Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eagle attack

Yesterday I went ice fishing on Ririe Reservoir for kokanee and trout.  It had been slow for the last two weeks for me, so I decided to take one more trip to see if fishing had improved.  It was spitting snow and the wind was cold so I set up my ice shelter.

I had caught a trout when a school of kokanee came in.  I had caught four and threw them out on the ice as I tried to continue catching them.  I heard a swooshing sound and saw two bald eagles fly by the shelter picking up two of my kokanee.  My camera was in my sled outside and I was minus two of my fish.

I was surprised that the eagles would dive within eight feet of my red shelter to pick up my fish.  A fisherman about a hundred yards up the lake told me an eagle had stolen a fish from another fisherman during the week and had been so close that it wing had hit the man.  It was probably the one of the two that raided me.

I had moved one of my rods about 30 feet away to fish some rocks for trout while I continued catching kokanee.  I had just caught a trout when the man yelled at me that an eagle was coming.  I dropped the fish and ran for my camera.

Here is what I got from this attack:

At about 12 feet away, I messed up some of the pictures as the eagle was moving too fast and the sky was very cloudy and dark.

I did not get another trout, but went home with a trout and six kokanee. 

The most important things I went home with was images and memories of another great day in the Wilds of Idaho.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pinyon Jays and others

I went back out to where I saw the Pinyon Jays yesterday and set up my blind and sit there for two hours.  The jays came in twice and I was able to get some better pictures.

I also watched over 30 American Goldfinch with three Lesser Goldfinch mixed with them.

I also had 20 Dark-eyed Juncos around me.  They ran from a very dark head to a light grey head.

Some appeared to be almost a blue head and throat.

I also saw Housefinch, magpies, Juniper Titmouse, Canada Geese, Trumpeter Swans, starlings, Red-shafted flickers and Downy woodpeckers.

Another great day celebrating the wildness of Idaho.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pinyon Jays and Downys

This evening I went hunting for a flock of Pinyon jays along the South Fork of the Snake River.  I found them visiting a house with feeders near junipers.  With the heavy cloud cover and lateness of the day, good pictures were hard to come by.  Here is a male feeding in a juniper.

Another male takes off from the top of a juniper bush.

I got permission to set up a blind on the property and the first day we have good light, I will be there waiting for some good photos.

I also found a pair of Downy woodpeckers flirting with each other.  Here is the male with his red skull cap on.

Here the female is playing a little coy as she glances at him.

What a great way to spend some time in the wilds of Idaho and the birds of Madison County.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sharp-shinned hawk attack

Wednesday as I was eating dinner, I watched a Sharp-shinned hawk attack a starling.  Life in the world of nature is both cruel and interesting.  This was both of them. 
I watched as the hawk tore off the legs of the live starling.  By the time I ran down stairs to get my camera and got out behind a shed, the hawk was tearing off the head as the starling still struggled minus its already eaten legs.

As I slowly approached, the hawk flew up on a log to finish its dinner.

All that was left of the starling were legs, feathers and the head.

The next day it was back again.  Only this time I found him in a tree with another starling.  He can stay in my yard as long as he leaves the goldfinch, chickadees and evening grosbeaks alone.

Another great time in the wilds of Idaho.