Wow, today has been a long and amazing day!
I got up early and headed off to work. We are now in crunch time as we have a big deadline coming up and so I've been working very hard to meet that date. By the time lunch time arrived, I desperately needed a little break and headed out towards the Hudson River with my camera. I heard a bald eagle yelling and followed the sound to see what was going on. Two immature bald eagles left the area, then I saw what all the noise was about. An adult bald eagle was perched in a pine tree with a striper (fish). The immatures must have chased her there after she caught the fish and she yelled and yelled and yelled until they left. I watched her eat the entire fish, then she flew out of the tree, straight towards me and landed in another pine tree, right over my head. I couldn't even see her and had to reposition myself to get a few shots. I wish I could have stayed longer to watch her, but by that time I needed to head back to work.
After work I met up with my friends Bob and Carol and we headed down to Newburgh to see the ducks and ducklings! We arrived and immediately found the beautiful cream colored mallard with her kids in tow. They were so adorable to watch as they stayed close to mom and would run/swim really fast to stay together. They came in really close and so it was hard to get pics. Especially since the Canadian Geese kept getting in the way.
We slowly made our way around the pond and got to see two male wood ducks sitting in the trees. That was a real blessing as it was the first time I've seen them in a tree. The light was harsh and they sat in relatively dark spots, so we had to manipulate our settings best as possible to get the shots. As we continued, we ran into our friend Dan who told us about the female wood duck and her adventures of trying to get out of the area with her kids earlier in the day. Apparently they had succeeded in their escape as they were nowhere to be found this evening.
As we walked around the pond, we witnessed the crows harassing and chasing the wood ducks. I felt so sorry for the ducks as they are nesting and trying to raise their young. By the time we got three quarters away around the pond, we ran into the female mallard and her kids again. She was sitting in the grass with the kids snuggled underneath. The geese and gulls kept going over and disturbing her and so my friend Dan tried very politely to get them away from her, it was rather entertaining to watch. Eventually, she and the kids got up and started moving about. I tried very hard to get photos of the ducklings in the grass, but must admit that it was extremely challenging as the blades of grass were taller than the adorable ducklings.
Although I had to work most of the day, my biggest highlights were during lunch and after work. Both outings with my camera were completely amazing and now I'm totally wiped out (so tired, I couldn't even finish my dinner this evening)!