Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Whooping crane, Sandhills, Ram (20140926) A windy day thatleads to some exploring

With a windy night, and a windy morning we were hoping that we might still find some targets to shoot. Before it was light enough to even turn the lights off we grabbed this Ruffed Grouse getting its morning gravel.
Just up the road, and only minutes later, but in much better light we found this young Ram. We spent some time watching as he made his way down the hill and across the road.
We finished up our first run of the morning spotting 4 bears, and they were all very far off, Zel call one the pixel bear as he thought that this was all it would take to represent it on the sensor. Just as we were turning around we stopped to investigate some item and Jamie spied this chubby bear walking up the fairway of the golf course.
 Our second pass through the run was pretty uneventful, the wind was still gusting as high as 70kph, so our expectations were not very high. We did catch a couple of migrating American Robins.
I don't usually post these birds, but today they provided such great subjects they earned some screen time:)
With the wind howling we thought we would spend the afternoon exploring. We had been spotting some raptors and stopped and spoke with a local. We were drifting around the back roads when Jamie (geez, does that guy spot everything?) found this group of Sandhill cranes.
We couldn't believe our eyes when we spotted the "white" one. It turns out we had found our first Whooping Crane. We then went on a mission to get permission to walk the land. We caught up with Julia, and she was able to contact the "right folks" and get us permission. I want to Thank her again for going above and beyond!  Jamie and I did a down wind stalk hoping to not spook the birds, but the first to leave what the Whooper.
I was hoping it would settle at the next pond, but the wind was too strong and it flew quite a distance.
We were able to grab a few images while it was still in our area.
It was a terrific sighting on a day where we had pretty much resigned ourselves to not getting anything worth while shooting.
We continued our stalk on the Sandhills as they had remained. We were able to get about 40 or 50 yards closer. We took our shots and were walking back to the truck when they lifted.
We expected that this might be our last opportunity of the day So I'll throw in another image.
As it turns out we were right, the wind only came down slightly. We made one last pass for bears and found out that we had missed out on three moose, but we did not feel cheated on the day. That was Day two. Here's hoping that tomorrow will be a better day!


  1. This is so amazing Paul - great job! :)

  2. Replies
    1. you can contact me privately @ nb2ab@shaw.ca.