Monday, November 14, 2011

Deer, Buffleheads and Loons and More

It was a glorious morning at Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge, Middletown Rhode Island. We arrived there just before sunrise, not to photograph the sunrise, but to hopefully photograph the deer that are present on the refuge. Scanning all the fields from the parking lot, at first nothing could be found. Suddenly behind us, there was a big beautiful doe feeding in the field. WhiteiTailed Deer Out came the tripods and the long lens, we moved up to the fence at the side of the parking lot and started firing away. WhiteiTailed DeerWhiteiTailed DeerTasty More deer appeared, including a spike-horned buck.  One of the volunteers from the refuge was there with us and noticed that the buck was getting antsy, picking up its ears and staring at us.WhiteiTailed DeerWhiteiTailed Deer  We were warned that we may have to run if the buck charged us. Thank god, it decided to leave and move back into the brush. The only thing I was sorry about was that the bucks with the big racks  stayed way down in the north fields at the tree line and were unavailable to photograph.

On the way down to Third Beach and the Salt Marsh portion of the refuge, we stopped and photographed the gulls hanging in the swift wind at the oceans edge. the views were interesting from the gulls against the sky,- Herring gull hover skyD7K_8605 November 13, 2011 NIKON D7000 against the ocean - ring-billed gull hover oceanD7K_8597 November 13, 2011 NIKON D7000and with St. Georges Chapel Tower in the background.Herring Gul Soaring

At the salt marsh, because the tide was high, there was a flock of Buffleheads swimming and also the drakes displaying for the hens.Running on WaterDisplayBufflehead DuoBufflehead - Wings outstrechedBufflehead - Wings outstreched

After watching and photographing the buffleheads, I walked down to the beach, where the focal point of my eye went to four Common Loons swimming and feeding in the bay.  I set up my tripods low and sat down on the wet sand and was able to photograph one of the loons that was close to shore. Common Loon Beside portrait photos, I captured on my memory card the loon with its catch of a crab.Common Loon with a Crab.  One loon chased another loon, which gave another different picture.  Common Loon -slpashFinally the loons swam out of camera range.

We returned to the main refuge and hiked down to Flint rocks to see if there were any Harlequin Ducks present.  None were found but on the rocks were at least 15-20 Purple Sandpipers.  Sanderlings were feeding on the rocks inshore Sanderling on Rock with Waveand I found a Red-throated Loon .  The picture here is a tight crop.Red-Throated Loon

A Great Blue Heron did fly over the marsh.Great Blue Heron