Monday, December 6, 2010


As you can see by the photo of the Ottawa NWR Visitor Center, the day was a bit on the cloudy side...and cold...and windy. The marshes were mostly iced over with a few snow flakes falling to add to the quiet feeling of the day.

It was the perfect day for a long, leisurely hike through the refuge to see what was moving and what was still...
I was surprised when I came across three Eastern Bluebirds, all puffed up to keep warm.

I was even more surprised when I came across a flock of Great Blue Herons.
These big guys aren't known for hanging out in big groups!
There were at least 24 in this bunch and I saw well more than that scattered in groups of two to three elsewhere in the refuge.

And then there were the American Tree Sparrows.
They were on the trails everywhere! With every step I took, a group flew up ahead of me.

It was a three Bald Eagle day! This one was staying close to his home, mulling over adding a new stick, or not.

Align CenterFor all of you folks that are "Gull-able"'s a gang of gulls, probably up because of that Eagle in the tree!

I don't's a bone...a big the middle of the trail.
I do recall hearing a loud burping sound off in the distance...

This lonely little Dark-eyed Junco was in the middle of a flock of Tree Sparrows.
It's rough being one of a kind...I know...

O S M R!
(Say it like you're from West Virginia, like Larry Richardson!)

One more reason to NOT stand under a flock of Gadwalls...

Did I mention seeing a lot of Great Blue Herons?
By the way, there's a juvenile Bald Eagle in that tree!

Not the greatest shot(so what else is new?), but I don't see Hairy Woodpeckers very often.
Hmmm, all woodpecker shots are basically butt shots, aren't they?

It's amazing how many times I've been through these trails and I never spot these nests during breeding season!
This one was only inches from the edge of the trail.

I came out of the woods and spooked this Red-tailed Hawk.
I have that effect on people too.

HUNDREDS of Tundra Swans...very noisy Tundra Swans were all over the refuge.

I followed this little Savannah Sparrow around with the Tree Sparrows.
There were also a bunch of Song Sparrows, but they refused to have their photos taken.

Fortunately it was only a puppet the Laura Bonneau put out for a youth program presented by Rebecca Hinkle.
Both of these folks put on some great programs for kids and even adults like me!

Canada Geese...flying north for the winter...
This must be the directionally challenged group...

And here are their glorious leaders...walking on the infamous thin ice...

Once again,a special thank you to all of my great friends that have signed the Wind Turbine petition! From Iceland to Australia, birders and nature lovers from the world over are taking action.

If you haven't yet signed it, please, it only takes a few minutes and the link is on the top of my blog.



  1. Great shots Dave! Ottawa is a special place and I'm looking forward to my first census there next month. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Wow how come you can see so many species in winter! I barely see more than 5 when I go out!!! They are all frozen somewhere. Even if it looks like you are fighting with low light too, I'd love to get as many nice pictures as yours in winter ;-)

  3. Really good pictures in the winter, and I did sign the petition.

  4. Wow -that's some bevy of birds you found! and the bone? likely the last photographer who chased the Bald Eagle off the's a wild world out there, be careful!

  5. Hundreds of Tundra Swans!! Wow...must have been a wonderful sight. Great shots...especially love the ice blue of the Bluebird against the grey--beautiful.

  6. Thanks Mike! Good luck with the census, don't forget to count the birds from behind!

    Thanks Chris. My biggest problem with the low light was due to me pre-setting a 2 stop under exposure on my last outing and forgetting to change it back. Duh. Still good birding!

    Thanks for signing Bob. You're a great friend of the birds!

    Wow Susan, that's a lot of "B's" in your comment! I always watch my back...

    Thank you Peanut! I'll try to get closer to the lake to spy more swans this weekend!

  7. Skunks certainty make the heart skip a beat!

  8. What a great bunch of images. Looks like you had a fine day of it.

  9. Beautiful pictures, so glad you had such a great walk.

  10. Andy, you never have to worry about the stuffed ones!

    Thanks Harold, it's always a good day at Ottawa!

    Thank you Rebecca...I wish I would have spotted one of those Short-eared Owls...