TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Sun, Aug. 18

Cruising

One of the last of the migratory birds to leave is the Bufflehead Duck, I think they left over the weekend and look forward to their return this fall. This pair are likely somewhere north of here heading towards Canada or Alaska and their breeding grounds near wooded lakes and ponds. They are also the smallest of the ducks and use nesting cavities in trees primarily left by the Northern Flicker woodpecker. The iridescent sheen on their heads is amazing. I got this shot on the 15th down at the ponds and have not seen them since; the Cinnamon Teal seem to be gone too.

Late afternoon Corky and I headed down to the ponds just to escape the house for a while. Only a few Mallards and Widgeons left now; spent a lot of time trying to get some shots of Redwing Blackbirds in the wetlands area and was actually pretty successful at it with a number of aerial shots. When I first got there one of the Black Hawks cruised by me low and after a while I spotted the other one high overhead soaring. Good shots of the second one and then on to the Blackbirds and more. The foam rc seaplane that had been used to chase Cormorants appears to have crashed and is tethered floating in the pond closest to the restaurant ...stripped of all its electronics and engine. I like the thought of a hawk or eagle taking it out of the sky and leaving the offending craft crippled and sinking in the pond; alas it was more likely operator error. The Cormorants are gone too. Later I got some shots of Vultures coming in to roost and just as they were settling in a Black Hawk flew at them and scattered them. You would think that nature's waste management team would garner more respect. Afterwards he (black hawk) alighted on his perch overlooking the ponds. A professional photographer got some shots of him after I left his area, l know he was a pro because he had a camouflage tripod, camera, lens and clothing ... knee pads and a large backpack too. I took a picture of him from the back so that perhaps I have a role model to aspire to be in another universe or time. I was as usual in shorts and golf shirt and hand holding 560mm of glass and I got closer to the hawk than he :+) Just some good natured fun for a few of my friends who all use tripods. The Buffleheads were handheld too but with the 70-200 plus the 2.0 extender to give me a 140mm/400mm lens. Today it was the 400mm plus 1.4 extender to give me 560mm. Fun stuff.

It's a wrap on the day and hope you had a wonderful one and soon you will have the opportunity to give it another shot ... even though your day was good, I hope that at the end of today you will find that a better day was had.

Cheers and enjoy life

Ted

But from the brooding beauty of the night, and daily dancing shafts of golden sun ...

The mystery and wonder of the world ... that play the soundless music of the soul

And fill the heart with memory's olden dreams ... From these will come at last your faith in God.

Max Ehrmann

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