Saturday, 1 February 2014

Rough legged, Sharptail Grouse, Snowy (20140201) A trip with Jamie finally:) With Jamie's additions!

Jamie has been tied up with some "stuff" and has needed to get out for a bit but unable to, so we finally got a chance today.  For some reason since he has moved to the south he has had a hard time arriving at the agreed to time, today was not an exception:) We had put a lot of thought into where we were going to go, and decided to do a walk on a new piece of property and do a little exploring. The day started with a couple of Coyotes, a silhouetted Sharptail grouse was our next spotting. Next were a couple of moose that were resting comfortably. The next moose were a mature pair that were feeding in the shadows.
We continued to see game and birds pretty constantly, then we ran into a very cooperative Rough Legged Hawk.
This is the closest that I have ever been to a RLH, with the gorgeous light I was able to use the 600mm and get some great shots.
After I got my shots, I went back to the truck and Jamie made his approach and got his shots. I am looking forward to seeing what he has that he can add to this post. We had made a loop or two in the area where there was supposed to be a Northern Hawk Owl, but we had no luck. On the road to our hiking destination Jamie spotted this lone Sharptail Grouse. Easily the closest either of us has been witha great shooting opportunity.
We did a little more cruising and spotted two herds of elk bedded down enjoying the morning sun. We then did our hike on snowshoes for a couple of miles. It was a great workout.  As we were leaving we decided to check in on our "friendly" grouse. Sure enough we found it.
We spent almost 15 minutes with this marvelous bird. We watched as it moved between bushes and fed. Picking at buds on the trees and even jumping to get at the last of the years rose hips.
Who knew that they jumped like that? Don't you just love the feathers on the feet? I believe that I will do a complete supplemental on this one bird, it should be coming in the next day or two, I hope that you enjoy it. I will leave you with one more image. BTW none of these has been cropped:)
 As you can likely tell, our beautiful blue sky disappeared and we were now dealing with overcast skies.  We received a call from Kerri giving us some pretty precise instructions as to where to find the NHO, so we headed out.   We were able to find it, but it was pretty much out of range so no shots were taken. So we headed over to Snowy country to see if we could find any "evidence" prior to getting home. I spotted this Prairie Falcon in a tree by the road, but it wouldn't hold for a shot.
Then just up the road Jamie spied this bird on the post and we grabbed a couple of images.
So we finished up the day with three more Snowy owls, a Coyote or two and even a Whitetail. All in all a super day, and we even got a little exercise, OUTSTANDING!  Drop by Calgary, and we can get out for an outstanding day.
Added by Jamie on February 7th 2014.
Another great couple experiences out with Turbo today, first the closest I have ever been to a Rough-legged Hawk.  As if getting fantastic close-up shots was not enough, I was in the right place at the right time to get him taking off.

Next up was a single Sharp-tailed Grouse feeding in some shrubs along the side of the road..  Usually I only see these birds flying away from me as they are usually very hard to get close to.  This one however was ok with our presence and allowed for some great shots.  

This one is in mid-recovery from a little slip on the branch.  It was remarkable watching this grouse go about its daily business uninhibited by our appearance.  These are just a couple highlights of a great outing on a great day.
See more of Jamie's great shots here:
Jamie's Flikr presence

No comments:

Post a Comment