Saturday, December 11, 2010

Birds of a feather....

I have been wanting to get out to the strip pits near last night, I debated on going or not. I wasn't really in the mood to get out but I knew it was supposed to rain today so I forced myself got my mind/body in gear and headed out there late yesterday evening.
I had not gone even half a mile till I seen my first pheasant...he took off at a pace, too fast to get a good photo. But just little bit farther on I hit the jackpot! Except I did not get a photo of them all. Up near the road there were 6, yes SIX male ring-necked pheasants...and up the hill a bit farther were the two above.
I did not get a single picture of the group of six....they were kind of strung out and started taking off before I could get all the photos I wanted And at that none of the ones I took are very good. The only thing I wonder is where are the females...I saw several more pheasants after this bunch, but not one single female. And back during the spring and summer, I only saw one or two females...but lots and lots of males.

I know the females are harder to spot...they do not have the the beautiful colors of the male, but still you would think I would have seen one or two last night...specially with the snow on the ground.
No here we have the main reason I was wanting to go out there late in the evening...I wanted to see if any of the short-eared owls had returned. I am here to tell you they have returned and brought their relatives and neighbors, too. I have never seen so many as were out there.
I am showing three different short-eared owls....but I could not count how many I saw...I counted 5 in the sky at one time. It was not seeing one, it disappearing and seeing another...they were all within sight at the same time! They look like a bomber at certain angles in flight.

Notice the sign under the one above...apparently the owl is not reading the sign. Click the above photo and and look how intent the owl is looking at something down below. If I were a mouse, I would be afraid.
Aren't they a fine looking bird?