Debs Creative Images: Blog en-us (C) Debs Creative Images (Debs Creative Images) Mon, 12 Mar 2018 02:53:00 GMT Mon, 12 Mar 2018 02:53:00 GMT Debs Creative Images: Blog 120 109 March 11, 2018 Short-eared owl

I woke up to a beautiful morning with the sun shining and the most beautiful blue sky. I planned to spend the entire day out with my camera and new I would be out late, so I took my time getting ready and hanging with the dogs before going out. I first stopped in two locations along the Hudson River in hopes of seeing some bald eagles, but they did not cooperate. By mid afternoon, I headed out to the Shawangunk Grasslands in hopes of seeing short-eared owls.

I arrived at the grasslands at roughly 3pm and ran into a bunch of photography friends. I chatted for a few minutes, then around 3:15 the owls came up. Considering the time change, this was really early to see the owls up and flying. They were extremely vocal and put on the best show I've seen this year. Most of the activity was far, but it was incredibly fun to watch. Mostly the owls chased each other, but I did get an opportunity or two with a short-eared owl interacting with a northern harrier. It was so fun to watch.

There was one owl in particular who kept circling relatively close, near a post. Several times it looked as though the owl would perch on the post, but it never did. We all kept hoping over the course of 3-4 hrs as we watched.

The day was fantastic. It was nice to run into some photog friends, meet some to photography peeps and to watch the beautiful birds putting on an awesome show!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird birds of prey birds of the northeast debbie quick debs creative images elite birds elite owls feathers grasslands nature nature photography natures best shots owl owl photography raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography wings worldwide birds Mon, 12 Mar 2018 02:52:54 GMT
February 26, 2018 Snowy kinda day

My day began super early as I woke at 4 and was out of my house by 5 to drop my dogs off with my parents before heading to the Connecticut Shore. It was so dark and incredibly foggy on my way to my parents house, that it was really tough to see the road. I had to drive extremely slow and carefully follow the lines in the road. My dogs chilled in their travel seat by my side and were excited to be going to my parents house. I always feel lucky that they are so go with the flow.

The first half hour to forty five minutes after dropping my dogs off was still very dark and a little foggy. I hit a bad pothole roughly 5 minutes into the drive and was concerned about my tire popping, luckily it was fine and I was able to continue on. I arrived at the beach at 7:15 and the fog was extremely thick and the sky overcast, but that didn't stop me from beginning my journey down the beach to look for a snowy owl. I got roughly a mile down and spotted three photographers who already had their lenses on a snowy, so that made the search easy, lol. Once I joined them I was chatting with them and they mentioned there was another one just a little further out, and sure enough when I a walked to the left a bit, I could see it. I wound up staying with the three guys and photographing the extremely cooperative snowy owl that we believe is a female. As we stood there another woman joined us, then she continued on to the other snowy owl that we believe to be a male. He let her get relatively close, then flew, giving us a nice opportunity for some flight shots. 

People came and went throughout the day and even I left for a bit in the early afternoon to make a pit stop and grab my lunch from the car. I saw two of the woman I know from the Waterman Bird Club, I believe their names are Adrienne and Sharon. And I met a photographer that I've chatted with on line, Will. It's so nice to run into people I know and to meet new people while out in the field (or the beach in this case). The owl I watched all day (for 7 hrs to be exact) didn't do much.... snoozed, preened, scratched, yawned and periodically walked around.

I wound up leaving the beach around 4 pm because light stunk and there was nothing much going on. I went to check into my hotel and then walked the shore near the hotel for a bit. Then when I went in to relax and order food, the clouds dispersed and the sun came out. So, I decided to put my food to the side and head back over to the beach. The two owls were extremely distant while the late afternoon light was really nice, but then as I was leaving I spotted the third owl of the day on a vent on a roof. Light was really stinky by this time, but I took a few shots anyway. Maybe I can tweak one enough to post.

It was truly a glorious day and I am excited/wiped out. I look forward to getting back out there first thing in the morning!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) arctic bird arctic raptor arctic wildlife bird bird lovers bird photography birds of a feather birds of a feather flock together birds of prey elite owls elite raptors elite worldwide birds nature nature lovers nature perfection nature photography natures best shots owl raptor snowy owl wild wildlife wildlife lovers wildlife photography your best shots Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:21:17 GMT
February 24, 2018 Starling near an old barn

I was planning to get up and out early this morning because I knew the window for sunshine would be short, sadly I didn't sleep well last night and so the idea of getting up early didn't happen. It was just after 8 when I forced myself out of bed to get started on my day. I took a quick shower and took care of the dogs before rushing out.

I first went to Vassar Farms to walk my favorite trail. As soon as I got out of my car, I spotted a starling sitting on a pipe in front of the old barn. Generally I wouldn't want to see wildlife on pipes or wires, but in this situation I envisioned a cool opportunity as the pipe was just as old and rustic as the barn. I positioned myself to get the sun behind me and took a few shots of the starling. There was another starling just to the right, sitting on a nesting box that didn't seem as creative of a shot, so I didn't bother to take one. I stood and watched the starlings for a few minutes as they didn't budge when cars drove by, nor did they budge when a runner went past. I was shocked by how tame they seemed.

From there I walked down to the ponds I drive past on my way in. There wasn't much going on there. Three pairs of Canadian Geese, a pair of mallard ducks and a distant pair of common mergansers. Nothing that struck me for a photo, so I decided to leave and walk my favorite path down to the ponds. On the way I saw a pair of red tailed hawks circling high above an open field, then a little further were some deer. I was hoping to see the muskrats or beavers at the ponds, but nothing showed. By the time I got there, the skies had completely clouded over and light stunk anyway, so I turned back. I didn't see much of anything on the way back and a light drizzle started, so I figured that was my cue to go home. I was pleased to see such a nice variety of wildlife and really happy about my shots with the beautiful starling. So excited, that I figured it would make a great blog photo!

Enjoy the weekend. It looks like the rest of today and all of tomorrow will be gloomy and rainy here in NY, so I'll probably try to catch up on other stuff.

]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography barn bird bird photography colorful debbie quick debs creative images nature nature photography new york old poughkeepsie rustic songbird starling the hudson valley vassar farm and ecological preserve vassar farms vassar farms ecological preserve wild wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 24 Feb 2018 17:59:17 GMT
February 18,2018 Immature Red Tailed Hawk

I woke early today to a blanket of heavy/wet snow and beautiful blue skies. I new it would be a nice day to get out so instead of goofing off and being lazy, I shoveled the driveway and got ready immediately to get out and enjoy the day.

I went to three different areas and saw a bunch of bald eagles, an immature red tailed hawk, northern harriers, gray ghosts (hawks) and short eared owls. Not all of the birds were close enough for good photo opportunities, but it was still really nice to see and watch them.

The biggest highlight of my day was the immature red tailed hawk who was hunting in a field. He moved around a few times and landed on the ground a few times. The branch he landed on in one of the trees was a really nice snow covered branch and he looked so beautiful sitting there. His second landing to the ground resulted in him getting his feet caught in the grass, but after a little wiggling and tugging, he got free. Then in his third flight from a tree to the ground he flew so close to me that I couldn't get pics, then landed so hard on the ground making this big thumping sound. It sounded painful to me, but he didn't seem at all phased by it. After his third attempt at trying to hunt in the field, he moved on to another area to try again so I left to move on to another location.

At my final location I saw the northern harriers, gray ghosts and short eared owls. The northern harriers gave a few nice fly by's, but the other birds stayed very distant. Although far, it was still an amazing site to see and fun to watch. Plus the noises the short eared owls make is rather amusing.

It was a great day out as I saw so much and the sun shined all day. With the sunshine reflecting off the beautiful white snow I got sunburn on my face. Oops, ouchie, it doesn't feel that great so I do hope it goes away quickly, lol.

]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images field grass ground hawk hawk photography hunting nature nature photography natures beauty natures best shots new york poughkeepsie predator raptor red tailed hawk snow taking off the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography winter Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:20:51 GMT
February 17, 2018 Eagle Filled Day

Over the past two months I've been focused on getting shots of snowy owls and short-eared owls. Since I haven't put much time into looking for eagles lately, I thought today I would shift my focus on going out to photograph the wintering eagles in our area.

I first started my day by going down to Peekskill to meet up with a new friend. He was fantastic as he showed me around the area and directed me to all the hot spots. We cruised around Peekskill and Verplanck, staying in areas along the Hudson River and saw eagles everywhere. There were eagles of all different ages and they were so entertaining to watch. They perched in trees along the roads giving us fantastic opportunities for perched shots with the beautiful blue sky in the background. We also watched eagles fishing in the distance and we watched so many chases. The young eagles looked like they were having fun goofing off with one another.

At one point one of the youngsters caught a fish and landed on the train tracks to eat it. I was so nervous the whole time it sat there eating and with the other eagles joining him on the tracks. It was there for a while and I kept on eye on it while hoping it would move elsewhere, but it didn't. Then we heard a train approaching and I was really nervous for him and the other two eagles that joined him and watched him eat. I watched as the train got closer and closer and held my breath while praying for them. Eventually the conductor honked and honked the horn. I was so relieved as the sound of the horn made them flee the tracks. Sadly though, after the train went by, they returned. Luckily all went well and they eventually got off the tracks.

By early afternoon the winds had picked up and the sky quickly turned to overcast, so I figured I would head back towards the Poughkeepsie area and check some of my favorite hotspots there. That too was plenty full of eagles as I saw 4 or 5 more before calling it a day and heading home.

With so many eagle pics to choose from it was tough to pick one out for the blog, so I figured I would use one of the shots of the first eagle I photographed this morning. My guess is that this youngster is around 3-4 yrs of age as it has a lot of white on his head and tail feathers. What struck me most about this guy is his striking eyes. Intense and beautiful!


]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bald eagle bird bird photography birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images eagle migrants nature nature photography natures best shots new york peekskill perched predator raptor the hudson river the hudson valley tree wild wildlife wildlife photography winter winter eagles Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:20:47 GMT
January 27, 2018 Along the Hudson River

I got up early today and headed down to Westchester County to hang out along the Hudson River. I ran into a couple of friends and made a few new ones. It was a bit chilly at roughly 29 degrees, but it was worth it as we watched the eagles on the ice. For the most part, they were rather distant, but I saw 20+ eagles so that was really nice. The best of the activity happened between 8:30 and 9:30 in the morning. I missed the first pass of eagles, but caught the second part of the show.

As we stood around waiting for the eagles to return and do something interesting, we suddenly heard a loud commotion amongst the gulls. Apparently one got a piece of bread and flew off with it, with at least 20 gulls chasing it in hopes of stealing the meal. Then there was a lag of quiet time when a great blue heron came around the corner and flew straight towards as and continued past us. The great blue heron gave a fantastic opportunity for fill the frame shots.

After sitting around there for a bit with nothing happening, I decided to move along to another location. On my way to my 2nd location I stopped to pick up a burger and some fries. Upon arrival, I was eating my fries and a gull flew over near me, looking at me with an expression that simply meant he/she would really like a fry. I tossed one out and the gull hopped over and gulped it down. It continued to sit and ask for another, so naturally I tossed another out. Sadly, I only had a small order and I was already at the bottom of the pouch, so the gull only got 5 fries out of me. At that moment, I was wishing I had more to share. After we were done sharing my fries I realized, I probably could have tried to hand feed it one. Perhaps next time I get such an opportunity, I will give it a try.

Other than my bonding experience with the gull, not much happened at the 2nd location. There were 4 eagles out on ice, extremely distant so I left and headed for my third location.

My third location is a nesting spot for bald eagles and as soon as I arrived I spotted the male heading for the nest with a twig. He sat in the nest for a while, rearranging things before flying off and going to get another stick. After his second attempt at nest rearranging, he left and was greeting by the female. They both did a fly by. She kept going and he got a branch to take to the nest. While he was sitting in the nest doing some more rearranging, she returned and perched in a great spot for photos. Eventually he left and so did she. At that point the sky had become complete overcast, so I figured it was my cue to leave as well.

It was a fantastic day out and I was so thrilled with the opportunity with the great blue heron that I thought that would make a nice photo for my blog.

As always, thanks for reading my blog and hearing about my photography opportunities! Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!



]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography debbie quick debs creative images great blue heron heron nature nature photography new york the hudson river the hudson valley verplanck waterfowl westchester county wild wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 27 Jan 2018 21:51:32 GMT
January 26, 2018 I finally scored at the Shawangunk Grasslands

I've been going to the Shawangunk Grasslands for the past 3 or 4 years and never seem to have much luck. Usually the short-eared owls will fly when the light is too dark and they usually stay very far away. Today though, things turned around for me and I had a wonderful experience.

When I first arrived at the grasslands, I saw the blind I wanted was already taken because the flag was up and so I took my 2nd favorite blind. I was there for roughly a half hour and I didn't see any human activity happening at my favorite blind, so I put my flag down and walked over. As I got close, I saw that there was indeed somebody sitting inside it, so I turned around and headed back to the blind I was originally in. On my way back, I ran into this lovely woman named Karen. We were walking and chatting and I invited her to join me at the blind. Moments after we got to the blind, the short-eared owls rose from the ground and started to fly around (while the light was still really good).

At one point I counted 5 of them in the air and it was so fun to watch them fly and interact with each other. They chased each other and yelled at each other. On occasion a Northern Harrier rose and mingled with them. They came relatively close to us a couple of times and also landed on a distant pole that was still relatively visible. At one point, one even caught a vole. Sadly though, when it took off with its meal it headed away from us and not towards us. The best moment was when one flew right over our heads. It was far too close for me to get any photos so I simply watched in awe. I was so in love with the moment and the close up view of such a stunning raptor.

As the light started to dim Karen's friend, Mary, approached the blind and hung out and walked back to the parking lot with us. It was an awesome day enjoying wildlife and meeting new people. I told Karen she was my good luck charm as this was by far the best opportunity I've ever had with the short-eared owls.

Chatting with the ladies on the walk back to the parking lot was really nice. We stopped several times to enjoy the beauty of the owls flying nearby and we saw the silhouette of one perched, looking out over the setting of the sun. At one point we had a flock of ducks fly towards us and over head. It was amusing as they sounded like a plane going over our heads.

Over the past 3 or 4 yrs I've been to the Grasslands at least 3 dozen times trying and hoping for some nice shots of the short-eared owls. Persistence (and my good luck charm) have finally paid off!

Thank you for following my blog, I hope you enjoy the beauty of this magnificent bird as much as I do!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) bird bird photography birds of a feather birds of a feather flock together birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images elite owls elite raptors grasslands national wildlife refuge nature nature photography new york owl photography raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl the hudson valley wild wildlife your best birds Sat, 27 Jan 2018 00:55:08 GMT
January 21, 2018 Gull Reflections

After my long day on the CT shore yesterday, I decided to take things easy this morning. My dogs and I slept until almost 8:30 and I took my time getting my gear packed up and hitting the road. The weather forecast for the day was mid 40's and sunny, so I knew I had to spend the afternoon out. I had a few places in mind and eventually decided I would head south and look for eagles on the Hudson River in the Westchester County area.

I first stopped at Fleischmann's Pier, but the whole area around the pier was completely iced over and the eagles were sitting extremely far out. There must have been 8-10 of them out there, but too far. Since I didn't think the opportunities would be good, I left and headed for Verplanck. As soon as I arrived, I spotted some of my photography buddies and set up with them and chatted. We saw many eagles, but they were all way too far out for photographs. The gulls however, were very close, lit up nicely by the sun and very active. As we waited and hoped the eagles would get closer or do something cool, I had fun photographing the gulls. At one point one of my friends spotted a harbor seal. She got a couple of shots of it before it ducked back under water and moved further out. We could see it periodically pop out of the water, but it stayed distant after my friend first spotted it.

Eventually we all decided to pack it in and head down to George's Island. There were 10+ eagles there, again all very distant. At one point there were 6 of them flying and two sets of juveniles chasing each other and interacting. It was really fun to watch, yet no good opportunities for photos because they were distant. 

Although I went down there for eagles and didn't get any decent eagle shots, I'm not at all disappointed because the gulls gave a great show! I've decided to use one of my shots of a ring-billed gull (at least I believe that is the type gull it is) as my blog. I've titled it "Gull Reflections"!

Thank you for following my blog! I hope to get some new and interesting posts out there this year!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography debbie quick debs creative images flight flying gull nature nature photography reflection reflections ring-billed gull scavenger shorebird the hudson river the hudson river valley the hudson valley water wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 21 Jan 2018 22:18:20 GMT
January 20, 2018 Third times a charm

I woke this morning and got my gear together to head to the CT shore. My drive there was a little crazy, but not too bad. On Rt 84 I was in the middle lane and almost got hit by this fast and furious kid who was in the right lane and crossed over to the left lane with barely no space between us. I don't think there was even a half inch between our cars, I was so annoyed with the kid. Then I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts to make a pit stop before my destination and I walked in on a man going to the bathroom. So embarrassing. Why would someone use a public bathroom and not lock it? Then, the final part of my journey included getting stuck behind a student driver going 15 mph below the speed limit. I was really shocked that the instructor had her on such a busy road right before it turned into a freeway and not learning in a more appropriate area for her current skill level.

Anyhow, I finally made it to the CT shore. I first took a drive over to Long Beach and saw many photographers, but no snowy owls so I decided to go to the Stratford Lighthouse Park. As I was leaving there, somebody told me that there was a close Snowy Owl at Long Beach and so I decided to go back. By the time I had gotten back over there, it wasn't close. However, I did manage to spot three very distant snowy owls and that was cool. One came in somewhat close to the road, but still not as close as I had wanted.

While standing around there, I ran into a couple who said that if I walked almost two miles down the beach there was a very cooperative snowy owl, so guess what I did. Yep, that's right, I took the almost two mile hike down the beach to see the fourth snowy owl. I made it all the way to the very end of the beach and sure enough, there was the snowy in a tree. It was looking around at the ground and took off within 3 minutes of me arriving. I continued to watch and saw that it had caught a meal and went to another area to eat it. At that point there were roughly 4 of us watching it and so we maneuvered over to watch it eat. I'm not really sure what the meal was as we weren't close enough to see it well enough, but when the owl scooped up the last of the meal to gulp down, I noticed a yellowish foot dangling from the owls beak. It was really cool to watch.

After the owl ate the meal, it sat and preened for a bit and then flew into a tree. It sat in that tree for a while before moving to a post right next to the tree. It didn't sit on the post for too long before it decided to fly of. At that point, we were all excited and decided to call it a day and head back to the parking lot. As we were walking, the guy I was chatting with spotted the owl on the ground. We were so close. Completely unintentionally close, but why move if the owl didn't care. We sat there for at least a half hour watching the owl and then it headed back to the end of the beach where it was originally. At that point I was completely thrilled with the opportunities the owl gave us and so I continued to head back to my car and go home. 

The sky was completely overcast through all of this which kinda stunk, but the opportunity was awesome and I'm thrilled. This was my third time heading to the CT shore and I finally had a pretty awesome opportunity. As they say.... either three strikes you're out or third times a charm and I'm completely happy to report that in this situation... third times a charm!!!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) arctic bird arctic raptor arctic wildlife beach bird bird lovers bird photography birds of a feather birds of a feather flock together birds of prey coastal barrier elite owls elite raptors elite worldwide birds long beach long beach park long island sound nature nature lovers nature perfection nature photography natures best shots owl raptor shore snowy owl stratford connecticut wild wildlife wildlife lovers wildlife photography your best shots Sun, 21 Jan 2018 01:43:39 GMT
January 14, 2018 Day out on the CT Shore

My plans for today were to head out to the Connecticut shore, but I started the day unsure if I would be able to do so as I was unable to get the door to my gas compartment opened last night. Generally, when I lock my doors it locks that door as well and when I unlock the doors it unlocks that door. I'm assuming the lock must have gotten stuck as I couldn't get the door opened last night, then again this morning I continued to have troubles. Eventually, out of complete frustration, I simply locked and unlocked the doors several times and bam, it finally unstuck the door to the gas compartment.

I headed out a bit later than I expected, so I skipped the first location I had on my itinerary and met a friend who studies at Vassar College in Stratford, CT. We first met near an airport, then went to the Stratford Point Lighthouse Park, Milford Point, Silver Sands State Park, and finally to Long Beach in Stratford. The temps hit a high of 21 degrees and winds were calm in some areas, yet whipping at 10mph in other areas. Since we walked roughly 6 miles, we hardly felt the cold. In fact, I was sweating most of the day as I was over bundled for all that walking.

We saw all kinds of birds that were way too far out for photographs. There were two or three snowy owls (hard to tell since we were looking from different perspectives), a couple of northern harriers, lots of ducks of many species, canadian geese, brants, gulls of different species and snow buntings. The majority of these birds were at a great distance, but there were two opportunities that really stuck out with me today. 

For a while I was completely amused by a ringed-billed gull who was at the edge of the shore looking for a meal. It pulled a clam out of the water and went onto the beach with it where it proceeded to drop it and pick it up, then it flew off with the clam and not long after it returned without it and was again looking for a meal. It came back out with another clam and followed the same routine I watched it do previously. By the third time it was back looking for a meal, we decided to move along. As we continued to walk back off of Long Beach I spotted two little birds on the ground and my friend informed me that they were snow buntings. They were so little and cute and it was my first time seeing this species so I was pretty darn excited. They were comical as when I was walking and approaching they sat relatively still, but every time I stopped to try and get pics, they would run in the opposite direction from me. We played this little game for a little while, then they moved into some shadows, so I gave up. It was rather fun to watch their slightly neurotic behavior.

Because I had so much fun photographing the ring-billed gull with the clams, I decided I should use one of those shots as my blog. So, here it goes, the most cooperative bird of my day!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography beach beak best wildlife photography bird bird photography clam debbie quick feathers flight gull long beach long island sound nature nature photography nature shooters natures best natures best photography ocean ring-billed gull sand sea shells seabird stratford connecticut water waterfowl wild wildlife wildlife photography wings Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:26:07 GMT
January 6, 2018 Red Shouldered Hawk

It's now been over a week that I've been battling this head cold and I still lack energy and feel super cruddy. Due to the head cold I slept in til 8:30 and didn't venture out into the cold til roughly 10.

I didn't see anything at my first stop and decided to go back home to check on my dogs and make sure I still had running water in these super cold temps. On my way back I spotted a red shouldered hawk in a tree and turned back to find a safe place to park my car. I parked the car, got out and got some shots of the hawk. I stayed across the road from it so that I wouldn't disturb it and did my best to maneuver to get a few photos while not getting too close and not getting hit by traffic. I watched the hawk for maybe 5-10 minutes while my fingers and toes quickly froze. I could barely stand the frigid temps and saluted a goodbye to the hawk and hopped into my car and left while it just sat there looking around.

I went back to my home to run my water and get the dogs out. After taking care of my responsibilities at home, I decided I would go for a country side drive. I headed out and I drove forever. I saw hawks and eagles flying in a distance, but nothing worth any photos. I even tried getting out of the car to walk for a bit at one of the locations I stopped at, but between the cold temps and strong winds, it was brutal. Eventually I got back into my car and decided to go home. 

As I was heading home, I decided I should stop at my favorite local park and I'm so glad I did as half way in I discovered a juvenile cooper's hawk sitting on a snowy tree branch. I pulled my car over into the snow as far as possible, shut it off and watched the hawk. I sat there watching as it was intently listening to the sounds of the songbirds. Every time one chirped, the hawk turned its head into the direction of the bird. After roughly 15-20 minutes of watching it listen to the birds, it turned and flew towards the woods. It landed in the woods and it looked like it caught a meal as it kept biting down onto something. Eventually it took off from the ground with its meal and disappeared from my view so I figured that was my clue to go home.

Since I recently used an immature cooper's hawk as my blog post, I decided I should use a red shouldered photo for today. I hope you all enjoy the shot as this bird caused all my limbs to freeze and for my toes to feel frozen for the remainder of the day. I'm just now at 11:30 pm starting to feel thawed!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography birds of prey hawk hawk photography hawks of the hudson valley la grange nature nature photography natures best photo new york raptor red shouldered hawk the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 07 Jan 2018 04:40:53 GMT
January 5, 2018 Bitter Cold Day

It was a short, 4 day work week, but it seemed much longer due to me being sick and the seriously cold spell we've been having.

I began the week with a head cold that I caught from my sister last week and have been dealing with some unseasonably cold weather. On Sunday night I had a pipe freeze and spent the first two days of the new year with no water and brutally cold temps. Then Thursday we had a nasty snow storm that dropped roughly 5 inches of snow with some heavy winds. I went outside during my lunch break to photograph my feeder birds and was totally frozen when I went back in only 45 minutes later. Although I froze, it was so worth it as I got some great shots of my cardinals and blue jays with the falling snow.

Again today, I thought I would go out at lunch to photograph the birds. The sun shined beautifully, but the temps only reached 10 degrees and the wind whipped and whirled around me, giving a wind chill value as low as -8 degrees. Although it was brutally cold, I still enjoyed seeing and photographing the birds in my neighborhood. I had a really nice opportunity with a white-throated sparrow who was eating this red stuff off of the weeds. I don't know what it was called, but it was fun to see the red all over the birds beak. Then I stumbled across an area where a whole bunch of robins were flying in and out of the pine trees and eating the berries off of them. Just as I was leaving, I realized there were a bunch of starlings in another area. They stayed fairly hidden in the pine trees, but I did get a few shots of one that emerged from the center of the tree.

I watched and photographed the birds for roughly 20 minutes, then out of nowhere they all flew. My first thought was that there must be a hawk around. Sure enough, a few seconds later I spotted a red-tailed hawk circling above. It was rather high, so I didn't get any shots of it, but I enjoyed watching it circle and the way all the songbirds fled when it entered into their territory.

The weekend has now begun and I hope to get out tomorrow, but after looking at the weather I'm not so sure I will. The high for tomorrow is a whopping 8 degrees with a wind chill value of -16. It's only the beginning of January and I'm already longing for Spring. I think it is going to be a very LONG winter.

I hope you all enjoy the shot of the Robin I thought I would share on this bitter cold winter day!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) american animal animal photography beak bird debbie quick feathers nature nature photography natures best photography natures perfection pine tree robin snow songbird wild wildlife wildlife photography wings winter Sat, 06 Jan 2018 01:18:37 GMT
December 31, 2017 Immature Cooper's Hawk

The final week of the year and I've been completely under the weather, battling a really bad head cold. My second one of the season (heck, the second one this month). Besides being sick, the temps haven't rose above 20 degrees fahrenheit and so I've spent the week bored out of my mind inside my home. Today I finally broke and went out for a few hours, despite the fact that I feel so miserable.

I stopped at five of my favorite local hot spots and didn't see much. At my second spot, I parked my car and walked the grounds for almost an hour. When I approached my car and started to pack up, I spotted something in a tree and grabbed my camera to see what it was. Low and behold, it was a gorgeous Immature Cooper's Hawk. I slowly maneuvered into a spot for better viewing and spent roughly 15 minutes watching and photographing the hawk. At first it was sitting with its back towards me looking around. After roughly 7 minutes of watching, the bird pooped and turned to face me. It continued to sit and pulled one leg up and tucked it under its feathers. It sat there looking around, then out of nowhere it lunged off the branch, straight towards me and over my head. I turned to see it land in a tree with a squirrel scurrying to get away. I figured it was hunting and that was my cue to leave, so I did so very happily with the shots I got of it posing for me.

I made three other stops after this and didn't see much of anything. In my last stop I saw a few Northern Harrier's, but they didn't cooperate for pics and I was so cold that I decided to leave. I do plan to go back on a warmer day to see if I can get any good photo opportunities with them.

Being the last day of the year, I would like to thank all of you who have been following my blog all year. I'm hoping to keep up with it again next year. Have a happy and safe New Year! See you all in 2018!!!!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) accipiter animal animal photography bird birds of prey cooper's hawk dutchess county hawk nature nature photography nature's best nature's best photography natures perfection new york poughkeepsie raptor the hudson river the hudson river valley the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife perfection wildlife photography Sun, 31 Dec 2017 23:24:45 GMT
December 26, 2017 2018 Calendars

It's so hard to believe Christmas has come and gone and we are nearing the end of the year. It's been a really awesome year and I have so much to look back and reflect on.

Early in the year I took a trip to Florida to visit my family who moved down there a couple of years ago. Not long after, camping season began and I spent as much time as possible at camp. In addition to my parents camping there, one of my sisters decided to take a spot this year with her family, which was really fantastic as it gave me more time to spend with them. Camping season goes so quickly and before we new it fall was here and then the holiday season. Yikes, it goes so fast!

Throughout the year I enjoyed family gatherings, time with friends, going to the auto races at Lime Rock Park, the balloon festival in Queensbury, the annual trip to the Conowingo Dam, running around to different locations to photograph wildlife, and many other fun activities. I had opportunities with many new animals this year, which was really awesome: I spent time with Alligators in Florida, an American Mink over the summer and I finally got to see Snowy Owls this winter.

It's been fabulous and I've made so many memories in 2017. I'm hoping for much of the same in 2018. But, before the new year gets here, I thought it would be fun to remind you all to get your new calendars. In addition to all the fun activities I've been enjoying outside the home, I've also designed many new calendars to sell. If you're interested, feel free to check out the calendars I have available for sale for 2018! Just click on the following link:

2018 Calendars

Today only, save 50% with code: ZENDOFYEAR60

Have a Happy and Safe New Year's Celebration and thank you for your support and following my blog!!!!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) 2018 calendar alligators animal photography animals bald eagles best animal photography best nature photography best wildlife photography birds birds of prey calendars chipmunks florida geese herons historical buildings horses maryland nature nature perfection nature shooters natures best photography new york osprey owls pelicans raptors reptiles small birds songbirds swans the adirondacks the hudson river the hudson river valley turtles wading birds wildlife wildlife perfection wildlife photography Tue, 26 Dec 2017 22:37:28 GMT
December 22, 2017 Photo Shoot with the Chi's

I worked the first half of the day and now have the second half of the day to goof off and do whatever. I'm still waiting for one gift to arrive and figured I might as well use my free time to wrap all the rest of the gifts I have here on hand. After getting things wrapped and under the tree I figured it would now be a good time to do a photo shoot with my boyz.

I first began by prepping the area. I got the gifts into position, the tree skirt straightened out and the pine needles cleaned up best as possible. I continued to get my camera together and sat on the floor and grabbed a test shot. I looked things over and thought, ok I'm ready to get my boyz into position. Little did I know, all I had to do was call them and they went straight to the tree and posed. No effort at all on my part to pose them. I took a few shots and then I grabbed a basket for them to sit in. No struggle, no fuss, they hopped right in and posed for their pictures.

It's amazing how well trained my boyz are for a photo shoot. I don't think it took even 2 minutes to get a few shots and I can't resist using the first shot I snapped for my blog as it is simply perfect! These boyz are truly the best. Always well behaved and cooperative. Every day I think I'm the luckiest person to have these little cuties in my life!

The boyz and I reach out to you all and say:

Merry Christmas

We hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday!


]]> (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography chihuahua chihuahuas christmas christmas gifts christmas tree companions dogs furry friends gifts holiday k9 love merry christmas pets pooch presents pups Fri, 22 Dec 2017 20:07:26 GMT
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 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!

]]> (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 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:01:53 GMT
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!



]]> (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 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:32:13 GMT
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!  :-)


]]> (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 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:36:43 GMT
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!

]]> (Debs Creative Images) maryland bald eagle birds of prey conowingo dam darlington fish flight flying predator raptor talons Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:54:28 GMT
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!



]]> (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 Sat, 04 Nov 2017 01:53:58 GMT