On cold days, I’m not always excited about putting on all the winter paraphernalia yet another time, especially as the sun is slowly sinking behind the trees; however, today I pushed open the door of my comfort zone and headed out for a chilly hour along the trails in Chagrin River Park.
My first goal was another look at Momma Great Horned Owl, so I chose the trail that led to her dead tree. From my vantage point, a fair distance from the tree, I could see that she was enjoying an afternoon nap, carefully camouflaged in her cozy nest.
Unfortunately the light was too low to capture a clear picture with my Nikon, so I shot a few photographs, turned away and went in search of other nearby birds. Flitting in the treetops along the trail was a black-capped chickadee that was kind enough to pause for a little portrait shoot.
When I reached the fence post at the juncture of two trails, I was happy to find the lady cardinal was still willing to pose…
…as were the blue jay and red-bellied woodpecker…
From a tree that overhangs the split-rail fence, a white-throated sparrow flew down to grab some peanuts; a pre-dinner appetizer perhaps:
By this time, my hands were thoroughly chilled, so I decided it was quitting time. “Tomorrow will be another day,” I said to myself, and hopefully the sun will shine. Walking back to my car, I took the trail that skirts the bog and paused to watch a few mallards that hadn’t gone in for the night.
By now it was really time to leave the trail and go home to download my pictures and get supper on the table. I’ll come back in the morning. Hopefully the light will be better!
I’ll look forward to seeing you then!
Let’s start with “Big Momma!”…Still sitting on the nest, all alone and sleepy!
Except for Big Momma, my nickname for the Great Horned Owl, this was pretty much a RED day…Northern cardinals and red-bellied woodpeckers were all over the place. Here are a few of my favorites.
FINALLY, this little nuthatch sneaked in for a photo opp. Too cute to resist!
That’s it for today. It was another sunny but cold day. My fingers were almost frozen at the end of the hour. I hope you enjoyed today’s birds. Do you have a favorite? Are you tired of cardinals? They were everywhere this morning, looking for peanuts and posing for pictures.
See you again soon. Thanks for joining me for today’s walk.
I appreciate your visits, stars, and comments.
Look closely! Can you see all three great horned owls?
There’s Momma Owl on the left, and next to her are her two owlets taking their naps. I’m not sure how old the babies are, but rumor has it that they were first spotted by a sharp-eyed birder a week or more ago. But that is just rumor, so I will have to confirm it. I only heard of them two days ago. This nest is about a mile from our house, on one of the trails I frequently walk. With these owls, the recent “big bird” sightings in our neighborhood has increased by three: the eagle and pileated woodpecker I posted last week and now a great horned owl and her owlets. It’s been a banner week for big birds. I wonder what will be next?
See you soon!
A great horned owl is sitting on a nest in the park where I usually take my photowalks. Last week it was pointed out to me, but the owl was not in sight, although others had seen it. Today I took a few pictures of the nest, came home, and brought them up on my computer screen, and I could see the little tufts on the top of her head. Can you see them?
According to the bird app on my computer, the owl lays one to five dull white eggs in an abandoned nest made by hawks or crows, which this nest is. She will incubate the eggs for 28-35 days, and it is mostly the female who does the hard work of sitting on the eggs until they hatch. If all goes well, we could see at least one nestling in four weeks or so.
I find that exciting, and I will keep you updated.
Carolyn aka Skip