Friday, December 16, 2011

Plymouth Beach Snowy Owl

First, I want to thank my friend Gene for driving me down  Plymouth Long Beach.  Unless you are a resident of Plymouth, you cannot get a permit to drive down the beach.
While I was waiting at the shack for Gene to appear, the sky to my right proved interesting and I tried out my new Tokina 17 to 35 mm lens and obtained this image,- plymouth Beach D7K_0474 December 16, 2011 NIKON D7000
which I did post process with NIK plug-ins.

Starting down the sandy, and partly rocky road, we noticed a bird on the Osprey platform.  It appeared to be a falcon, and it flew when a northern harrier passed by.  It then return back to the platform, where we were able to take photographs of it. We were able it identify the bird as a Merlin- Merlin ROT_0380 December 16, 2011 NIKON D3S- ROT_0321-Edit December 16, 2011 NIKON D3S- ROT_0396 December 16, 2011 NIKON D3S
We slowly continued down the road, looking for the white bird, but it was nowhere in sight.  When we reached the end of the road and look just down the beach on the rocks, there was the owl probably no more than 50 feet away from us.  We were able to photograph the owl in great sunlight prior to it flying further down the beach.  Finding the owl did make our day.- Snowy OwlROT_0353 December 16, 2011 NIKON D3S- ROT_0363 December 16, 2011 NIKON D3S
We also observed large flocks of sanderlings flying from the ocean side over to the mud flats on the harbor side.  We finished the morning by observing over the ocean, the large number of different sea ducks, loons and on grebes that were present. 
On my way home, I stopped at the parking lot behind the East Bay Grill, though hopefully photograph the Iceland gull that has returned this winter.  I had photographed the gull at my last visit to the parking lot, but was not satisfied with the pictures, since I had a photograph the gull with the light behind it.  Today, the gull was not mixed in with a flock of the more common gulls, but was isolated by itself and I was able to photograph it from my car, using a Puffin Pad, with the sun behind me.  - Iceland GullROT_0427 December 16, 2011 NIKON D3SThe Iceland gull is a Kumlien's and is in its 2nd winter plumage.- ROT_0448 December 16, 2011 NIKON D3S