Holiday Visitors!

Man this year keeps flying by, hard to believe that it’s already Summer and 4th of July is over. Time is flying by so fast that it hurts to think that Pylon Race Seminar was just two weeks ago. Uhhh such as it goes processing. Well the other day we had a nice break from the computers when a guest showed up at the house. I’m referring to the Blue Grouse or now known as the Sooty Grouse on the Pacific Coast. The species was split into two subspecies the Sooty and Dusky. Dusky are found up northeast towards the Rockies.

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At the time I was processing and heard Dad from the kitchen yelling at me, “get up here.” When i got upstairs they pointed out the window and said, “Our friends are back.” Sure enough Mom and Kid grouse were back in the yard. Not sure if it is the same female grouse as last summer but it did display some of the same characteristics which makes us think it is. She has a new cuby this year with 4 buttons. They could only have been about 8 weeks old. Seems kinda late to be seeing them but then it has been a cold Spring.

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They came down from the hill two rows houses behind us, crossed the street, came around our house, an then went back through the houses towards the hill. I caught up with them before they hit the road, not long before it started to rain. Wasn’t hard just, planted with the 200-400 crouched down and waited for them to come by me. Needles to say they were friendly, at one a kid came so close I couldn’t focus on him anymore. Right before it started to rain mom made a whole, and used her body as a cover for the kids. Then it began to rain, and I left. Nature won but it was fun.

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 200-400 VR, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

A New Mom at the House

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Whhhhaaaaaat! a Blue Grouse in the front yard? Thats what my parents were tyring to tell me yesterday afternoon. At first i thought it was a bear, cuz the dogs were out and everyone was excited. They like to tree bears but thats another story. I ran up to the deck and there it was in the pine tree looking at the front. The front yard is a meadow that tends to draw in many species such as the Western Tanager. This is the first time that we have every been able to photograph the mom and even better, two kids. We didn’t even see the kids at first cuz the meadow is so high, even the mom can hide in it. With the bird in the tree i quickly setup my 600 and flash and position myself ouyt my bedroom window. Glad i did too because she came back into the yard and posed a couple times for us. This was the one time she was in a clearing on the ground and we were both able to get clean shots of her. The rest of the time she was hidden or on a stump. Dad was out with the 200-400 shooting from outside. The three grouse stayed for maybe fifteen minutes then left weaving their way down through the houses back towards the mountains where the belong. We watched them ethusiastically the whole time. I can’t wait to see who else shows up this summer.

Images captured with D3, 600f4, TC-14E, SB-800 on a flash arm, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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