Saturday, April 18, 2009

Camera Critters: The Sun Returns

It seems there has been more gloomy weather than sunny this spring, and when it is clear there are sub-freezing temperatures in the morning. After two rainy days, Thursday morning was forecast to be clear and cool. I was anticipating a sparkling spring morning, but awoke to find the countryside cloaked in a blanket of dense fog.

I traveled to my favorite wildlife observation area and in time the fog began to lift. First a flock of turkeys appeared through the mist.

As the first rays of sunshine broke through the fog, a two year old buck and a yearling doe groomed and nuzzled one another.

As the fog lifted even more, it revealed the stunning beauty of an early spring morning. In a short time the leaves will emerge and this will be a lush summer-like scene.

For more Camera Critters photographs, click Here!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Middle Creek Waterfowl

Middle Creek Dawn

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is perhaps best known for the large flocks of migratory tundra swans and snow geese that pass through in late winter or early spring on their way to nesting grounds in the arctic tundra. I missed the best time this year, but a few of the birds were still there when we visited Middle Creek on Sunday April 5th.

A modest number of tundra swans were resting on the lake at dawn, but provided little in the way of interesting photo opportunities, so I settled for some shots of them flying over the nearby fields.

Tundra Swans

There were even less snow geese remaining, but we found a few scattered birds feeding along the edge of a small pond, or pothole.

Snow Goose

The management area has a substantial population of resident Canadian Geese in addition to the migratory birds that pass through.

Canadian Goose Taking Off

While this area is managed primarily for hunting and game species, it is a a favorite spot for area bird watchers and photographers. The Pennsylvania Game Commission Food and Cover Corps plants crops and maintains the fields, which provides a great deal of valuable wildlife habitat, for both game and non-game species alike.