Thursday, December 9, 2010

Northern Harrier

I love watching Northern Harriers swooping over open meadows hunting for prey, sometimes hovering momentarily as they look down below. They are so graceful. And you can always tell its a Harrier, even from a distance, because you will inevitably see the large flash of white on their upper-tail coverts.
The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge auto tour is a very interesting birding area. You are not allowed to get out of your car during the winter months and this has its pluses and minuses.
On the plus side, even the though the cars are moving (albeit slowly) they tend to act as moving bird blinds. I'm amazed at how close you can get to birds and the quantity you can see.
On the minus side, it can sometimes be restricting trying to take pictures.
The images above demonstrate a bit of both. On the one hand, I got pretty close to this Harrier. On the other, I had to turn my car sideways in order to get a shot and then I wasn't able to move around to get a clearer view of the bird. I've learned to get some shots from where I am before trying to get something better, so after I took these shots I tried to get closer, but it flew away.
All-in-all, it was pretty exciting to get the shots I did.

1 comment:

  1. The last two times I have been to Ridgefield, a bird has been on that same post. Must be his hunting spot.