Monday, 2 March 2015

Rough-legged Hawks, Moose, Grouse (20150228)The eastern border of K-Country

Kerri and I were chatting and we couldn't remember the last time we were out to the Ranch. Fresh snow had our hopes high. We cut a fresh set of moose tracks, and before even getting to back up to look, we spotted a moose straight ahead. We backed up and took a look at the tracks, as we moved ahead again our second and third moose revealed themselves. Here is the closest of the set.
Our next sighting was few elk laying in the trees not too far from where Jamie and I found them last week. Then Kerri found this group way out over the river.
It was a day of Rough-Legged Hawks, we found them everywhere. It would seem like they may be pairing up as well as we witnessed several interactions between multiple birds.  Here is a pair of mature Bald Eagles. I thought the mountains might make a nice image. Unfortunately we couldn't get any closer to this pair.
Here are a couple of images of a friendly bird that we first found on a hay bale. It wouldn't hold but it did provide us with a nice close fly-by.
This is a pretty typically coloured bird for us here.
This next bird is one of the darkest "morphs" of a RLH I have ever seen. It just looked like a big chocolate bird on top of the tree.
You can really see the colouration difference here as well, almost zero yellow.
Next up were four moose that were traveling northbound. Here is a shot of three of them. We had to stop and wait for them, I was confident that they were going to come out into this field. Dad on the right, Mom in the middle and the son on the left.
Here is a shot of a pair of RLH's plying in the wind. There was a third bird in this area that interacted with these two as well.
Getting close to home we found this little Ruffed Grouse out on the shoulder of the road.  We passed it and turned around and came back to it. I was surprised to see it hold this well as the wind was up.
Kerri says that she was glad that we gently pushed it off the road so that it would not get hit by a passing car.
This wrapped up our shorter than normal track, but we were very happy with the opportunities provided.

Here is an image provided by Kerri. This is a pair of Rough-legged from early in the day. The bird on the tree had flushed from a fence post. The bird above it hovered up there for a couple of seconds.
You can see more of Kerri's work at her website.

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