Thursday, December 1, 2011

Strip pit report....

I haven't been going to the strip pits as much as normal, and when I have, there hasn't been much to report. Most times I have been lucky to see anything at all. I think it has been due to the time I am out there...I have either hit it too early or too near dark. Last night was different.
I had barely got to the first pond that is right near the entrance, when on in the distance I saw a Northern Harrier...I raced down to try to catch it. Then there were what I took to be three of them....they had moved on farther from the road and where swooping and circling...and just moving all the time. It did cross my mind that one was definitely darker than the others, and bigger...but I didn't give it a thought that the two smaller ones were owls till I downloaded the photos. You will probably have to enlarge this to even see the birds.

The birds drifted even farther away--I headed on down the road, but no more than started, till I noticed the two deer above....they were too far away to get a good shot, and started retreating soon as I headed their way. I passed a small pond that had swans on it, but they were too far away to get a good shot... I went on to the biggest pond near the road....water covered the road there and was a little deeper than I wanted to venture across, though I really think it would have been fine. It isn't like it is flowing....it just gets up and stands in the road.

I turned around, and headed back from the direction I came...when I got back to where I first saw the Northern Harrier and the other two birds, there were the owls! The short-eared owls--there was four right there, they swoop and fly low to the ground while they hunt. Now two of these did light on the ground...not like they were catching something, but they just set and looked all around...

I saw four right there, and then two more on down the way....so they are back in full force. I did go back to the entrance, turned around and drove back to where the water was across the road in hopes of seeing one sitting on a fence post, but no such luck. I did see more deer however....though I lost count. Oh, it was not 20 or 30, or any number like that...but thinking along the lines of 10-12...

There was actually a 3rd deer with these, but didn't get a good picture that showed it because it blended in so well with the background. And I think these are the two that are in the other photo above of deer...they are in the same place where I saw them.

There were also a few geese, and then there was flocks of some other type of duck...with as small as they were, they were too far away to get a decent picture of...there were about 3 different flocks in the air...each one probably having at least 100...and a few little groups of 6 or 8 or 10 'ducks.'

It was sure good to see some wildlife once again...

12 comments:

Judy said...

You sure do see the wildlife at the strip pit.

Ginny said...

What a lot of variety you found, and how cool about the owls!!!! I thought they only come out and hunt at night.

Montanagirl said...

You saw a nice variety! Love the Owl shot.

EG Wow said...

You hit the jackpot, Rose! Ans the colour of the sky is so pretty.

Lois Evensen said...

There was a great deal going on there. Nice shots.

Maple Lane said...

Sounds like a delightful outing. Thanks for sharing the photos.

bettyl said...

What a great lot you got to experience!

Ellie said...

That was lucky to see so much. I bet your were glad you went.

Sandra said...

not sure what the strip pit is, maybe from mining? if so I am happy to see there are birds and deer there. I love wild life preserves and this looks like one in the making. i would have a joy fit if i could see just one Owl but that many would be a wow wow wow moment for sure.

don said...

I enjoyed your update on the strip pits. Fine bird shot especially when enlarged. All looked much better for detail when enlarged. I can't do that on my blog…a negative factor!

Marie said...

WOW! These are such impressive pictures! Yep, that roadrunner on my post and the previous Cooper's Hawk were such treats, but I have never seen or photographed an owl or a Harrier, and to see so many at once was just wonderful! What a great place to go to see wildlife! Thanks for visiting my post, too.

Neal said...

Wow, that was a good outing. I wish we had something like that close to us.

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