Wednesday, April 28, 2010

frogger

I frequently drive past an amusing spot. It amuses me because this large area has three distinct sections. First, there is a small woodsy preserve, then a marshy preserve, and finally a good-sized plot where they'll probably build a shopping center. Smack in the middle of the marsh, there is a bare tree with large nests, and I noticed a big bird in there while driving past, but it's not in an area that is easy to pull over and park, so I did not get a good look at it until Friday. I was driving in the opposite direction, and I had assumed that it was a silhouette of a heron or egret.

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Friday morning, anticipating a bird in that tree, I found a place to pull over. Then, I put the biggest lens on the camera, mounted it on the tripod, and hauled that across a dangerous street. It's four lanes of 40 mph in a spot where the road curves. (40 mph posted means the cars really go 50 or more*) It felt like playing Frogger, but I made it across and back and lived to tell the story, so that's good, right?

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Now, when I was across this street, I came to a construction fence. Long story short, there was no way to get any closer to the bird I was looking at. The sun was behind me, and I could see now, that it was no silhouette, but that my bird was black. Maybe a vulture, I thought. I snapped a few pics, and when I got to the office, I tried to identify it. It is a Double-crested Cormorant. I have never noticed that bird here before, but maybe I just wasn't looking.

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On Saturday, I saw one on a lake. That would have been a nice one, if I could get it. Plus, it was in a spot where I didn't have to endanger my life, trying to get to it. I pulled over and it immediately flew away. (grrr...) Not wanting to waste an opportunity, I took pics of some Mallards. Then I saw them... up in a tree. There were four of them taking a mid-morning nap. I stood at the closest bank across the little lake and captured the image below. It's not perfect, but better than what I got the day before. It would have been so cool to get a fishing shot. Maybe another time.

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[click to enlarge]
*Metric conversion: 40 mph = 64 kph, and 50 mph = 80 kph

19 comments:

Leeloo said...

Craver, what's that in the nest from your first picture???? There's a bird sitting in it, isn't there?! It looks like a type of heron!

I'd also like to say CONGRATS on those shots of the cormorants, especially your second one, those bird are VERY hard to approach :)

Leeloo said...

I just looked at your first picture again and it looks like there are 4 different birds in that tree! Or maybe I'm crazy, LOL.

Craver Vii said...

Yes, it's true; you are crazy. (lol) No, but you're right about the birds. There were indeed four different birds in that first shot. My cormorant of course, plus a redwing, a sparrow, and the mystery meat in the nest is probably a great blue heron. Nice profile pic!

Denise said...

Your efforts were rewarded Craver, beautiful photos each one.

George said...

The things we do to get a good picture! I'm glad you made safely across the highway and back. I like both pictures, but the second is especially nice.

Gaelyn said...

Cormorants in Bowlingbrook seems quite unusual. Yet building on swamps is not, at least when I lived near there many moons ago. Nice shots Craver. You are better than you think at getting the birds.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: Cool shot, I have to send you a photo of Cormorant Island and Tree.

Craver Vii said...

Well Denise, there are ups and downs. I chased a bunch of stuff around today and got nothing good. I'm glad you liked these.

George, it's a good thing the traffic was light. Should I put a "do not try this at home" warning on the post?

Building on swamps Gaelyn? Yikes, maybe that's why the empty house on my block never sells.

Yes Fishing Guy, I would like to see Cormorant Island. I'll bet it's competitive trying to catch fish with these birds around.

donsands said...

That's one cool looking feathered creation of our Lord.

Thanks for sharing that Crav.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Now do you wonder why I do not go birding? My animals and insects are much easier to get close to (except when they fly off of course. :) )

You got excellents shots of them eventually but I think I would have given up trying long ago. :)

Chris said...

So, see, now you are taking risk to take pictures of birds ;-) Well done on the species, i've never seen it and would like to observe it!! You are getting the bird virus ;-)

lime said...

yikes! you are a daring fellow aren't you?

glad you had a less risky and more fruitful opportunity later on.

Craver Vii said...

That's what I thought Sandman. They're just passing through, so we don't often see them around here.

Whatever the reason Joan, I'm glad you take the pics you do, because they're phenomenal!

Oh oh, Chris. I didn't know I was risking a virus. Thanks for encouraging me along the way.

Oh, "daring." I thought you said darling, ...naturally. ;-)
Why yes, Lime; I do consider myself to be a darling fellow. My favorite piece of furniture is a mirror. (just kidding)

EG Wow said...

Cormorants are very social birds. I have seen dozens of nests in one tree at the harbour at Hamilton, Ontario.

Leeloo said...

LOL thanks Craver! (sticking my tongue out at you)

You should go back and check out that nest when the babies hatch, I know I would lose it if I found a heron nest location! But if you do go back, be careful please, we wouldn't want you to get run over :)

mommanator said...

you are one crazy photographer! but I guess its better than taking pics of Lionesses! Teehee

Craver Vii said...

I was surprised to see four of them together, but after what you've said EG, and Fishing Guy's pictures, I am more surprised now, that I did not see more of them.

Good point, Leeloo. I would hate to "lose it" if I discover what that really is inside the nests. We could have different definitions of "losing it," but I will invest in a pack of incontinence pads... just in case. Plus, if I get hit crossing the street, I would then have extra padding for the tookus.

Mommanator, it's funny that you should mention pics of a lioness. Have you seen the amazing Adventures of BeetleCam? Two brothers from the UK mounted a camera to a remote control vehicle and snapped pics of African wildlife. Check out the link; it's pretty cool!

dot said...

Wow, you really risked your life for these shots. Good ones too!!

Bird Girl said...

Very cool shot of the cormorants in those trees! I like the green in the background!