Yesterday I had lunch with a good Friend down in Bellevue, Iowa. I hadn’t seen him in more than a year (mainly because of Covid) so it was great to catch up.
After lunch I headed back to Dubuque and got about 3 miles out of town when I thought, gosh I’m only 9 miles from Green Island, why not go to the wildlife preserve and see if anything is around.
I had some reservations about going there since my vehicle was pretty clean and I knew what the conditions would be like in Green Island. But what the heck.
When I got to the preserve it was much worse than I thought. The roads were still heavily snow covered and muddy. Well in for a penny in for a pound. So, I put it in 4-wheel drive and ventured into the muck.
I didn’t see much of anything except the ubiquitous Canada geese but nothing else. When I got to the end of the road, I saw more eagles in the trees then I can ever remember. Of course, they scattered and took off before I could get off a shot.
I decided to use my vehicle as a blind and just turned off the engine rolled down the window and sat. I sat for almost an hour and slowly some of them came back to the trees and to the fish one was in the middle of eating.
I’m going to show you more eagle pictures than you probably want to see but I couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t as much fun as photographing them catching fish or flying over water but hey, they are eagles and I’ll take an eagle’s picture any day of the week.
Well I went to Green Island yesterday with high expectations but in the 10 years I’ve been going there this was my worst experience. I saw a fair amount of wildlife but they were all too far away to get a decent shot of them.
I only photographed these Canada Geese for my friend Betty otherwise they too were too far away.
I spent 4 hours driving the “trenches” and setting and waiting hoping that something would land close to where I was but all for not. I only took these two images.
I’ve had some wonderful experiences at the preserve and I’ll probably go back sometime but not for a while.
Got tired of staying home so yesterday Jeanne and I took a trip South to Green Island Wildlife Refuge. I always enjoy going there although many times I come home without a great shot. When we left Dubuque there was a beautiful blue sky with puffy white clouds and plenty of sunshine. Unfortunately by the time we arrived at Green Island the beautiful sky was gone and nothing but overcast skies.
There was not an abundance of wildlife around or at least close enough to identify let alone try to photograph. We spent four hours there watching and listening and I managed to get a few shots but no award winners here.
The problem was that many of the critters were not in the “trenches” that are a normal part of GI. There was so much water from the flooding that they were in the field and between them and me was the vegetation that attracted the focusing system on my camera. So it was difficult to get a sharp image.
All that aside it was fun just to get out in the fresh air and hear the sounds of critters.
Found this Canada Goose nesting in one of the trenches. You can barely see her eye between the twigs.
Enjoy your day and be careful. Stay safe in this crazy environment.
As the sign indicates I took a trip down to Green Island Wildlife Preserve yesterday. I had very low expectations as this is not the best time of the year to visit the preserve, the weather was cold, gray, and cloudy so I fully expected to come back with an empty memory card.
While none of my images are outstanding in any way, I am always happy to photograph a Bald Eagle. Even if he has his back to me and is a long way off. I just love to watch these magnificent creatures.
I also found some Trumpeter Swans at the preserve. Here is an adult with three signets. There was an abundance of swans at the lake as well but too far away to photograph. I enjoyed listening to the sounds they make.
The ever-present Canada geese are always fun to watch and photograph.
It occurred to me that many people who follow this blog have never been to the Green Island Preserve. So I shot this short video to give you some idea of what it is like. Perhaps I’ll do that again in the Spring when there is an abundance of wildlife and migratory birds in the area.
I’ll finish up my Green Island shoot with the last four images today.
It wasn’t my best day at Green Island, but anytime I can come home with some images on my card it is a good day.
I couldn’t get any closer to the Sandhill Cranes then this. My friend Andreas says that this is a normal feeding patter for them. Some will keep watch while the others forage for food.
A little further down the canal I found this lone crane standing on a mound. Don’t know what he was doing but he let me take a bunch of images and never offered to move. 🙂
I was photographing the Northern Shoveler in the foreground when the other guy came in for a landing. He is not in focus but I liked the way he stirred up the water.
Finally I found these guys hanging around perched on a dead tree. They let me get very closed before taking off. I don’t normally like to disturb wildlife if I can keep from it but I had to drive past their tree to get out of the wetlands.
I have three more images today from my trip to Green Island on Wednesday. I, like most photographers have photographed thousands of geese. I still enjoy photographing them and trying to catch them in a different perspective when possible.
They are also good practice material when it comes to capturing images of them while in flight, like these.
The geese were all over Green Island and in large numbers. I saw lots of mallard ducks as well and often times they were swimming with the geese but they seem to have less tolerance for vehicles then the geese so I do not have any close up images of them.
On the way home I spotted this tree sitting alone in a field. I had to make a couple of U-turns but it was worth the effort in my view.
I spent several hours yesterday roaming the countryside looking for things of interest. Even ended up at the Green Island Wildlife Preserve, which was a sloppy mess by the way. It took two trips through the car wash to get all the crud off.
For today, however I have three barns to show you. I love to photograph barns and I often said when I had the time I was going to visit with the owners of the barns and learn their history. Now that I have that kind of time, it is what I plan to do. 🙂
I was disappointed in my visit to Green Island. My friend Andreas had been posting about a lot of the migrating wildlife that he had found over the weekend and so I thought yesterday with the beautiful blue sky with puffy clouds would be a perfect time to visit.
I found a lot of the ubiquitous geese and ducks but that was about it. I enjoy photographing geese but you see them almost everywhere now and so they lose a little of their luster as a photographic subject.
It was a fun day with no responsibility or schedules to meet. Never looked at my phone once the entire day. 🙂
I have four images today. Some of them are from my Green Island visit of last Sunday.
At the end of our patio we have a cement bird bath, which is a real chore to keep clean and filled with fresh water. It it is heavily used by the birds in our neighborhood so I’m happy to do it. I love watching the birds take baths and getting drinks. I captured this robin at the end of his frolicking bath. I wanted to get some images of the water being splashed into the air but for some reason I was having trouble getting focus lock on him. I do like this image however.
A pair of Great Egrets are stalking some food in one of the canals at Green Island. I was happy to see a fairly large group of egrets on this visit. I haven’t seen many of them this year. I think they are such an eloquent bird I enjoy watching them.
It has been a busy week at work with lots of benefit meetings at the various banks. Lots of travel and early mornings so I haven’t had much time to do any photographing. I plan to do some exploring this weekend.
I saw this little guy jumping / flying to the different lily pads and I was finally able to capture this shot of him.
Finally another shot of an egret sitting in a tree. I’m just not used to seeing these big birds sitting in trees. They let me get very close to them and didn’t seem to mind my presence.
That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Off at Zero Dark Thirty Hours this morning for a full day of benefit meetings. Two long days but it’s good to see all the folks at our different banks. I have some more images from my Green Island session.
I found this guy crossing the road on my way into the preserve. I stopped the car and approached him on foot. He withdrew into his shell so I had to wait for him to come of his shell for this image. 🙂
Just a reminder you can click on any image and reveal a larger more detailed version of the image.
I saw some movement behind the over growth on one of the canals. I followed it for awhile and then this little Mallard Duck emerged. He was having a little turf battle with a Red-Winged Black Bird. I love photographing Mallards.
This is not the image I wanted to capture. The auto focus system caught the branch that was closest to the camera, which left the Egret a little softer than I like. When I was photographing this magnificent creature I didn’t realize the AF was on the branch and not the bird so I just kept shooting. Still it’s a nice shot so I present it today for your enjoyment.