Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The Buffleheads have been foraging close to shore lately and I was able to get some photos in some decent light the other day.

I really like when I the sheen on their head is captured in a photo.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Fall

The fall rut is on with the local Mule Deer. We have a number of deer that hang around town and these guys were pretty obvious as they started keeping company with the resident doe herd.

But that was before hunting season started. Even though the area they have been hanging around in is closed to hunting, it appears that all the bigger bucks have disappeared.

Some people (I will not call them hunters) apparently cannot resist the lure of antlers no matter what.

I am glad I got these photos before they disappeared. Even though they are "city" deer and a bit of a nuisance for those of us with gardens and other deer goodies in our yards, it is sad that they are the victims of the lust for antlers that seems to drive some people to disregard laws and treat our wildlife resources with such disrespect.

The Deck is Done

Laura and I finally got the deck done a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully the weather has held off a bit so we were able to get it stained too. Now for the siding, windows, back deck, landscaping, trees to plant, fence gates to fix....
I would like to thank my brothers-in-law Larry and Dave, and sister Chris for their help and advice.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Falling from the Sky Again

A year and a half ago I posted a few photos of Canada Geese falling from the sky here. Today the conditions were about the same and again, geese were falling from the sky. I had a ring-side seat as flock after flock returned to the river after feeding in the grain fields. They maintained altitude until they were just about to reach the shoreline, then they slipped sideways (or flipped completely over) and dropped out of the sky, turned into the wind towards the horde that had already arrived, slipped more wind out from under outstretched wings, dropped their feet, cupped their wings, and then backpeddled in the wind and settled in the water where they could find room.

This ranks right up there with watching a summer lightening show, Snow Petrels, and displaying McCown's Longspurs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

State of the Art - Greater Sage-Grouse

Most of the content from an upcoming Studies in Avian Biology devoted specifically to Greater Sage-Grouse had been posted to the SageMap website. Ecology and Conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse: A Landscape Species and Its Habitats is being produced by the Cooper Ornithological Society and published by the University of California Press and has been released online under an agreement between the authors, COS and UCP. The 24 chapters in the monograph have been authored by 38 experts and provide the latest information and innovative ideas on how Greater Sage-Grouse can be conserved in the face of an onslaught of impacts to the bird and its habitat throughout the west. One chapter in particular, Chapter 22 -Energy Development and conservation tradeoffs: systematic planning for sage-grouse in their eastern range - Kevin Doherty, David Naugle, Holly Copeland, Amy Pocewics, and Joseph Kiesecker, rather than merely criticizing the current lack of effective conservation measures for sage-grouse, provides an innovative and plausible method for conserving sage-grouse while also providing for energy development.

If you have any interest in Greater Sage-Grouse this will provide you with the best information to date concerning this species and it is wonderful that the contents have been made public in advance of the publication date so that many more individuals can have access to the information. I will still be buying the publication when it becomes available.