Yes, yes, I said I was doing a reader submission next. I lied. I’m dying to know what this fellow is.
Sunday was sunny and warm, so I hiked my work over to one of our picnic tables. Those are usually full of families having birthday parties, but this week, the whole strip was deserted. Sun and solitude? Combo not to be missed.
So there I was, beavering away whilst basking in the sun, when I heard a raptor scream. And the bugger flew right overhead in its full glory before I could get the camera out and on. I can tell you several things about it. It’s not a bald eagle – the coloration and markings were completely wrong, even for a juvenile. It was a kind of yellowish-tan hue with dark spots and creamy bits. It was utterly lovely. And it, being a bird and therefore an unutterable bastard, decided to go show off from a distance by the time I’d got my camera ready.
Still. A few halfway decent shots, perhaps enough for you to work with. And the memory of gorgeous gliding death soaring straight overhead.
So that’s as close as I ever got. Pathetic. Thirty seconds before, it had practically landed on my head. The birds round here conspire, I tell you. They do this on purpose. “Hey, you know what would be fun? Ima buzz Dana and then fly off behind a tree as soon as her camera comes on. Snortle.”
Still, this cropped shot turned out somewhat okay.
That’s as close as I can get to its actual colors, after playing with the contrast and highlights and such. It’s enough to tell it ain’t a bald eagle, and it’s probably not a red-tailed hawk.
The next two aren’t so great, but I include them in case they are helpful.
You know, it’s almost too bad I don’t have a mouse problem. Look at it looking down: I’ll bet I could’ve got its attention with a nice, fresh mouse hot from the trap and full o’ purloined cheese. I’ll bet it would have condescended to come close if I’d had something like that on offer. Ah, well, this shall have to do.
As you can tell, I had to shoot through power lines for a bit there, which was somewhat useful, actually: I could aim ahead of it and get the camera to develop some idea of focus before the raptor soared into the shot and got snapped.
Crop of the above:
And there you can see just a wee bit o’ detail. Quite lovely. But I have no idea what it is. Golden eagle? Some sort of hawk? Falcon? I am teh suck at teh birds.
I kind of like this final shot because it looks a bit like a cruising parrot.
Or is that just me?
There were actually two of them up there, but the other was further away, so I didn’t bother trying to photograph it. We get quite a few raptors round here. They love our drumlin. Sometimes in the summer, when I’m lounging on the porch with an improving book and the felid, I’ll hear them shouting to each other in the trees. There was a baby this year that was quite vocal, liked to throw hysterical fits. And you’ll sometimes see the crows get cross with them. Then there are the times when they’re just soaring in lazy circles overhead, and I’ll stand there for a bit with my neck craned back, watching them enjoy their updrafts. I like them a lot. And it’s nice to know we seem to have variety.
For those of you wondering how I spend my weekends when I’m not off adventuring, this is it:
That’s a brand new notepad acquired from Staples, and it is filling with plans for ETEV and Rosetta Stones. I think best in longhand. Sometimes, I even write blog posts that way – especially when I’m at work or somewhere else where there’s no wi-fi and/or I haven’t got my computer. And yes, I sometimes do write outside in the glorious sunshine, whilst raptors soar and other birds laugh at me from the bushes.
It’s not a bad life, this writing life. Portable. Interesting. Difficult, but worth it.
Thank you for giving me good excuses to carry on, with occasional pauses to catch you a bird.