Thursday, September 17, 2015

Raystown Lake

Since the Pa Fish and Boat Commission drained our local Meadow Grounds Lake in the spring of 2013 I have been forced to travel elsewhere for boating/photography and fishing.  The Meadow Grounds offered good fishing, excellent wildlife photography, and convenience as was a short 15 miles from home.  With it gone I began to travel to the next nearest lake, Raystown Lake, in neighboring Huntingdon County.  No more can I hook up the boat and take a quick run to the lake for Raystown is fifty miles one way.  The fishing at Raystown is different then the Meadow Grounds with more species to target however it falls short with the wildlife photography.

Raystown is a much busier lake and where the MGL was electric motor only, Raystown is unlimited horsepower and heavily used by pleasure boaters.  The waterfowl that I have encountered there is typically much more wary of boats, seldom allowing a close approach.  Large waves from the wakes of speeding boats can be unsettling if not down right dangerous while trying to photograph wildlife.

With that said, there are still occasions where keeping the camera handy on Raystown pays off.

The following are a few images captured while fishing Raystown Lake.

I was surprised to encounter this swimming squirrel a long way from shore one recent morning.  If memory serves me well this was the only time I have ever observed a squirrel swimming. 

A Great Blue Heron stalks the shallows

And lastly, a pied-billed grebe swims away through the fog.  This is the first p-b grebe I have spotted since the spring migration.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

A Visit with a Waterthrush

I identified this bird in the title as a waterthrush.  This much I know is accurate however I am unsure as to whether the bird pictured here is a Louisiana Waterthrush or a Northern Waterthrush.  After studying the bird's markings I am leaning towards the Louisiana however anyone's input would be much appreciated.  I read on one site that the song was the best way to differentiate between the species but alas the hearing loss I suffer denies me that means of identification. 

I remember well my first encounter with a waterthrush.  A few years ago my wife and I were visiting with my niece Amy and her husband on early spring day.  After lunch it was suggested that we go to a public natural area near their home that was quite popular with wildflower enthusiast.  As we were hiking along the trail Amy began looking intently at a nearby stream and soon spotted the Louisiana Waterthrush.  Its singing had alerted her to its presence.

A couple weeks ago while crossing the creek that borders our farm, I began spotting a waterthrush frequently.  One evening last week I decided to make an attempt to photograph the bird and was pleased to find it seeming cared little about my presence as it hopped about the rocks bobbing its butt and flipping leaves in search of prey.  I enjoyed the time spent with this member of the warbler family and hope that you enjoy the images I came away with as well.