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Observations & Images
16 December 2006
Pre-Nesting Wildlife Encounters

An ornery winter day threatening rain from a sky filled with low dark clouds. It was a real struggle fighting with the badly lit day to get any pictures exposed well enough to be worth looking at. Here a small segment of a much larger group of White Pelicans and Cormorants flee from around Pelican Island to escape a couple of guys casting a net while drifting by in a small boat.
Part of a larger flock of Snowy Egrets flying from Pelican Island because of the reason stated above.
A female Ruby-Crowned Kinglet in the shadows of a bush. The bird was very active, flying out then hovering like a hummingbird around the masses of flowers at the top of the bush as it went after insects.
An Eastern Phoebe makes good use of a post from where the bird would dart off after insects then loop back to land on the post again.
Several Red-Shouldered Hawks were seen---and heard---throughout the morning.
A real surprise was seeing a Bald Eagle fly by. Unfortunately, like the Hawk above, there was not enough light to get a good picture during the overcast morning.

The sight of this large bird of prey made up a bit for the disappointingly dark day.

Suddenly, from out of the trees, another Eagle appeared and fell in behind the first bird. The two calmly flew off together out-of-sight.
Seeing two Bald Eagles together was a real treat. But seeing a third Bald Eagle, a juvenile coincidently perched above the Osprey nest that fledged one young Osprey last season, was a real stroke of luck.
A day filled with threatening clouds would not allow for a happy ending, especially after the excitement of seeing the Eagles. The final disappointment was finding the Great Horned Owl nest apparently deserted although the Owl might have been cowering down low to escape the cold wind blowing. A distant visual search of the trees around the nest failed to turn up any Owls either. The next few visits to the Refuge should tell if the nest is still occupied or not.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org