The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Eagles’

Maine Vacation: Utica NY to Warren PA

We checked out of the Red Roof Inn in Utica NY, and we were on the road by 7:00 am.  Neither of us slept well last night, but our lack of sleep was no fault of the hotel or other guests.  We were just restless (to get home, I believe).

We ate breakfast at the Port Byron Diner in Port Byron, NY.  Bob ordered an omelet with potatoes; I ordered chocolate chip pancakes with scrambled eggs and bacon.  Breakfast was filling and delicious.

After breakfast we drove to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, where we drove around the Wildlife Loop.  We saw an eagle today and a few other birds.  There wasn’t much activity.  We prefer coming to this wildlife refuge in the Spring.  I talked with a man who was photographing the eagle.  The eagle had not left his roost in 1 1/2 hours!  We spent about 30 minutes waiting for the eagle to fly.

Eagle on its roost

I thought for sure that the eagle was going to fly.

What a stubborn eagle!

Leaving Montezuma, we drove to UBREAKIFIX in Buffalo.  Bob had arranged to have his Google Pixel 2 phone repaired.  The thumbprint sensor quit working.  He was quoted a price of $80-100 a couple weeks ago and told the work would take a couple hours.  Today he was told the cost of the repair would be $150 and would take 3 hours to fix.  Bob opted not to have his phone fixed.

On our way home from Buffalo we made two stops.  Our first stop was at Tim Hortons in Fredonia, NY.  We ordered coffee/tea, two cookies (for Bob) and an apple fritter (for me).  Our second stop was a fuel stop at Mobil in Fredonia, NY.

We returned home around 3:00 pm.  Bob drove 2,070 miles total, while we were on vacation.

This blog post concludes Day 10 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).  We are already talking about returning to Maine some day, perhaps in the fall.  We really enjoyed our stay in Maine!

Eagle in a Tree

We saw four eagles during the afternoon of Saturday, September 29th.

We saw the first three eagles just below Kinzua Dam in Warren County, PA. The eagles were circling around the Allegheny River. By the time we got close enough to even stand a chance of getting a decent picture, the eagles were gone.

I spotted the fourth eagle in a tree later in the afternoon, while Bob was passing it going about 50 mph. I said “an eagle an eagle”! Bob turned around so that I could capture a photograph of the eagle.

_LG28470Eagle in a Tree

This lone eagle was located along U.S. Route 62, not far from Frewsburg, NY.

East Syracuse NY to Mt. Morris NY

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area.

We checked out of the Best Western East Syracuse, after breakfast, on Monday July 3, and were on our way home shortly before 8:00 am.

On our way to East Syracuse on Saturday, we stopped at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.  We stopped at the wildlife refuge once again on our way back home. I am so glad that we visited Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. I put my new camera lens to good use, as we drove around Wildlife Drive.

New camera lens, you ask?  I just realized that I hadn’t shared on my blog that I purchased a new camera lens.  I waited for well over 1-1/2 years to purchase this camera lens.  At first the camera lens wasn’t in stock.  Then I didn’t have the money available to purchase the lens.  Finally, everything came together to make the purchase.  I purchased an Olympus m.Zuiko ED 300mm f4.0 IS Pro lens, specifically for wildlife photography.  Coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter, I have an effective focal length of 840mm!  My new lens arrived on Friday, June 30, the day before we left on our weekend getaway.  I need to use the lens more to increase my proficiency in its use, but I am very pleased with the images that I captured at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

_LG22411Bird ID needed

_LG22424Osprey in Flight, with seaweed attached to its claw

_LG22428Are these birds American Coot?

The highlight of our visit to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was the sighting of two American Bald Eagles.  One eagle flew off to parts unknown, but one eagle landed in a tree not far from where we were on Wildlife Drive.

Bob took this photograph of me, while photographing the eagle.

And to think I didn’t want a moon roof, when we were car shopping. I didn’t want to spend the extra money. The car on the lot that we liked came with a moon roof. I am glad that we got a moon roof, because it enabled me to capture a couple good photographs of the eagle!

_LG22462American Bald Eagle

My new camera lens is a keeper!
These two eagle images are the best pictures I have ever taken of an eagle!

We sat and watched a group of Canadian Geese farther along on Wildlife Drive.

_LG22481Canadian Geese, quietly enjoying the pond

The quiet didn’t last for long!

_LG22482Noisy Canadian Geese!

_LG22487This duck had one of the Wildlife Drive ponds all to herself.

_LG22499Great Blue Heron

We stopped once again to admire the newly installed eagle monument.

_LG22529The eagle monument was built in honor the the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle
reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

_LG22532The eagle monument is visible from Interstate 90.

Leaving Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, we drove to Mt. Morris, NY.  We ate lunch at Brian’s USA Diner.  We selected this restaurant for lunch, based on its positive reviews. Yes, as stated by reviewers, the service was quick and friendly. Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich with Onion Rings. I ordered pulled chicken in a hoagie bun with potato salad. The restaurant reviews indicated that the portions were large. I agree. My pulled chicken hoagie sandwich was huge! My potato salad was heaped high in a small bowl. At first, Bob’s Reuben sandwich looked average size. He said, though, that there was lots of meat in his sandwich, so much meat that he could barely taste the dressing. Reviewers raved about the taste of the food. The food tasted okay, nothing really to boast about. Nothing to complain about either.

After lunch, we drove to nearby Letchworth State Park.  I will share details and photographs of Letchworth State Park in the next (and final) blog post I write about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway.


An Eagle Called “Liberty”

This morning I finished sorting through, editing and uploading photographs from Deborah and Brian’s wedding.  Now it is time for me to catch up on my blog writing.  I have much to share with you.  This is the first of at least seven catch-up blog posts!

On Sunday, June 25, needing a break from reviewing the wedding photographs, Bob and I went for a drive.  We ended up at the Audubon Community Nature Center, located in Jamestown NY, where we went for a short walk.  At the end of our walk we visited with Liberty, the resident eagle, for a few minutes.

_LG22215Liberty, just before she flew to a nearby perch in a tree.

Liberty was found in the state of Washington, with an infected cut on her left wing. Liberty cannot be released because the muscle damage in her wing prevents her from flying well enough to hunt in the wild. Liberty can fly short distances inside her habitat. Liberty has lived at the Audubon Community Nature Center since June 2002. A group of volunteers take good care of Liberty.


A Saturday Drive: Lake Wilhelm

After lunch (see previous blog post), we drove to Maurice K. Goddard State Park. Specifically, we went to Lake Wilhelm in search of birds.

Our first stop was at Boat Launch No. 4 on the north side of the lake.  We saw several tree swallows and enjoyed watching their acrobatic twists and turns.  Of more interest at this boat launch, though, was the family whom we met.

_LG20704Pastor Tim and his family

Tim is pastor for a small church in Meadville.  His family moved to that area a couple years ago.  What a very nice family!  We talked a little bit about Lake Wilhelm and our plans while there (looking for birds), as well as the Allegheny National Forest, near where Bob and I live.  Tim and his wife, Dana, expressed interest in visiting Kinzua Dam and points of interest in the Allegheny National Forest.  After I took this photograph of Pastor Tim and his family, we exchanged Facebook information.  Before we made it back home, we were friends on Facebook. We hope that our paths cross again one day!

Leaving Boat Launch No. 4 we turned left onto Lake Wilhelm Road, crossing a bridge over Lake Wilhelm.  At the end of the bridge, on the right, we stopped near a waterfowl observation area.

_LG20705Lake Wilhelm Waterfowl Observation Platform

From this observation platform we saw a great blue heron, geese, a red-wing blackbird, an osprey and an eagle.


I focused my attention on the osprey for some time, hoping that it would dive into the water and catch a fish.  I turned away briefly.  The osprey flew off!  I managed to capture a photograph of its tail feathers!

_LG20726Osprey Tail Feathers

What held my attention the longest, though, was the eagle.

_LG20724Eagle on a Nest

The eagle’s nest was WAY across the pond.  It did not move from the nest during our entire stay at the waterfowl viewing platform.

Leaving Lake Wilhelm Road we turned left onto Creek Road and drove along the southern shores of Lake Wilhelm.  We stopped at the dam, where we once again enjoyed watching the acrobatic twists and turns of tree swallows.

_LG20747Tree Swallows

***To be continued***

ISO Eagles at Lake Wilhelm

Ever since our first visit to Maurice K. Goddard State Park in Mercer County, PA a little more than a month ago (which I forgot to blog about!), I have wanted to make a return trip. Bob and I made that return trip today. As was the case last month, we drove to Maurice K. Goddard State Park in search of eagles at Lake Wilhelm. We saw lots of eagles during our first visit to the state park.  The eagles for the most part, though, were too far away for me to capture a good picture.  This trip we found three bald eagles–two adult bald eagles and one juvenile, but I am getting ahead of myself.

We left home around 6:30 am. For the next 1 ½ hours or so, we drove in and out of fog. The weather forecast called for temperatures in the low 60s, but it was a frosty 28 degrees when we left home.

We stopped for breakfast at Grantham’s Landing Restaurant in Sandy Lake a short time after 8:00 am. After placing our order, breakfast was served promptly and cheerfully. Bob ordered a bacon and cheese omelet with rye toast. I ordered two scrambled eggs, bacon, wheat toast and a side order of hash browns. I gave Bob two of my four slices of bacon and one of my two hash browns. Breakfast was delicious.

It was only a short drive from the restaurant to Lake Wilhelm. We stopped briefly alongside Lake Wilhelm Road and looked for Eagles. We didn’t see any Eagles, but we did see several Canadian Geese and red-winged blackbirds. There is an observation platform along Lake Wilhelm Road from which Waterfowl, Ospreys, Eagles and other birds can be observed.

_LG20067 4x6This is what we saw, while stopped alongside Lake Wilhelm Road.
I loved the reflections in the water!

_LG20076 4x6This is one of several red-winged blackbirds that we saw,
while stopped alongside Lake Wilhelm Road.

Leaving Lake Wilhelm Road, we turned left onto Creek Road following it all the way to Lake Wilhelm Dam. The area near the dam is where we saw the three Eagles. We saw great blue herons too.

_LG20081 4x6This is the view from on top of Lake Wilhelm Dam.

_LG20089 4x6Can you spot the Great Blue Heron?

_LG20104 4x6
We saw three bald eagles.

_LG20108 4x6
These three pictures are of the same eagle.

_LG20114 4x6

On our way home we drove around Sugar Lake and made a quick drive through a small portion of the Erie National Wildlife Refuge near Guys Mill. We saw two fishers. One fisher crossed the road in front of us; the other fisher crossed the road behind us. We saw a pair of Canadian Geese too. Nothing unusual about that; they are everywhere!

_LG20130 4x6a Pair of Canadian Geese at Erie National Wildlife Refuge
I loved the reflection in the water!


Oh, I almost forgot.  We saw a cool-looking barn while driving through Cochrantan, PA.

_LG20124 4x6What a cool-looking barn!

We returned home around 2:00 pm, after a delightful Saturday drive.

Sunday Dinner Ride

We spent the afternoon and part of the evening of Sunday, June 14, riding with our 2 Scoop CycleTherapy friends. We met Paul, Debbie, John, Carol, Scott, Donna, Mark, Faye and Bill at the North Warren Playground parking lot at 12:30 pm.

We put on our rain gear, as it started to rain shortly before our 1:00 pm departure time.

Carol getting a little help from John in putting on rain gear.

Our final destination was Sprague’s Maple Farms, located in Portville NY.

We made one stop, in Eldred PA, on our way to Sprague’s. A few of the ladies used the stop as a potty break. It didn’t take long for us to reach Sprague’s from that stop.

Eldred PA stop

It was 3:30 pm, when we were seated and our dinner orders placed. Bob ordered a pork chop dinner. I ordered a breakfast entree: scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes. The pancakes were unlimited. I couldn’t even finish the three pancakes that came with my meal!

After dinner we started our ride back home.

Getting ready to leave Sprague’s Maple Farms

We stopped at Marilla Reservoir in Bradford PA, where I planned to take a group picture of the eleven of us at the covered bridge.  We got sidetracked, though, when we saw an eagle in a tree.

Eagle in Tree

We heard thunder, while at the reservoir, and changed our planned route home. We backtracked a short way and took Songbird Lane to Route 770 to Route 59. This was a faster way home than taking Route 346 to Route 321. It rained on our way home. I had taken off my rain gear when we arrived at Sprague’s.  I did not put the rain pants back on, when we left Sprague’s.  I got wet and cold.  As soon as we returned home, I took a long, hot shower and went to bed.  The next morning I awakened with a sore throat, runny nose, a cough and a hoarse voice.  It took the better part of the week to feel better!

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