15 minute drive and . . . .
I made a quick trip over to Quaker to do a few “work” related things and you would never guess how many critters that I encountered!! I first came across something that looked like a duck in the middle of the road. Quickly remembering that grebe rescue from last winter . . . . I soon realized that it was just a bold Ruffed Grouse. It had put its crest up, turned its head looking at me from one side to another! By the time I pulled my point-and-shoot camera out, got the camera started, zoomed in and began framing . . . . the grouse flew away! I continued down the road sad that I didn’t get the picture but still happy to have seen it . . . .
. . . . then I flushed a large flock of Dark-eyed Junco’s that were feeding on the side of the road. Somehow I looked up at the right second and noticed a very dark spot crossing the road. I quickly took off and tried figuring out “right about where” this thing crossed the road!! Could it have been bigfoot? Nope, just a “huge” black bear meandering around looking for seeds/berries. I quickly tried pulling my camera out and of course it continued moving the opposite direction from where I was parked. I did capture a picture, well I kind-of captured a picture (see above)! Was still wonderful seeing this guy wondering through the woods at random “just doing what bears naturally should be doing”!
I continued heading towards Quaker and once again needed to slow the vehicle down for 3 White-tailed Deer that decided to cross the road. Now, I am wondering, what next will I find (with a big smile face on)!! Just as I was ready to give up searching . . . . I noticed a large bird flying into a dead tree!! Could this have been the Ivory-billed Woodpecker? Nope just you’re everyday Pileated Woodpecker teasing me with even more photo opportunities!
Moral of the story, never let me go anywhere without my Nikon and the 400mm lens!! Then again, if I did have my Nikon with me, I never would have seen any of these guys! Banding station is closed tonight due to weather.
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