The white-tailed bucks are just starting to grow their antlers right now. Here is a buck who was with another buck and a doe feeding along a beaver pond in the Petersham area yesterday early in the morning. Notice that he is still shedding his winter grayish fur. In a few weeks he will be a reddish brown.
One of my favorite birds. The bubbly bobolink just going crazy with song in the rising sun.
For some reason beavers are liking this spot to stop and feed for a few minutes. Here is a great shot of what a beaver tail looks like if you’ve never seen one close.
A quick hike in the rain into a favorite beaver pond this morning produced this guy eating a snack before retiring to the lodge today.
I watched this muskrat feeding in a small pond this morning. I was amazed to see how much it ate. I kept checking on it to see if it had stopped which it did after 2 hours.
Today was hatch day for the local great blue herons. I’m not sure how many but they hatched sometime within the last 24 hours. I won’t know for a few weeks until I see heads popping up how many chicks they have. Great blues Usually produce between 2 or 3 chicks.
I guess this rough-winged swallow wasn’t to happy to see me taking its picture!
The first sunny day we’ve had and the eastern painted turtles are out in droves (whats a drove?)…… 19, count them!
That awkward moment when you realize you took the wrong turn over New Jersey while migrating north and ended up in the wrong pond.
Nope ! Not a UFO landing in a swamp. Its a beaver whacking his tail at me with his hind legs straight up in the air . They use this to scare away trouble and to alert the rest of the clan that danger may be coming.
This red-winged blackbird sits on this stump every time I show up in a certain swamp and serenades me with “conk-a-reeeeee”….. today it was foggy and misty. The bird is about 35 feet away from me and this is taken with a Nikon 500mm f4 VR ED lens and a Nikon D850 camera. The ISO was 4000 to get the shutter speed up to 1/350 as it was very dark when he showed up.
The male Canada goose defends his pond from another goose that dropped in. What a bad idea on his part!
I played a hunch this morning and decided to leave the beavers alone and go to a place I haven’t been in 2 years. and Bingo ! 200 yards up the trail and I spotted this guy behind some bushes, all of a sudden he popped out to say Hello ! He looks pretty ratty because he’s shedding his winter coat.
You can see from this image that this is a bull moose. He is just starting to grow his antlers for the fall mating season. Some moose can grow antlers up to 35 pounds !
I caught the last meal before retiring to the lodge for the day of this young beaver. He had a big bunch of tubers he dug up from the bottom and he never knew I was behind him watching. Simple stuff like this makes it worth getting wet for on rainy days.
The beginning of a big WHACK with the tail coming on !
Beavers amaze me. At between 7 and 7:30 each morning it seems they are programmed to head back to the lodge for the day. This one is taking his time in the rising sun.
This mated pair of great blue herons spent most of the morning repairing their nest from winters damage. They mate for life and will also use the same nest year after year or until it blows down.
You can see the male great blue heron sneaking up behind the female to deliver her another stick to place in the nest. He collects, and she places as in all GBH pairs.
After spending 4 or 5 months in their lodge while the winter howled away outside I’m glad to see beavers out and about again. This one came about to see who I was and give me a couple “howdy” slaps …then went on its way.
This female Canada Goose spent all night on the nest and probably has 26 for 27 more nights to go. It was quite dark this morning when I hiked in to check on them. She was aware of me but didn’t move at all. I took a couple shots at about 40 to 50 yards away with my 500mm telephoto lens and left as soon as possible without her moving….perfect !
It’s that time of year when the goofy Great Blue Herons are rebuilding the nests from overwintering and doing their mating dances.
Great Blue Herons are back on their local nest. YAY !!
The ice finally left the local ponds for the most part. The first thing I saw was this otter that seen this same guy for about 5 years in the same pond. He has a light blond patch of hair on the right side. You can see him last spring at the end of this sequence of images.
I was given a tip about these 10 rare Sandhill Cranes today. They were in a large swamp/bog in Royalston MA. A pair of bald eagles also live in this large swamp. They left at about 1:30 and headed dead north on their way migrating. A great sight.
Ring-necked ducks blast off first thing in the morning. Probably on their way migrating north.
I spent the morning with this great snowy owl on the coast of Rhode Island on a tip from a friend. It was awesome, at least I thought so, maybe the owl wasn’t so enthusiastic !
“Whoooooos there ? I can see everything from up here on this rooftop”
An ever alert immature red-tailed hawk wakes up to something behind it.. within 10 sends he was on the ground in the brush out of sight.
I don’t usually take pictures of birds flying away but this barred owl jumped so fast I kept following it until it was around the corner of the trees. I didn’t realize what I had on the camera until I saw this on the computer.
Another barred owl hunting in a snow storm this morning right in front of me! Right place, right time! Although I had been looking for 3 hours and was just about frozen stiff !
I spotted this huge bird sitting in a tree way back in the corner of a field today. It didn’t look like a bald eagle but was huge. I put up the camera with my 500mm lens and was I surprised ! A golden eagle !!
This adult red tailed hawk spent 5 minutes trying to perch on top of this corn stalk stub in a Northampton field. He finally did it !
This image was made 14 hours later then when I first visited this deer carcass on the ice late in the afternoon yesterday (next image). I waited for 3 hours in the woods watching this rib cage which was all that was left before a different coyote than was here yesterday appeared and started scrounging what was left of the doe carcass.
A lone coyote stands over a white tailed deer carcass he and his pack probably brought down on the Quabbin ice. Coyotes do not kill for fun and they only take wounded or sickly deer for food. Every speck of that deer will go to feeding eagles, bobcats, ravens, crows and coyotes. When the venison is all chewed off the bones, the coyotes will drag them into the woods to crunch on. It’s gruesome , but its nature.
All the noise of the ice cracking kept this coyote pretty nervous while feeding on the deer carcass until finally it left running.
I could not resist taking photographs of these two cows at one of my friends farm as they walked over for a visit…..
Yay !! This is one of only 411 right whales left in the world. I took this photo last summer. Last week a newborn calf was spotted off go the coast of Georgia …the first calf in 2 years discovered…so I say YAY !!
New Salem Lookout, summer. 2017
The male cardinal has been here year round with his mate. They come out at dusk and early morning no matter what the weather is.
Quabbin Reservoir is at 100% capacity……..
“I’m so outta here !”
I never saw squirrels swim until this summer. They are all on the lookout for food before the long winter sets in.
A great day at the Quabbin, although a bit windy, it kept the bugs away!
This bumble bee was taking his time with this flower so I tried out my new Nikon 60mm micro lens.. what do ya think?
Yellow swallowtail feeding on the milkweed outside my office window!
This is a picture I took in Hadley, MA in winter of 1984 of a great gray owl. Little did I know I wouldn't see another one until 2016. This was a slide I scanned of the 1984 owl with the Nikon ES-2 slide digitizer…. what a great invention by Nikon !
Quabbin Valley moon over New Salem. 4/11/17
A Quabbin octopus...... getting ready for the deep freeze.