Author Topic: My Nebraska  (Read 182887 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1185 on: December 20, 2020, 11:12:41 AM »
It has finally got to winter around here.  The days are pretty short and has been cold but I made a drive out to look for short-eared owls.  While there waiting for the sun to set the meadowlarks were very visible sitting on the posts .  Some great evening light on  them.  Now to wait for the owls to come out.  Of course where I sitting in my car I could see a couple flying at the far end of the road going over the field.  I drove closer and got a couple of photos as they flew with the late evening sky.  No luck with them sitting on the posts.  Then it was pretty clear out and thought I would check on the planets, Saturn and Jupiter.  They are close to each other now and will be the closest on Dec 21st. 













A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline NancyM

  • HEGPS
  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9,497
    • My Flickr picture albums
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1186 on: December 20, 2020, 03:56:57 PM »
Gorgeous meadowlark photos! The light was truly beautiful.

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1187 on: December 20, 2020, 08:38:59 PM »
Take Two on the Short-eared Owl.  Tonight it was cloudy and not as cold.  As I drove the gravel road where I had seen the owls, my headlights were off and I see a bird on a post.  I slowly creep forward and sure enough it is an owl.  I continue to creep and then get the car at an angle so I can take a photo out the window.  They hunt over the wetlands and prairie grasses for mice, voles and such.  It stayed looking around until it was so dark I could hardly see it.







A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1188 on: January 09, 2021, 05:38:45 PM »
Here it is just barely after sun up on a cloudy day and I hear this birds song going on and on.  I finally spot it over on the fence, quickly got my camera and carefully got to a spot that I could get a picture.  It sat there and sang and sang and then looked around like is anyone going to join in.  It sure is a sweet song that the Carolina Wren sings.  For a tiny round little bird it sure can belt out the notes.



A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1189 on: January 11, 2021, 05:55:37 PM »
There is a celebrity hanging out in an area of Nebraska that has got many birders traveling from all parts of the state.  I had to go check it out on Sunday.  Of course the weather was not the clear blue sky you would like but hey it was my day off.  So I took off and made the hour and 20 min drive to the area that the special guest has been spotted for the last week.  The area is along a double lane highway with  some power poles along side of the road and then there is the open cornfield.  I am driving east on the road and on one pole i see a nice red tail hawk ( not what I am looking for).  I continue on and trying to drive slow enough that I can scan the field and the poles.  OH MY  -   :binocs  there it is on the top of the pole but I can't stop so I go up to the next turn out and turn back now on the other side heading west.  This time I can slow down and pull off the road onto the shoulder of the road.  Parked right across on the pole is the SNOWY OWL.  It is now just after 11 0'clock in the morning.  No one else has stopped, cars are zipping by on both sides of the road ( do you suppose they even are aware of the special bird that is right there on the pole)   It is not common to see snowy owls this far south.  When one is here there are a few things that occur 1. there is a lack of food up north and they travel south looking for food 2. there was good breeding  so lots owl numbers so they need to reach other places hunting for food.  Sometimes they end up in rehab because of vehicle strikes and being in a weakened state.  Let us hope this one does well and returns north healthy.


Looks very sleepy but still is very watchful







Did a little preening and got all fluffed up




link to my photo page on flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/debmiller11/50822780776/in/dateposted/
A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1190 on: January 12, 2021, 08:29:18 PM »
On my road trip to look for the snowy owl I took the highway that crosses the Platte River.  There is an eagle couple that has a territory somewhere near the bridge. You can see one or both usually sitting high on the power poles.  So as I got closer to the bridge I was checking each pole and sure enough on the left side of the road there was an eagle.  Right by the bridge there is a little road that people use when getting out of the river with their kayaks or canoes.  I was able to get turned around and positioned to sit in my car and take photos out my window.  The morning was gray making the light very difficult for photos.  Mr was sitting on the pole and was looking out over the river.  I just happen to be taking some photos of it when the female came in for a landing and made him fly off.  She took over the look out spot on top of the pole.











Now she has taken over







Link to my photo page
 https://www.flickr.com/photos/debmiller11/50822032458/in/photostream/
A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline NancyM

  • HEGPS
  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9,497
    • My Flickr picture albums
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1191 on: January 12, 2021, 09:18:05 PM »
Isn't it wonderful when you are in the right place at the right time?  In your mobile bird blind, no less.

Great photos!

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1192 on: January 17, 2021, 04:40:46 PM »
In the fall the Sandhill Cranes migrate south and some stop here for a short time and then continue on south.  Sometimes we get a few that stay longer.  They are pretty a hardy bird that can handle the cold weather.  Sometimes when they arrive in the early spring we have some nasty cold weather or snow storms. There has been a pretty large number of them staying this year.  They have been staying in the cornfields south of the Platte River and then at night return to the river.  The river has not been frozen solid so they can stay there safely.  Here are a couple photos of them in the cornfield late in the afternoon.  The sky had some nice pastel color with the clouds.














Link to my photos
 https://www.flickr.com/photos/debmiller11/50847035677/in/photostream/
A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1193 on: January 30, 2021, 08:06:02 PM »
I had a program to do out in Western Nebraska a week ago.  It was a great time to stop and check on a couple of Eagle gathering places.  First stop was Johnson Lake.  The lake is partially frozen and an area called the inlet is where the water feeds into the lake stays clear of ice, that  is where I headed.  I was not disappointed in my findings.  There was many eagles of all ages there on the ice and in the trees. I got there late in the afternoon with the sun setting very soon.







A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1194 on: January 30, 2021, 08:31:58 PM »
The next day I had some more miles to travel and ended up by Lake McConaughy,  another great eagle gathering place.  It was a gray sky day but I couldn't pass up looking for the eagles that hang around the dam.

Here is a view from the top of the dam




Now I found a road that goes below the dam and is across from all the eagles





A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1195 on: January 30, 2021, 09:16:23 PM »
Heading back after my program I stayed at my folks place which gave me another day to go back to Johnson Lake and more eagles - I hoped.  It was Saturday and the air was very heavy with fog and even freezing rain was forecast before the big snow was to fall the next day.  I started driving around and found a good spot to sit in the car and see a number of eagles.  I saw a few flying from one area heading to trees right by where I was.... could I be so lucky if one would land in the tree by me??  I am following it as it was flying and then it turned towards a tree right by where I was= I lost it in the branches of the tree but then there it was on a branch so close to me.  Now to get a picture without making it fly off.





Now to find some other eagles

this one caught a blue gill and headed for a tree




Pretty sure this is a male and female side by side







This youngster was very intent at watching a lady below in her yard



Now the weather system is moving in so I had to pack up and head home before the black ice......
A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1196 on: January 31, 2021, 10:00:47 AM »
A little History in this post.  During the pioneer travels they used the Oregon Trail and Morman Trails.  Those trails went through Nebraska and followed along the Platte River.  Farther west the Platte River is divided into two, one is the South Platte and that one comes from Colorado the other called the North Platte Channel flows out of Wyoming, sometimes called The Great Platte River Road.  The Platte River was once described as "a mile wide and an inch deep".   The emigrants followed the river because it was flat, they had plenty of water and provided fool along the way.  West of the city of North Platte that is where the rivers join.  The pioneers crossed and then followed the North Platte River.  The trail became a bit more of a challenge with some hills, then  to reach the river valley of the North Platte Channel they needed to go down the steep grade of Windlass Hill and to the meadow of Ash Hollow. 

Along the Oregon Trail there are many landmarks that they followed, Jail House and Court House Rock, Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff   as they followed on the south side of the North Platte River.  To get down Windlass Hill they had to get those heavy Conestoga Wagons and a smaller wagon called a Prairie Schooner  safely down.  They would lock the brakes and slowly descend maybe even by hooking the horses or mules behind the wagon to help slow it down, or use ropes attached and wrapped around something making like a wench.  Needless to say it was difficult and as the wagon wheels dug into the sandy soil it formed deep ruts.  Those ruts are still seen to this day.

I stopped at Windlass Hill and took at look up the hill and could still see the impressions left by many of those wagons coming down that hill. 










A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1197 on: February 01, 2021, 07:02:27 PM »
It was a foggy and frosty day,  I came home from work to let the dogs out.  Well I noticed something peeking out of the screech owl box.  How exciting so I went in and got my camera and zoomed in..........  Oh not really a feathered friend peeking out but a furry one.   I guess the squirrel needed a nice warm place too.

A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,141
    • My Flickr Page
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1198 on: February 06, 2021, 09:26:14 PM »
Winter in the Heartland of Nebraska.  The snow and cold has been pretty harsh this year.  The education ambassadors at work are pretty protected and  the Eastern Screech Owl being native to here is use to the weather and also the American Kestrel.  They have nice little huts for them to stay in also, kinda like their tree cavities.  Cleaning the mews the other day I decided to clean Doc's little hut,  well he has a nice stump with a cavity in it.  When I returned his little hut I didn't see him right away.  Well the little fella had gone in the stump.  The camouflage  of his feathers is amazing,  will look so much like tree bark.  So when I saw him I took a few pictures.







Roy the Swainson's Hawk is migrator,  travels down to around Argentina for the winter and then returns in the spring.  Well the temps and windchills are going to be really really cold now. We have at least a foot of snow on the ground too.   I decided to set up a place for him in my basement.  He has a nice perch branch there or I can put him in the crate if that doesn't work out.  I can say these birds are so handsome !!!

A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline boonibarb

  • HEGPS
  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9,993
    • my flickr photos
Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1199 on: February 07, 2021, 10:40:29 AM »
That*s so cool, Deb.
So sweet to see these lovely Birds.
& how you are caring for them.
wooohoooo!