In a few hours I will be heading out to Salt lake City to begin a 12 day photo trip that will include Yellowston, Grand Teton, Cody Wyoming, Prior Mountian, Rock Springs and many other sites along the way. Stop back for daily updates.
May 26, 2010
January 23, 2010
The plan for the day was to have Cal and Dave scout the owl woods in the morning sifting through all the info from the many weekend birders. At the same tome Vinny, Kevin, Jim and myself took the 6AM ferry off the island and went 90 KM west to Presqu’ile Provential Park. We arrived at the park at daybreak. It was a beautiful sunrise witha cold breeze off Lake Ontario. When we arrived on Lighthouse road I started to check trhe edges of the tree line while Vinny went deeper into the woournedds to look for Bard Owls. About 10 minutes after we started I found a beautiful Red Tail hawk in a tree in front of the wooded area. Just as I started to photograph the hawk, Vinny retured with a Barred Owl sighting. We continued to photograph tp photograph the hawk and the returned to the wooded area along with 2 Ontario photographers and found the Owl Viny had see. He was perched about 8 feet off the ground on a bare limb of an evergreen tree in beautiful morning light.
Red tailed hawk
After photographing the hawk for a second time we found a second Barred owl and photographed it. We returned to Bath to see the ferry pulling away so we had a one hour wait for the next crossing. After lunch at the Lodge we returned to Owl Woods to photograph a Boreal Owl (first one ever for me), and a second Saw-Whet Owl.
Vinny and I then left to search the western end of the island. After finding a female snowy owl in a far off field we asked a farmer for permission to drive back to the field an try and photograph it. We did get within 40 yards of the bird before it left and flew to the end of the island where they roost. It was a super day. Lets see what tomorrow brings.
January 22, 2010
We left the Lodge at Amherst Island at 7:30 an headed for the eastern tip of the island in search of snowy owls. Only one was present and was very distant sitting on an Osprey platform. We then traveled to the entrance trail for the owl woods. After searching litterly every tree we heard from an ontario photographer that he had found a Saw-Whet owl.
Within 15 minutes Peter, Vinny, Dave and myself had located the owl. he was located under a large cedar tree stting on a branch about 4 feet off the ground. He was so well hidden you had to go in on your knees to photograph him. My first Saw-Whet and a cuttie his was.
We continued in the woods till 1:30 finding one more Saw-Whet Owl.
Tune in tomorrow for more…
January 19, 2010
I’m off with a few photographer friends to a little island in lake Ontario called Amherst Island. Situated off the coast of Bath, Ontario this island is a magnate for wintering owls.
I am hoping to photograph Saw-Whet, Barred, Boreal, and long-eared owls. Weather is looking good so I will report in as the trip goes with pictures and comments.
December 11, 2009
I was raised in a family that hunted and fished so one of my dreams back in the early 60’s was to take a safari to the land of the Big 5 and fill my home with trophies from that trip.
Well times change, most African countries banned or tightly controlled hunting, I got married to a city girl, had 2 wonderful children and because my family was not interested in eating game I drifted away from hunting. I still had a trigger finger but that was moved from the trigger of a gun to the shutter of a camera.
The day Vince Berdar told me he had signed up to take a 15 day safari to Africa with Joe and Mary Anne McDonald I told him that’s not for me, too many things to see and photograph here, why go all the way to Africa. Well a little over a year later I remember sitting in his computer room looking at the images he had taken. I was awe struck to say the least at the beauty of the animals, the people and the scenery that he had witnessed and photographed. I was bitten by the bug and within 2 years I would be there myself.
It would take a volume to cover the feelings, the sights, that I would want to tell you about that trip but that is a task for another entry. That’s the subject for another entry possibly a retro entry to the blog in the future. For now the bug has bitten me again and it’s time to plan.
This year I am publishing a 2010 calendar and while finishing it I was looking at a few of the African pictures I had included in it. Well next thing you know I’m on Joe McDonald’s site ready his Kenya trip reports from the last 2 years. The more I read the more I wanted to go back. I will never be able to put into words the feelings that you have riding in a Land Rover over the seemingly endless grasslands of the Masai Mara. I had to go back.
The next morning I called a couple of friends and what was a dream started to become reality. I emailed a friend who has been on a dozen safaris to Africa. My questions were many, where to go (Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa), self run safari or with a group like Joe and Mary Ann. I guess the self run safari was out of the question. You really, I mean REALLY need a good safari company and guide to get all the little things on the ground in order for you.
Well right now it looks like 2011 and South Africa is winning. I was given a very reputable operator in South Africa by a friend and will be investigating his former clients to get more info.
Stay tuned this saga will continue till the day we return in 2011.
November 17, 2009
I visited my friend Lorrie Schumacher this past weekend at Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience in Earlville NY. You say where is Earlville, NY? Well, it is a pleasant 2 1/2 hour ride out Rt 20 (with a sprinkling of assorted country roads) from the Capital District.
I usually visit Lorrie with photographer friends to share in an exciting afternoon photographing Lorrie’s beautiful birds of prey. From her little Red Phase Eastern Screech Owl to Manderian the European Eagle Owl it is an awesome experience. Lorrie works very hard at providing great poses for the birds in natural settings and her flight demos are a HOOT .
This time I went to photograph fellow photographer Debbie Roma as she attended Lorrie’s Falconry Academy. Lorrie spent the good part of 5 hours showing Debbie the basics of handling raptors. She started with the smallest, the Eastern Screech Owl and ended with flight lessons with a beautiful 18 month old Harris Hawk and a juvenile Gyrfalcon/Barbary cross.
I watched as Debbie was shown how to handle a bird on the glove, trim an owls beek and talons and taught just where and how to touch the bird. This all led up to some great flying with an 18 month old harris hawk. I was amazed at the repore that developed between handler and bird.
Debbie With Harris Hawk
Debbie With Eagle Owl
Where else can one be hands on with owls, hawks, and falcons in the northeast? Nowhere that I know of. This and see the greatest African Crow in the world. This little girl acts like a raven one min, a nuthatch the next and when you think she is done she is off to bury some little treasure of food in a hollow log or under leaves for later consumption.
Manderian the European Eagle Owl was a star in the History Channel program “Life after People”.
The day was a great experience and I would recomend it to anyone who wants to spend a few hours on a Hawk walk to the full Falconry Academy. Lorrie’s web site is http://www.talonsbirdsofprey.com/
Welcome to DAY ONE for my wordpress blog. First a thanks to Wordpress for a perfect install. Man if I can do it anyone can.
In the past I have always stayed away from blogs and forums but times change. I have set a few up but never really used one for myself. Not sure of the reason but it must have been that shy streak in me.
Oh well I have as many random thoughts as the next guy so why not share with the world, eh!
I will try my best to make you want to come back again and again. Yes I’ll be spouting off about my pet peeves from time to time but most of the time I cover my favorite subjects.
You will hear my latest photo safaris, projects, and mishaps. So buckle up, sit back and…
enjoy the ride!