Casual eagle

I saw this Bald Eagle in the drizzly mist today.

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As long as I watched her she stood in this casual pose, one foot dangling, talons loosely clasped, surveying the marsh below. Like a child in a tree fort, one foot tucked under, one swinging.

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Categories: bird behavior, Bird photos, raptors | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hey, where’d the shorebirds go?

The flats at Cohoes were deserted today except for a few dozen gulls. And half the reason why was perched in a cottonwood tree.

Undaunted, I scoured the rocks without finding even a Killdeer. As the Peregrine in the tree to my right took off

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a second, previously hidden, shot out of the trees to my left and together they strafed the gulls on the rocks and spillway. When the sky was white with gulls, the pair took off towards a flock of pigeons on power lines and I last saw them heading upriver.

Later at Papscannee, I saw three of the Peregrines’ little cousins. This Kestrel was perched on a wildly swaying twiglet much too thin for its weight.

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Categories: bird behavior, Bird photos, OMG bird | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Osprey at Montezuma, 9/25

I’m trying to get better at photographing birds in flight so I practiced on this osprey circling to hunt.

Categories: bird behavior, Bird photos, Field trip, montezuma nwr, Osprey | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trumpeter Swans at Montezuma, 9/25

It was a beautiful day at Montezuma NWR as we headed home after a week in the Ithaca area. You couldn’t ask for a nicer view over Tschache Pool.

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A family of Trumpeter Swans swam close to the dike, giving me better views of them than I’d ever had before.

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They nest on the marshes of the refuge, and eventually the whole family paddled into view.

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I think the upper bird has a damaged wing. It looks almost as if it’s twisted upside-down.

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Tundra vs Trumpeter is a real ID challenge. Tundra Swans usually (but not always) have a yellow spot on the lores — the area between the beak and eye. Even if that’s lacking, the eye is usually more defined — a circle at the end of the beak, while the Trumpeter’s eye seems absorbed by the black of the beak. The Trumpeter’s beak and head form a straighter wedge shape, like a Canvasback’s head.

(Also, this family has been watched and identified all summer, so I’m pretty sure!)

Categories: bird behavior, Bird photos, Field trip, montezuma nwr, swans | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Poem #26

‘Falcon/er’

In perfect understanding

the message carried through bone and muscle

shoulder/arm/wrist/falcon

tossing to release

the silver weapon skyward

hold

hold for communion

the brilliant eye, the poised wing

the tension before

flight

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Categories: Bird photos, kestrel, postcard poems | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Poem #25

It begins with a sprinkle of letters

high in the hills

words roll downstream

into freshets of phrase

roiling brooks of metaphor

joining the great river of inspiration

and flooding at last

into my mailbox

Written in response to ‘Fourth Day of No Postcards’

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Categories: postcard poems | Tags: | Leave a comment

Poem #24

Oh no! no internet

no connectivity

no community

I’m lost without my network

the fragile web strands snapped

leaving me dangling

Photo by Randall Feldhusen

Photo by Randall Feldhusen

Categories: ice storm, postcard poems, scenery | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Poem #23

‘Where’s my Supersuit?’

 

Thor calls down lightning.

Superman leaps towers.

I have to settle for

more mundane super-powers.

Wolverine’s self-healing.

The Hulk smashed Loki flat.

I can be up and out the door

in 15 minutes, stat.

The Flash moves like a cheetah,

Nightcrawler like a toad.

I can find a Stewart’s

at the end of any road.

Tony Stark’s a genius.

Spiderman crawls wall.

I just keep on getting up

no matter how I fall.

Stewart's, the birders's friend

Stewart’s, the birders’s friend

Categories: Field trip, postcard poems | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Poem #22

Last night’s rain is over

morning glitters from every leafpoint

and in the jewel-weed

a hummingbird levitates

showered by her whirlwind

in a storm of diamonds

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Categories: postcard poems, scenery | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Poem #21

Hope like a silk scarf

floats from my hand to yours

It flutters

the sunshines through it

but it is strong enough

to reel you in

pull you to my arms

where I can say

I understand

I’ve been there too

I will hold you

until you heal

and the joyous rainbow of the scarf

illuminates your soul

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Categories: postcard poems, scenery | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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