Posted by: Debra LaValley | April 14, 2019

April 14, 2019

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Grey Ghost Encounter

Yesterday – I had something happen that has been on my wish list for many years – to get a good look and decent photo of a male Northern Harrier! The male is also referred to as a Grey Ghost (for its gray coloring, etc.). It is also a very elusive bird here in New Hampshire. I have only seen one male years ago and it caught me completely by surprise so I only managed a distant photo of its backside. When it passed me it did look at me (I think it laughed at me – lol)and the image has been seared into my brain.

Yesterday, I was at Horseshoe Pond in Concord – seeing if I could see any good ducks, a snow goose, osprey or an eagle. I was looking at the geese when I noticed a strange bird hovering and working the edge of the pond across from me. It didn’t take me long to hear my inside voice screaming “Grey Ghost!” It was about 3:00 pm, and I watched it work the pond.

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At one point, it landed on the shore and appeared to be eating something as the geese looked on. It took off after a while and flew to the north end of the pond. The photo below also shows the tell-tale white-rump patch of a Northern Harrier.

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To my amazement – the Grey Ghost flew right over my head! I was spinning around like a lunatic trying to get a shot in focus (wires and tree limbs were in the way). He was also flying too close for my huge lens. Luckily – he felt pity on me and circled back so I could get some decent shots. My favorite shot is the shot at the beginning of this post. If you want to see other photos – click my Flickr photostream link on the right of my blog.

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Posted by: Debra LaValley | April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

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‘Tis the Season for Marshmallow Peeps

I love marshmallow peeps. I love torturing marshmallow peeps too.
Above is my latest creation. Yes, I actually own a Godzilla figure (I actually own 2 figures). This one is the 1954 version which is my favorite.

Spring is here and the snow is almost gone in most areas. Easter is a week away. I am trying to limit my intake of sweets – so have only eaten a handful or so of peeps the past month. I have had a few chocolate Lindt gold bunnies – but fairly small ones. Believe it or not – I have lost a little over 7 pounds. I am trying to walk more and eat better and joined Weight Watchers again. I am a lifetime member (I actually reached my goal etc. many years ago). It is a good program. At least when Godzilla eats the marshmallow peeps – I don’t gain weight!

Have a great week everyone!

Posted by: Debra LaValley | April 6, 2019

April 6, 2019

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Things are moving right along at the local nest. Soon there should be little eaglets! Hopefully, it will be a successful nest. They are such majestic birds.

Today, I was at the nest and took the photo above. I also shot a small video that you may be interested in viewing. I posted it to YouTube.

After Noon at the Nest Video

I hope you enjoy the short video!

 

Posted by: Debra LaValley | March 20, 2019

March 20, 2019

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Full Worm Super Moon

This evening was the Vernal Equinox! Spring has Begun! Yeah! It wasn’t a horrid winter – but I am ready to see green again. It also was the Full Worm Super Moon tonight. Not long after sunset – I drove to Dustin Island and snapped some shots of the moon.

It is a beautiful night!

Happy Spring, Everyone!

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Posted by: Debra LaValley | March 3, 2019

March 3, 2019

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Doe a Deer

Believe it or not – I do take photos of things other than eagles. 🙂 Today, I was driving around in search of photographic subjects. I was driving down Elm Street and there was a doe standing in the road. It ran into the woods. I pulled my car over and got my camera. There was no good shot since with so many branches in the way. Luckily – I noticed a bigger doe standing in the woods waiting for the smaller doe. I was able to snap a few shots before they leaped through the woods. She was very healthy looking and big.

I am ready for spring and snow is getting tiresome – even though the winter has not been too bad. (We are getting 3-6 inches tonight.) I had to snap a shot of this unique cyclops snowman at the Never’s house. They are so creative.

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And yes, I did see the male eagle delivering soft nesting material to the local nest.

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Spring is Coming!

Posted by: Debra LaValley | February 24, 2019

February 24, 2019

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Signs of Spring

I finally viewed the new location of the local bald eagle pair’s nest.  They moved locations last year – however, I wasn’t sure of the location and couldn’t see it.  (I can’t believe I missed it!)  I couldn’t see the forest through the trees 🙂  As you can see below, the nest is huge!

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I am not revealing the locations – since it is a very sensitive time for the eagles.  Eagles have very large talons and when there is a nest or young in the nest – they walk around carefully with their talon clenched as to not to hurt them.  If the eagles are disturbed or agitated they may forget to be careful with their talons and hurt the egg or chick.  Enough folks already know of the location.  Some people may not know or may ignore safeguards and nest protocol of a protected species.

Hopefully soon – there will be an egg and the “sitting will begin.”  I am very excited to get better shots of the chick(s) than I have in the past.  Pictured above is the female of the pair – Orange C/K (her bands).   Note the mark on her beak – I didn’t know which of the pair had the mark – but a birder friend confirmed in a shot he got of both and their bands.

I am hoping to get better shots of the nest and the eagles.  A nice crisp blue sky for the background would be lovely.  I took this shot of the female last week.  The lighting etc. was perfect.

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Posted by: Debra LaValley | January 26, 2019

January 26, 2019

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Who Cooks For You?

I sometimes hear the “Who Cooks For You?” call of the Barred Owl – but I rarely see an owl. In fact, my last photo of an owl was in 2011! I am lucky enough to see eagles often – but the owl is very elusive and hides from me.

I took my mother shopping this morning, and we were heading back home when I noticed an owl sitting in a tree close to the road not far from Market Basket. I mildly cursed as I noticed the owl – because I had no camera, and I couldn’t pull over any way. It is a busy road (Fort Eddy – in Concord). The owl was facing into an empty lot beside the C.A.V.E.S. emergency veterinary hospital.

After- I drove my mom home and brought in her groceries, and I went home and took care of my groceries – I grabbed my camera and drove back to Concord. I have been looking for another owl to photograph for years! I was thrilled to see that the owl was still there when I arrived. I parked down the road to C.A.V.E.S. and walked into the field. There were a lot of thorny bushes – but not much ice – so I slowly headed toward the owl.

I did not get as close as I could have because I did not want to disturb it.
Owls are so mysterious. I love them. What a thrill. It made my day. I usually go out in search of eagles, owls, and otters. Last week – I saw an otter. This weekend – an owl. The two I rarely see. I still love seeing eagles – but what a treat to see the owl. It has been too long! It wasn’t far from where I work. I will have to check back this week to see if the owl is hanging around the area.

It seemed to be winking at me (or sleeping with one eye open). I like that it was dangling one of its talons too. I have seen eagles do that too.

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Posted by: Debra LaValley | January 12, 2019

January 12, 2019

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NH Winter Eagle Count

It was another successful Winter Eagle Count for me as a NH Audubon Volunteer. The sky was blue and no clouds in sight – unfortunately it was wicked cold (single digits most of the day). It was about 16 degrees late afternoon but with the wind chill it was only about 5 degrees.

I started just before 8:00 am and saw the pair pictured above almost right away! Unfortunately – I couldn’t get a decent photo. The branches were in the way. But at least – photo proof of the sighting.

I had seven eagle sightings for the day – however, I believe I only saw 3 different birds (the local pair and an immature eagle – of which I only snapped a far off terrible shot).

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I had a few single adult eagle sightings like the ones below – but they were in trees frequented by the pair – so I believe they were one of the pair.

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Below this eagle was this rooster who was coming at my car.

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I drove further down the road and got out to see if I could get a better angle of the eagle and maybe see if it had bands (the local pair both are banded). The rooster stood in the road looking at me and kept cock-a-doodling. It was right under the eagle’s perch. I was wondering if I might see an eagle with a “chicken” dinner. I didn’t. The eagle did not seem interested. At least at that moment. Time will tell!

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I can never see enough eagles. They really are stunning birds!

Posted by: Debra LaValley | December 25, 2018

December 25, 2018

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Today was a busy day filled with love, family, and food! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Molly is bushed and so am I! For those wondering – we did not have a White Christmas. That was ok with me because I hate shoveling, and last Christmas we had a big storm. It was nice not worrying about traveling, etc.

2019 is around the corner!

Posted by: Debra LaValley | December 23, 2018

December 23, 2018

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Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is almost here! I have been watching a zillion Christmas specials 🙂 We don’t know if it will be a white Christmas! Right now – things are pretty green and brown around here. We have a slight chance of a trace or 1 inch tomorrow night for Christmas Even.

It would be nice to have a White Christmas – even if it is just a wee bit of snow.

I am in good shape for Christmas – everything is wrapped and purchased. I may pick up some little things tomorrow at Dollar General, but I am really done.

I look forward to seeing family on Christmas Day. Tomorrow night – I will be taking my mom over my cousins after mass for a get-together. It should be fun.

More tomorrow!

(PS – I gave Rodney the Reindeer a Santa Hat tonight. The Gnome (I names him Cedric) is a Cosmic Moose creation that I requested. The artist is Charles Kuisinas (another 12/26 – baby). I think Cedric is adorable and looks great standing near Rodney and Rhonda!)

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