning was really awesome. The fishing shots were too far away, but that's ok because many of the eagles headed right towards us and over our heads with their catch. Some of the fish were big, others small and on a few occasions we witnessed some good chases. One of the chases happened right over our heads making my 500mm lens too much lens. I could have used something smaller at that one and only instance. Just after they moved from being overhead, the eagle with the fish dropped it in the parking lot. It was extremely fascinating to see a chase so close. In fact, I could easily make out the details in their feather patterns.

The activity was so good that I took 2000 photos today. I browsed through the first few hundred and had several candidates for my blog. It was tough to choose one, so I decided to go with the eagle who had the biggest fish. It looks like an early Thanksgiving for this bird!  :-)

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey conowingo dam day debbie quick debs creative images eagle fish fishing flying maryland nature raptor sunny wild wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-16-2017 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:36:43 GMT
November 15, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-15-2017 Conowingo Dam - Day 1

Today was an early day as I got up at 3:30am so that I could be out of the house by 4:30 to go pick up my buddy, Bob. I arrived at his house right at 5am and we packed up and headed down to the Conowingo Dam for our annual trip with friends. The ride down went smoothly. There was a bit of traffic in a few areas, but nothing too bad to delay us. We made one pit stop and arrived at the dam by 9am. Parking was horrendous as they currently have a parking lot closed off and so we were parked way up the hill, on the side of the road in the mud.

Once we got the car safely parked, we took out everything we needed for the day and headed down to meet up with our friends. We found both of them right away, chatted for a minute and then set up for the day. The sun shined nicely, the temps were good and the eagles gave nice shows throughout the day. There was a bit of an afternoon lull, but the activity before and after was really nice. The eagles caught fish and often times had to protect their meals from the other eagles and vultures who where trying to steal them. They flew in front of us, over us and along both our right and left sides. They gave us plenty of opportunities to photograph them.

It was a great day and I look forward to what the eagles do tomorrow!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) maryland bald eagle birds of prey conowingo dam darlington fish flight flying predator raptor talons http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-15-2017 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:54:28 GMT
November 3, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-3-2017 Squirrel in a tree

Today was a work day, so I was only able to get out with my camera for roughly 15-20 minutes during my lunch break. Due to my opportunity out being so short, I stayed in my neighborhood and photographed my funny squirrels and they did not disappoint.

As I was walking out my door I watched one squirrel chase another across the street and they continued their chase up a tree in my neighbors yard. They would chase for a bit and then separate and enjoy their own space for a bit. Once one decided to leave their space and move, the chase would happen again. This happened three times while I was out there watching and photographing them. Sadly, I was too close to capture the chase, but I did get some nice shots of them sitting on the branches in the tree. I also got some good shots of them either on their way up or down the tree trunk.

Both the squirrels in the chase this afternoon are squirrels that visit my bird/squirrel feeder. Neither of them were Squirrely Jo, the squirrel who approaches me and lets me hand feed her peanuts. One day, I will get a shot of Squirrely Jo to post. Hopefully one day soon as she is my favorite of the neighborhood squirrels.

I know many people don't like squirrels because they are known to knock down the bird feeders, but I've fount that squirrels are simply another one of gods creatures who is simply looking for an easy meal. Once I started putting feeders out for them, they've completely stopped knocking down my bird feeders and now all of my feathered and furry friends get to enjoy a good meal in my yard, in an environment that functions for each of them!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal branch cute debbie quick debs creative images furry nature new york outdoor pleasant valley rodent squirrel the hudson valley tree wild wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-3-2017 Sat, 04 Nov 2017 01:53:58 GMT
November 2, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-2-2017 Possibly an American Racing Pigeon

Over the past two weeks I've noticed this beautiful bird in my neighborhood that reminds me of the cross between a pigeon and a dove. It has the personality of a pigeon, but some beautiful dove-like white feathers. I've tried to photograph it since the first time I saw it, but every time I've run back into the house for my camera, it was gone when I went back out. Today though, was a different story. I first spotted it outside my window and took a couple of shots of it from inside the house before going outside.

After taking the shots from inside, I went outside and ran into my pal, Squirrely Jo. I first hand fed her a peanut, then tried to quietly get into position to photograph this unique pigeon that had caught my eye. Since the first time I saw this pigeon, I knew there was something special about it and I couldn't help but get some photos. I got into position and photographed the pigeon while also hand feeding Jo every time she returned. It was a fantastic opportunity. 

While photographing the pigeon, I noticed it had a green tag around it's right leg. I tried my best to get photos of all angles to see if there was a number on it. As soon as I had an opportunity this evening, I uploaded the pics to my computer and scanned through them to see if I could find anything on the band, but it seems as if the band is simply a solid green with nothing on it.

Since photographing the bird and noticing the green band, I've been even more convinced that there is something special about this bird, so I contacted one of my birding friends. Her response to me is that it is possibly an "American Racing Pigeon" and that it is potentially a domesticated bird that is not able to survive on its own. Now, I'm determined to find out who this bird belongs to and I feel the need to try my best to catch it to get it either back home or to somebody who can help it survive. Now, I reach out to my readers and I ask that if you have any info on what I should do or how you can help, that would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I will continue to put out bird seed like I always do, in hopes of helping to keep this beauty fed (if it even shows at my feeder, which I hope it does). Please, feel free to reach out to me if you know who is missing this bird or how I can help it get to where is should be. Thanks!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american racing pigeon animal bird domestic dutchess county feathers nature new york pigeon pleasant valley the hudson valley white wild wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-2-2017 Fri, 03 Nov 2017 02:31:12 GMT
October 22, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-22-2017 A Great Blue Heron kind of a day

It's late fall here in NY and today was probably the nicest day of the year. The sun shined beautifully, the sky was a gorgeous blue and the temps reached 75 with humidity that wasn't too bad. I originally planned to spend the first part of my day out with my camera and the second part home doing some cleaning, but it was far too nice for cleaning and so I spent the whole day out!

I went to two different locations this morning, stopped home for a late lunch and to walk my boyz, then hit up one other spot this evening. My first location was a bust as there was nothing to photograph, my second location was absolutely fantastic, and my third location was another bust.

I spent roughly 3 hours at my second location and took just over 400 photographs. I watched the kingfishers fly about and do a little fishing, lots of songbirds sang and flew around, there were 3 red-tailed hawks that circled overhead at one point, the turtles basked in the sun and the chipmunks and squirrels were busy collecting food and scurrying about. I even watched a squirrel drink water from the creek.

That activity alone was fun to watch, but the biggest highlight was the amazing show the Great Blue Heron put on for me during most of my time there. He sat and hunted (even caught a few small fish), preened, posed and moved locations several times. He came in close for portrait shots and he entertained me by diving into the water for his meals. Each time he came out of the water he was a disheveled mess, but provided excellent opportunities for photographs. I took a quick peak at a couple of my photos of this guy and am happy with what I've seen so far. It was fantastic observing and photographing him. I've photographed this same heron many times in the past, but never did he put on a show like he did today!

I posted the shot I decided to use for my blog to two different Facebook pages and the comments I've received back from viewers are super awesome! Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to check out my photos, read my blogs and especially for the awesome feedback you provide. I couldn't possibly have a blog without all you amazing readers!

Thank you! I hope you all are enjoying this gorgeous fall day! 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal autumn bird branch creek daytime debbie quick fall flight flying great blue heron landing new york poughkeepsie predator prehistoric season the hudson valley vassar farms wading bird water wild wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-22-2017 Sun, 22 Oct 2017 22:03:14 GMT
October 15, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-15-2017 Birthday celebration with Peregrine Falcons

It's a birthday tradition that I go to New Jersey with my friend Bob to photograph raptors and so I picked Bob up at 8am this morning and we headed out for our annual trip. I'm not much of a morning person, but I did get up and pick him up on time.

We spent the day at the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey and had the pleasure of photographing the resident pair of Peregrine Falcons all day. It was a mostly overcast day, which is perfect for the situation, and the falcons were in and out of the area throughout the day. They both posed so nicely and preened, giving some nice opportunities for perched photos. They occasionally chased the vultures and one of them chased another falcon away. 

The biggest highlight was that the male brought in two meals and ate them in front of us. Although, he did have his backside to us so it was a little difficult to see what he was eating. The second time though, he did show us his meal before turning around and sadly it was this beautiful palm warbler that I took photographs of just minutes before he became the falcons dinner.

It was a fantastic day hanging out with Bob and photographing the falcons. We also ran into our mutual friend, Dan, and some other photographer friends we've met throughout the years.

Since I took just over 700 photos, it will probably be a while before I get through them all, so I quickly did a quick scroll through and decided to share one of the male falcon for my photo of the day. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey feathers new jersey palisades interstate park peregrine falcon predator raptor state line lookout the hudson river the hudson valley region wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-15-2017 Sun, 15 Oct 2017 23:24:05 GMT
September 23, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-23-2017 Adirondack Balloon Festival - 45th Anniversary

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. The temps started cool in the morning (in the 50s) and rose to roughly 80 by mid day. The sky was a beautiful blue and the winds were calm. It was a little warmer than I would like for this time of year, but that's ok, I'll take it!

My day started slow since I had a bad headache that kept me up half the night, but by mid day I started to feel more like myself. I spent the morning hanging around the campground and took the boyz for a nice walk. By mid afternoon, I packed up my camera gear and lots of water and headed down to Queensbury to run a couple of errands and attend the balloon festival. It was really crowded getting into the festival and so it took roughly 15 mins to go less than 3 miles. I got in just before the balloons started to launch and I got to watch as they set up and prepped.

Balloons were scheduled to go up between 5-6:15, however, the first balloon didn't launch until almost 5:45. From there, they quickly launched and there were so many beautiful/colorful balloons in the sky. It was really fun to watch them float around in the air and to hear the kids around me full of excitement. I stayed to see most of them rise, but left before the end so that I could beat the traffic out. What a great idea that was because even at that time the traffic had already started to back up.

It was a really fun time watching the balloons and since there were so many, I decided to use the first one I photographed as my blog photo. This balloon never launched, it just rose up and down through the festival. Even though it didn't launch, it was still fun to photograph because of how pretty it was. I have no idea how many shots I took, but I have a feeling it will take me a while to get through them all and post my favorites.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondack adventure air aviation balloon basket blue colorful festival floating flowers fly freedom fun hot new parrot queensbury round sky soar tourist usa york http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-23-2017 Sun, 24 Sep 2017 01:45:46 GMT
September 16, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-16-2017 I got up early so I could head out and meet up with my buddy Bob for a trip to the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse Park. We arrived at the park around 9:30 and the tide was starting to go out and the light was iffy along most of the water. We walked down the path to see what was going on in the river and we came across a green heron, a great blue heron, a cormorant and a pair of grebes. Most of the birds were far, but the green heron was relatively close in bad light. He was tough to photograph as he was backlit from the sun that was behind him, but we continued to watch him and do our best.

As the day went on, the light got better. There weren't too many birds there so it was a lot of waiting around to see if anything would come in close. In addition to the birds we found upon arrival, we also got to see bald eagles, a butterfly, lots of grasshoppers and a few kingfishers. There was only one green heron who bounced around and occasionally was in a nice spot, but there were several great blue heron and several cormorants. At one point a great blue heron was sitting on a branch and when a cormorant got too close, it chased the cormorant away. We saw one of the great blue heron catch a little fish, the green heron caught a few little fish and one of the grebes caught something long and skinny. I couldn't really tell what it was as the grebe was a bit far away. I even tried to examine my pics, but I'm still unsure. I'm thinking maybe a baby eel as it was silver in color.

There weren't too many really good opportunities for photographing birds, but it was still a nice day. It's alway awesome sitting by the river while the sun is shining and there is a nice breeze. Although the wildlife was lacking a bit, it was fun to watch all the boats going by. It seemed as though there were more than usual out there. There were speedboats, yachts, a barge being pushed by a tug, a few sailboats, the RIP Van Winkle and the Clearwater all went by. I think Bob could easily fill a calendar of boats passing the Lighthouse.

Here is the green heron with one of his catches from today!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird county esopus fish green heron hudson lighthouse meadows natural nature park river the ulster valley wading water wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-16-2017 Sun, 17 Sep 2017 01:25:44 GMT
August 20, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-20-2017 Bald Eagle on Lake Champlain

Today was another beautiful day in the Adirondacks so after I finished my morning chores, I went back out on the lake in my kayak! The water was so flat today, that it was like kayaking on glass. 

As soon as I got off of LaChute River and onto Lake Champlain, I saw both adult bald eagles. They were both sitting in a tree near the old nest tree, one a little higher than the other. I slowly worked my way over and got some photos. I sad there for about 15 minutes when one flew off, then I sat for another 10 minutes before I decided to move along. I got just a few feet away and the second one flew and fished in Lake Champlain a bit of a distance away. The juvenile immediately took off chasing the adult. The adult caught something and flew off to go eat, leaving the kid to land in a tree and yell for food. I made my way around the corner and saw the youngster sitting in a tree. I didn't stay for long and moved on in hopes of seeing some action in the lake. What a big mistake as the adult came in with a fish and landed on the ground (right near where I was sitting) to give the fish to the juvenile. I tried to paddle over as quickly as possible, but the adult did not wait and took off. The kid was still on the ground, trying to get the fish in his talons and then he eventually flew off to go eat his fish in a tree. I so wish I were closer for pics, if only I had stayed where I was.

The adult who delivered the fish landed in a tree for a few minutes and then moved on to the dead tree on the island. I slowly made my way over and sat and watched for at least 20 minutes before the adult decided to take off and return to the tree it was in when I first saw it this morning.

The osprey weren't nearly as active as they were yesterday, but I did see a larger number of great blue heron and green heron than I did yesterday. That means that the herons are finally starting to migrate to the area for the fall. The heron are so fun to watch, so I'm totally looking forward to fall kayaking and watching the wildlife.

Here is the eagle posing for me in the dead tree! What a treat!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american animal bald eagle beak bird birds of prey champlain county debbie determination eagle essex flight flying hay kayaking lake new patriotic pride quick spread symbol talons ticonderoga wild wildlife wings york http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-20-2017 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:31:05 GMT
August 19, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-19-2017 Bald Eagle passing the Fort

I woke up this morning and thought it would be a great day for a paddle, so I loaded up the car and drove into town so I could hit the water. I was out there by 10:15 and enjoyed the cooler temps of the morning. It took me roughly a half hour to paddle the two miles down LaChute River and into Lake Champlain. By the time I got out there, the wind had picked up, making the water a bit choppy and the temps had increased making it very hot in the sun. The wildlife was extremely active, making the trip completely worth it.

On my way down LaChute River I saw lots of turtles, a green heron and a couple of great blue heron. My first stop was in a bay area off Lake Champlain where I finally dove into my breakfast and relaxed, waiting for the wildlife to come to me. I enjoyed watching great blue heron and osprey. A couple of the osprey fished in the distance and it was really fun to watch. Eventually, an osprey went into the eagle territory and I watched as one of the adult eagles chased it out. Shortly after, I heard the juvenile eagle yelling for food so I left the bay and went around the corner to where the eagles tend to hang out. 

I found the adult perched in a tree and I positioned my kayak so I could watch and take photos. He or she did not sit there for long before flying out to the middle of the lake to fish. Once the adult took off, the juvenile immediately followed and circled around, eventually landing in a tree. From a distance I watched as the eagle did several circles and eventually went down for fish. After the adult eagle caught the fish, he landed in the dead tree on the island and started to eat it. The juvenile immediately flew over and landed just behind and below the adult. After much yelling from the juvenile, he flew up to the adult and snatched the fish out of the adults talons. The adult flew off and flew past the fort, giving me an awesome opportunity to get a shot of him with the fort in the background. I watched the juvenile for a minute and he eventually flew off to eat his meal elsewhere.

By that time, I had been in the water for roughly 5 1/2 hours so I slowly started to make my way back to the dock. I watched the osprey for a little longer and I got some nice shots of a great blue heron before proceeding on my two mile journey back.

The day was awesome and there was so much to see. My two biggest highlights were getting to photograph the bald eagle with the fort in the background and the opportunity to photograph an osprey with the American flag from the fort in the background. The day was so awesome that I'm thinking I need to kayak again tomorrow!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bald bird birds champlain county debbie eagle essex flight flying fort historic kayaking lachute lake nature new of paddle predator prey quick raptor river ticonderoga water wild wildlife wings york http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-19-2017 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 01:32:18 GMT
August 9, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-9-2017 Osprey Kid defending his meal

Last summer as I stood at the boat launch in Ticonderoga, I watched as Osprey came and went from land to the lake and back to land. I assumed there was a nest in a particular area and I intended to check it out this summer. I finally went and did so today and to my surprise it was very easy to find and in a fantastic location. One minor problem though, camera's with telephoto lenses and monopods/tripods are not permitted. One of the friendly staff on the grounds approached me and went over the rules with me and I was sad, but very respectful as the person giving me the message was only doing her job. I was respectful of the rules, I thanked her and explained to her that I'm a wildlife photographer and that I would leave. She then proceeded to tell me that she would make a call and see if she could get permission for me to stay in the gardens and photograph the wildlife. Minutes later she returned with a phone number and the name of a person I could call and speak to. I made the called and understood and respected the contract I needed to sign to be able to hang out for the day with my camera. As I sit here this evening, I'm still so grateful that I was given the opportunity.

Once the morning negotiations were established, I got to enjoy nature and my surroundings. I hung out near the lake and in some absolutely beautiful gardens and had the opportunity to photograph osprey, a hummingbird, a couple of butterflies, a goldfinch and some beautiful flowers. The osprey didn't move much, but the kids sure did do a lot of yelling for food. One kid flew once when I first arrived, but then sat in the nest the entire time guarding the fish he had in there. The other kid moved around from tree to tree and tried to go to the nest once, but was chased out by the kid in there with his meal. Eventually in the mid afternoon, the female went to the nest with a fish for the other kid and he followed mom into the nest. Mom turned the fish over to him and he flew to a nearby pine tree to eat it while mom flew to another nearby tree to watch.

In addition to watching the osprey and enjoying the garden, it was also nice to talk to the tourists who all came through and had questions about "the birds" in the nest and the trees. Some of the people knew they were osprey and others weren't sure what they were. It was nice to chat with people and share my knowledge.

The osprey were fun to watch and they landed in a few different trees. That was really nice to see, in fact, it was really nice to get a different scenery with the osprey from the scenery I've had from the past four years with the other osprey nest I watch. It was definitely a fantastic day and it was only 10 minutes from the campground as apposed to the 30 minutes I travel to the other nest. I'm really hoping I'll be able to work out a seasonal contract for next year so I can keep a closer eye on this nest.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adult animal avian bird birding birds of prey carnivore claws feather fierce fight fighting fish flapping gardens hunter intense juvenile lake champlain natural nature nest new york osprey outdoor powerful raptor sea hawk talons ticonderoga wild wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-9-2017 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:42:12 GMT
August 6, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-6-2017 Osprey Dad - The Ultimate Fishing Bird

Today was another full day spent in Crown Point with my favorite Osprey family. The temps were really nice with a fantastic breeze coming off Lake Champlain and the light was iffy throughout the day as the sun kept going in and out of the clouds. Changing light is a tough challenge while out photographing because it means having to continuously change camera settings. I would much rather have a steady good or steady average light.

When my friend and I first arrived at Crown Point, the kid was in the nest and mom was perched nearby. The kid was yelling and yelling and yelling for food, so we hoped it wouldn't be long before dad would deliver something and sure enough he did. Dad didn't stay for long as he dropped the fish and left. Mom sat in the same spot for almost the whole day and the kid ate his meal and continued to yell after. He took flight out of the nest at one point and landed in a tree on the jetty, overlooking Lake Champlain. He stayed for a while and eventually left when a big group of people (including children) approached the area to hang out and fish.

After that nice opportunity of watching the kid in a tree, he sat in the nest for a long time. Dad eventually returned with a fish and brought 4 or 5 more into the nest in a short period of time. It seemed rather odd that dad was stock piling fish in the nest at this point as this is the time when the parents are usually luring the kid away from the nest. Mom continued to sit in that same tree while he was in and out with the fish. Eventually he came with one and left with it so he could enjoy it for himself. He took it to his favorite tree and mom yelled and yelled. I'm assuming she may have wanted him to deliver one to her. Eventually, she took flight and got close to the nest and he left his tree and went back to the nest with his meal, almost as if he was guarding the kid and all the fish in the nest from her. It was extremely odd behavior. She landed on a nearby post and stayed there for the remainder of our time on site and he went back to his tree with his fish. Meanwhile, the kid eventually left and landed on another post. We waited for roughly 45 minutes to see if something else would happen and nothing did. At this point, the light wasn't so great and my friend needed to get back to camp so he could pack up his car and head home.

Once again it was a great day osprey watching and it was so cool to see how many fish dad could catch in such a short period of time. Most of them were on the smaller side, but the shot I decided to choose for my blog was his biggest catch of the day. It's always so cool to watch these guys!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adult animal avian bird birding birds of prey carnivore claws crown point feather fierce fight fighting fish flapping hunter intense juvenile lake champlain natural nature nest new york osprey outdoor powerful raptor sea hawk talons wild wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-6-2017 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 22:04:35 GMT
August 5, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-5-2017 Osprey kid out and about

I was first awakened at 5:55 this morning by some seriously heavy rain that startled me out of my deep sleep as it began to hit the camper very hard. Once it registered that the loud noise I was hearing was simply the rain, I rolled over and went back to sleep. The boyz and I wound up rolling out of bed after 8 and it felt so good to sleep in. Although the morning began very rainy, it eventually passed and turned into a gorgeous day.

I was in no rush to get out this morning because I was waiting for a friend to join me at camp and because I was busy setting up my new Mac as I waited for his arrival. He arrived around 11:30 or so and we immediately headed out to go see my favorite Osprey family. When we first arrived on location, all the osprey were out and about, so I went to check on the sheep. The sheep were so funny as when I was approaching their pen they were nervous and ran away. I stopped and watched them and they must have felt comfortable because they all started to head towards me (near the electric fence). I was so tempted to try and reach over and pet one, but I refrained since I didn't want them or me getting electrocuted.

I didn't stay with the sheep too long before heading back up to my friend and the osprey. As I was heading back up, the kid and one of the adults flew into the nest. The adult didn't stay long, but the kid hung out for a while. Eventually the kid flew and headed towards the water. He wound up landing in a really nice spot on a dead branch that was low to the ground and overlooking Lake Champlain. My friend and I got some great shots and even watched as a robin harassed him and chased him away. 

The kid was in and out of the nest only a few times today, but when he went out he landed in some great spots. Later in the afternoon he landed in a tree overlooking the lake. It was really breezy and he landed on a very thin branch, so it was fun watching him try to balance and hang on. I got some great shots of him flapping his wings to try and maintain balance.

Not much else happened. Mom flew into the nest a couple times with the kid and dad brought him two small fish. The light was nice most of the afternoon as clouds came and went.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers first flight fledgeling nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-5-2017 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 02:12:53 GMT
July 30, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-30-2017 Osprey kid on the rocks

Once again, the boyz and I woke up to a cold camper in the upper 50's. We got up late, but got moving a little quicker than yesterday. After I took care of their need this morning, I headed back out to my favorite osprey nest.

As I was walking up to the nest, I could see the kid was out flying around. He was out for a bit and was venturing a little further than yesterday. In fact, he looked like he was trying to land in the trees, but didn't know how to do so and eventually went back to the nest. As I got closer, I could see that mom was sitting in the same tree she was in yesterday.

The kid was in and out of the nest all day long and provided some awesome opportunities for photos. A couple of times he landed at the tippy top of trees and had a hard time balancing and wound up leaving and heading back to the nest. Apparently he hasn't yet realized that you have to land on a branch and not the top of the tree like a tree topper. On one of his times out, he landed on some rocks on top of hill, overlooking the lake. That was a fantastic spot as I was able to get up on the hill and sit on the ground and get pics of him at eye level. Mom and dad were so unhappy that he had landed on the ground and were yelling and yelling and yelling at him. He ignored them and they both flew into the nest and continued to yell at him to get off the ground and back to the nest. The parents yelled for at least 5 minutes before he obeyed and went back. 

The light was fantastic and the sky was a beautiful blue all day. It was nice to have cooperation from both him and mom. Mom did a few fly arounds, landed in the nest twice and chased two or three other ospreys out of the area throughout the day. She even chased after a great blue heron who did a fly by, right over the nest.

It was a fantastic day and I thought I would share a pic of the kid on the rocks! I'm still so thrilled with that opportunity! In fact, I was so close that this shot is not at all cropped. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers first flight fledgeling ground lake champlain nest nesting new york osprey raptor rocks the adirondacks wild wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-30-2017 Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:18:40 GMT
July 29, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-29-2017 Osprey kid fledged

The boyz and I woke a little late this morning and we weren't too anxious to get out of our comfy bed as it was only 59 degrees in the camper. We eventually rolled out from under the warm blankets and shivered for a few seconds as we adjusted to the cool morning.

After getting the boyz out for their morning walk, I eventually loaded up the car and headed to Crown Point to check on my favorite Osprey nest. As I parked the car and started to head towards the nest, I watched as dad flew a fish into the nest for the kid and quickly left. Upon closer arrival, I spotted mom in one of her favorite trees, yet on a branch I've never seen her on. A really great spot! I sat with the kid for only a minute before I headed over to get a few shots of mom sitting in the tree. I approached very slowly and went up the hill to get more at eye level with her. She was extremely cooperative and I sat and watched her for at least 20 minutes before heading back to the nest. While I watched her, she periodically called out. I wasn't sure if she was calling for dad or trying to lure out the kid. I later realized she was trying to get that kid out of the nest.

After enjoying some time watching mom perched in the tree, I decided to head back over to the nest to watch the youngster. As I was heading back, mom decided she was also going to head to the nest and I found her sitting in there with the kid when I got to my viewing spot. She sat there for maybe a half hour or so before going back to the tree she was in earlier. Once again, she sat and tried calling the kid out, but he didn't budge. Eventually I went over and got a few shots of her as she was in another really nice spot. She sat for a bit and then flew south along Lake Champlain.

I then decided to head back to the nest and watch the youngster in case he decided to stretch or do some wing flapping, but that never happened. Instead he walked towards the edge of the nest and made me so nervous. I watched and prayed that he would be safe and wouldn't fall out of the nest. Then, to my surprise, he took off and flew a few awkward circles before he decided to land back in the nest. It was such a beautiful moment to see this guy out of the nest for the first time. After he landed back in the nest, I noticed that his body language had changed and he appeared to have a little more confidence in himself. Both mom and dad made an appearance after he fledged and mom landed back in the nest for a bit. Eventually she left and he once again took another flight. He then continued to fly in and out of the nest during my last couple of hours there

The first outing for this guy was a bit long as I'm sure it took a bit of effort to get back to the nest. Then the next few times out, his flight was short and there was a long break in between for some rest. By his sixth flight out, he was out longer and went a little further from the nest. On many of his flights, he flew towards me and right over my head. So close that I couldn't get focus because he was too close. 

It was a fantastic day watching this youngster learn to fly and land and I can't wait to go back tomorrow to watch some more. I feel so blessed that I get to observe and capture these special moments. It really is an amazing thing to see! Here is a shot of one of him landing back in the nest, perhaps the 5th or 6th try which was far more graceful than his first landing or two!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers first flight fledgeling nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-29-2017 Sat, 29 Jul 2017 22:58:26 GMT
July 22, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-22-2017 Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park

My day started early as my buddy, Bob, picked up up at 7:30 am to head to Lime Rock Park to watch the Northeast Grand Prix. We arrived at the race track around 8:30 and had a busy day. We walked around the track throughout the day to observe and photograph the races from various viewing spots along the track. We got to watch the Qualifying Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda and three races. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport and Street Tuner was a 2 hour race, the Continental Road Race Challenge for the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda was a 45 minute race and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix was a 2 hours, 40 minutes race. 

It was really awesome being at the track and watching all the beautiful cars out there. We got to enjoy four different classes of cars on the track and close-up in the paddock: The GT Le Mans (pro), the GT Daytona (pro-am), the Grand Sport and the Street Tuner. The cars were driven either by professional drivers (pro) or a pair of drivers consisting of one professional and one amateur driver (pro-am).

There were many cool and expensive cars out on the track and they were fun to watch. It was hard to pick a favorite car today because the cars consisted of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Acura, Audi, Mercedes, Mini, Aston Martin, McLaren, Ford and Mazda. The cars all had beautiful decals and looked really awesome.

I considered using one of the Mini's as my blog post since I own a Mini, but in the end, I couldn't resist a beautiful Mercedes that had caught my eye. The Mercedes AMG GT3 driven by SunEnergy1 Racing with Kenny Habul and Tristan Vautier as the drivers. The colors and the design of the car made it a real eye catcher. I enjoyed the contrasts of the purple, orange and yellow and the energy that the colors gave me. It wasn't the fastest car on the track, but in my eyes, it was the most beautiful one to watch. I could have taken photo's of this car all day long!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) acura audi auto racing automobiles btw cars continental tires corvette ferrari ford grand sport gt daytona gt le mans ipsa weathertech sportswear championship jcw lamborghini lexus lime rock park mazda mclaren mercedes mercedes amg gt3 mini mini cooper northeast grand prix porsche pro pro-am race street tuner track http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-22-2017 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:25:29 GMT
July 16, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-16-2017 Today was a gorgeous day in Ticonderoga, NY. Sunny with a high of 82!

My buddy, Justin, and I went kayaking on LaChute River and into Lake Champlain. We paddled 6.5 miles and saw a ton of wildlife, some far and some close. The wildlife we saw included: turtles, bald eagles, osprey, gulls, terns, red winged blackbirds, grackles, kingbirds, kingfishers and probably some other stuff. 

The bald eagles seem to have only one fledgling this year, which is a slight disappointment because over the past three years they've had three fledgelings each year. The parents and the eaglet hung out in an area that was a bit distant from the nest and not where I've ever seen them hang out in the past. The eaglet yelled and yelled and yelled all day for food. The adults seemed to ignore him/her.

The smaller birds were seen throughout the day, mostly on LaChute River and the terns hung out in a part of Lake Champlain that was a bit choppy. Justin and I did our best out there to get shots of the terns, but the speed boats kept throwing off a lot of wake which bobbed us around and quickly moved us out of our position. We tried our best and took a bunch of photos. Three of the terns were adult Caspian Terns and one was a juvenile Caspian Tern. Because the juvenile tern was so pretty, I decided it would make a fantastic blog pic! I hope you all enjoy!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird common day debbie quick debs creative images feathers juvenile caspian tern lake champlain new york shorebird sunny tern ticonderoga water waterfowl wild wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-16-2017 Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:47:18 GMT
July 15, 2017 http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-15-2017 I feel bad as I haven't posted in while, but life has been busy!

My buddy Justin is with me up at my camper for the weekend and we went out today to enjoy wildlife. Our main mission was to head north and watch my favorite pair of osprey! We arrived at our location at roughly 8:30 this morning, parked the car and started walking towards the nest when we both saw something white flying low to the ground. We quickly went over to observe what we got a quick glance of and soon realized it was a baby albino robin. The robin must have recently fledged as it wasn't yet good at flying. It was extremely beautiful with its white feathers and red eyes. I've never seen anything like that. In fact, it seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity as only 1 in every 30,000 robins are albino. 

We spent roughly 30-40 minutes watching the albino robin and we even got to see the mama robin come in and feed it worms. Eventually the mama robin lured the baby albino away and so we moved on to spend time with the Osprey. As we continued to walk to the osprey nest, the male flew out and left the mama in there with the chick. The mama sat with the kid the entire day while the papa was out. In fact, we observed that he had fishing line hanging from his legs and a hook on the end of it. We both worried about him throughout the day and we were thrilled when we saw him in the evening and the fishing line was gone.

We didn't observe much activity with the osprey, but it was still fun to sit and watch. The mom fed the chick a couple of times throughout the morning, but then they had no food all afternoon. The male came through with a fish in the mid afternoon, but he didn't go to the nest with it because he was being harassed by an eastern kingbird. Instead he went to a dead tree and ate it. The female was very mad at him and when he showed up to the nest much later she yelled and yelled and yelled at him. He left and we thought for sure he was going to get some food for mom and the chick, but we waited for over an hour and he never returned with anything. By 5pm we got tired of waiting and left.

The day was mostly quiet with little activity, but the excitement of the albino robin made it a completely awesome night!

For products created with this image, see: Albino Robin Products

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks albino animal bird crown point debbie quick debs creative images essex county natural nature new york osprey outdoors park robin songbird wild wildlife http://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-15-2017 Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:56:46 GMT