When I first arrived at the arboretum at JMU Tuesday evening, I saw from the parking lot an obvious hawk. What wasn’t so obvious was which species it was. I only managed to make a few frames before it took off. I’ve narrowed the possibilities to the following: sharp-shinned hawk, coopers hawk, broad-winged hawk or a juvenile northern harrier.

032509hawked

Any birding gurus are welcome to take a stab at what it might be. Read the rest of this entry »

Birding at the arboretum

March 13, 2009

Thursday afternoon was chilly and overcast, but still comfortable enough for an outing at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU in Harrisonburg.

Initially, ducks and squirrels seemed to be the only things out, but I soon saw a large form sweeping over the lake. It was a heron, possibly a great blue heron (Ardea herodias). In an unexpected move, he perched high in the canopy of some trees and I was able to make some images. He then moved to another and I continued shooting a bit before he took off.

031209heroned

Maneuvering into an appropriate location to shoot things in high elevations is difficult at best and impossible at worst. I don’t think I’ll include this image in the book, but it was still an interesting sight. Read the rest of this entry »