Monday, January 26, 2009

White-wing Crossbills at Salisbury Beach Ma

These images are from my trip to Gloucester Ma and Ivory Gull, on the way home I wanted to stop at Salisbury Beach SP to look for the Short-eared Owls and White-wing Crossbills that had been reported on Mass Birds. It would be a quick stop at best, as I entered the SP there were birders looking out into the marsh at a very dark Snowy Owl, this was a good sign I thought and although the snowy was to fare off to photograph I was hopeful for my other target birds. In the camping area was a gang of birders,photographers and 35 to 40 White-wing Crossbills putting on a great show for everyone there. The W-Wing's were moving from tree to tree and eventually landed in tree right in front of where everyone was standing, amazing views. Good birding to all!
All rights reserved ©2009 Peter Manship

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ivory Gull in Gloucester Ma 1-20-09

Well with all the reports coming in about the Ivory Gull , I decided to go down to Eastern point Gloucester Mass and see if I could in fact find this bird. When I arrived on Eastern point drive I notice some bird scoping the area, I asked if they had seen the Ivory Gull, hasn't been seen for an hour. Not the answer that I wanted to hear after driving for 3 plus hours but it was a nice day so I got out my scope and started looking at what the coast had to offer. First thing I found was a Common Eider, then a Common Loon and some Buffleheads when someone yelled out they have it on the point. Everyone was packing to head out to the point when word also come along that there is no parking down there and that the police are tagging cars and towing , so off we went walking the MILE out to Eastern Point. As we reached the point the question on everyone's mind was-Is the Ivory Gull still here? it was. Someone pointed to the Ivory gull resting on the jetty, scope views were the order of the day when all of a sudden the gull took off circled the crowd and landed about 30 feet in front of everyone and began searching for food. What a beautiful little bird compared to the other gulls, a white color that aginest the snow gives new meaning to the color white and if that wasn't enough the color of the bill was amazingly beautiful. I cropped this image below 200% to show the color of the bill , but you can't see the purplish-blue transition to yellow then orange on the lower tip. If you go you'll see the wonderful colors of this bird, photos just don't do it justice. Here is a list of some of the bird I saw along the coast of Mass : Gadwall, Bufflehead, Black Duck, Common Eider, Common Loon, Glaucous Gull, Thayer's Gull, Iceland Gull, Kumlien's Gull, Snow Buntings, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Mockingbird, Coopers hawk, Red-tailed hawk, Rough-legged hawk, Snowy Owl, White-wing Crossbills along with some of the more common winter birds
I am going to post the W-W Crossbill images in a few days.

Good Birding to all!


all right reserved © Peter Manship

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Northern Hawk Owl Center Harbor NH 1-13-09

Thought I would take a ride over to Center Harbor NH to look for the Northern Hawk Owl yesterday. I wanted to see the bird before the freezing cold weather and wind chills that are coming set in. Once there several birders had the owl in their scopes and the cool thing was I was able to look through all the different brands and types of scopes, comparing optics. The surprise for me was how good the image was in the $500 avg price level scope. You had to jump up to a $1000 or more to see the next level of difference and it was noticeable, but not a great deal better. I would say for the average birder wanting to get good looks at distant birds $500 scopes is what you want to be looking at.
As for the Northern Hawk Owl it was tuff light to get a good image in, cloudy and back lit resulting in what is called hi-key images. But I am happy with the images I was able to make.

The owl was very active hunting from different perches close to the road and out in the field.
I missed a great image of the hawk looking down (hunting) seeing something and diving off the branch, plunging head long to the ground right in front of me. The problem was there was a BUSH in the way . O well thats what makes it fun.

Northern Hawk Owl hunting from distant purch over looking a field.

This is my favorite image from the day's images , preening.Good birding to all!

© 2009 Peter Manship

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Northern Hawk Owl Peru NY

Yesterday was my first day off in a month , I was planning to go birding when a report of a possible Boreal Owl in Eden Vermont was posted to Vt ebird. I thought that I would go to Eden and try to find the Boreal Owl then head over to Peru NY and locate the Northern Hawk Owl, two new birds in one day would make for a fun day off. How ever mother nature had a different plan, it was snowing like crazy at 9 AM when I arrived in Eden. All the birds were hunkered down out of site, snowing like mad and the roads were a mess, after looking around for half an hour I headed on my way to Peru NY in hopes of finding the Northern Hawk Owl there.The Northern Hawk owl was right where it has been for the last two weeks, I just sat and watched it for awhile. It didn't seem bothered by the traffic (moderate) and as I watched from across the street (in my car) the owl barely took notice of me and kept hunting for food. I watched it flying from pole to pole, sometimes diving to the ground only to come up empty. Then the owl took off and landed in a birch tree just up the street, time to start photographing. I moved my car to the side street (Quaker Highlands) to get as good a possession as possible and to be out of the traffic on the main road. This was not the best possession with the bird facing way (butt shots) so I just sat and waited for my chance to come. Three Crows just up the road helped speed things up by causing the owl to repossession in the tree , these last two images and the header image all happened in about a minute before the crows caused the owl to move down the road to a new pole and safety.

Good Birding to all!


All images copyright 2009 Peter Manship LLC