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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

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animals

Where’s my dinner?

osprey-screaming
A juvenile osprey shrieks along Otter Creek

We paddled several miles upsteam on Otter Creek yesterday from its mouth at Lake Champlain towards Vergennes. We saw several ospreys (along with other critters) including this juvenile who was perched in a maple above the bank and relentlessly shrieking as we passed by. I took several shots including ones that made the kiddo look pretty noble, but I kind of like the goofy look on its face in this one. We joked that it was hollering for mom or dad to come feed it—”Mom! Dad! Where’s my dinner?”

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @  300mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/1600″ exposure.

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Curious…

chipmunk-close
A curious chipmunk gets close

We came across the crew of chipmunks on the top of what we’re now calling “Chipmunk Hill” up above East Street and Delfrate Road. They were not particularly shy. Several were bold enough to come within a couple of feet of us, and both Robin and I were wondering if they might crawl up our legs in their flighty curiosity.

Given that we didn’t have much cold weather in February, I wasn’t particularly surprised to see so much chipmunk activity. They spend the cold months in a torpor state (as opposed to true hibernation) and start emerging as the temperatures warm in March to kick off their spring breeding season. The seven or eight chipmunks we saw were no doubt “busy”…

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/500″ exposure.

Song Sparrow

song-sparrow
A song sparrow perches on a sumac branch in our front field

Song sparrows are an early returning species in our area. Their lovely fluid song means spring has truly arrived. This little fellow was quite patient with me as I took several shots of him.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/400″ exposure.

Osprey’s Breakfast

osprey
An osprey enjoys a morning meal

Robin & I paddled around the mouth of Lewis Creek yesterday morning. We had the pleasure of getting in close to this osprey and its mate who were camped out in a tree on  one of the small (now inundated) islands out on Lake Champlain. This fellow had recently caught a fish and was enjoying a morning meal.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/11, 1/500″ exposure.

Nap time

hairy-napping
A female downy woodpecker catches a nap on a nearby birch

This female downy woodpecker was hanging out near our suet feeder. She would fly to the feeder to snack a bit, then fly back to the birch and tuck her head under her wing to catch a nap. I’m not sure if she might have been a bit under the weather, as I don’t think taking a nap in broad daylight is normal behavior. Still, the little ball of fluff attached to the birch was quite cute!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 246mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/640″ exposure.

Evening Grosbeak

evening-grosbeak
An male evening grosbeak in our front yard birch

We put our bird feeders back up the other day and the usual suspects are coming back. It took the chickadees about 10 minutes to discover the feeders. A pair of evening grosbeaks showed up yesterday. We used to get great flocks of grosbeaks in the winter maybe 15 years ago. In recent years, however, they’ve been quite scarce. I’m not sure why that is, but is was nice to see the pair yesterday. I wonder if they’ll stick around.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 286mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/500″ exposure.

Consequences

consequences
The crab spider makes a catch!

Following up on yesterday’s “Dubious welcome” post, the little crab spider’s patience paid off as it managed to grab this honey bee as it visited the coneflower. I can only imagine the struggle as it’s hard to believe such a diminutive a spider could capture such a big bee. Quite the prize!

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 1600, f/13, 1/1000″ exposure.

Taking off

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A juvenile red-tailed hawk takes off above Rock River

Robin & I paddled up the Rock River  in Highgate Springs yesterday morning. This juvenile red-tailed hawk (I think…) was perched on wires running across the river near its mouth on Lake Champlain. It patiently waited as I got close enough to get a few shots, then took off to join several other of its probable siblings cruising and squawking above the trees.

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/800″ exposure

Belted Kingfisher

kingfisher
A belted kingfisher perches briefly above the Poultney River

I’ve been trying for years to get a good shot of a belted kingfisher. These common denizens of streams, lakes, and ponds are quite shy and will fly away chattering as you approach limiting the possibilities of getting a good shot. Yesterday, paddling out of South Bay on lower Lake Champlain and up into the Poultney River, this fellow was a bit more patient with me allowing me to get in range and snap off a few shots before flying off. Mission accomplished!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2000″ exposure

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