Kip’s Comments 2-9 and 2-10-18

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484981 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Weekend Short Field Trip

This weekend was spent looking for a few specific wildlife species – a short-eared owl. According to my database, I photographed a short-eared owl back in 2008. I will be honest, I do not remember that incident. After a 10-year absence, it is time for me to find and photograph another short-eared owl. Apparently this weekend was not the time to end the dry spell.       

My search for the short-eared owl was at the Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Based on Internet reports, the owls have been seen at the refuge multiple times this winter. While I did not see any owls, I was treated to a couple of unexpected bison crossing the road in front of my truck. The outing was not quite like the Black Hills, but it was fun nonetheless and made for interesting photos.       

Bison in Winter:   

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484919 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 484919 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484932 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 484932 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484937 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 484937 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484957 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 484957 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484981 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 484981 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 484987 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 484987 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 485001 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 485001 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 485070 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 485070 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 485103 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 485103 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge - Image 485122 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Bison at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge – Image 485122 (© Kip Ladage)

 

I spotted a few whitetail deer in the prairie, but most were a considerable distance away. 

Whitetail Deer at Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge:     

Whitetail Deer in Prairie - Image 484915 (© Kip Ladage)

Whitetail Deer in Prairie – Image 484915 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Also photographed at the Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge were several hen pheasants.     

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant at Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge:       

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485138 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485138 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485146 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485146 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485147 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485147 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485150 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485150 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485173 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485173 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485179 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485179 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow - Image 485183 (© Kip Ladage)

Hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Snow – Image 485183 (© Kip Ladage)

 

On Friday I found and photographed horned larks and lapland longspurs. In the image of the lapland longspur, notice the long “spur” on the foot in the bird jumping in the air (hence the name).     

Horned Lark - Image 484819 (© Kip Ladage)

Horned Lark – Image 484819 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Horned Lark - Image 484824 (© Kip Ladage)

Horned Lark – Image 484824 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Horned Lark - Image 484827 (© Kip Ladage)

Horned Lark – Image 484827 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Horned Lark - Image 484840 (© Kip Ladage)

Horned Lark – Image 484840 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Horned Lark - Image 484861 (© Kip Ladage)

Horned Lark – Image 484861 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Lapland Longspur (Note long toe) - Image 484903 (© Kip Ladage)

Lapland Longspur (Note long toe) – Image 484903 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Saturday morning was spent looking for bald eagles around Lake Red Rock. Unlike my autumn bald eagle trips, this time I saw only a few bald eagles at close range.   

Bald Eagles at Lake red Rock:

Juvenile Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 485234 (© Kip Ladage)

Juvenile Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 485234 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Juvenile Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 485230 (© Kip Ladage)

Juvenile Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 485230 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree - Image 485216 (© Kip Ladage)

Adult Bald Eagle in Tree – Image 485216 (© Kip Ladage)

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of waterfowl on the open water below the spillway.   

Trumpeter Swan on Des Moines River:           

Trumpeter Swan on Des Moines River - Image 485361 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swan on Des Moines River – Image 485361 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Trumpeter Swan on Des Moines River - Image 485284 (© Kip Ladage)

Trumpeter Swan on Des Moines River – Image 485284 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Goldeneye on Des Moines River:                   

Goldeneye - Image 485266 (© Kip Ladage)

Goldeneye – Image 485266 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Common Merganser on Des Moines River:  

Common Merganser - Image 485254 (© Kip Ladage)

Common Merganser – Image 485254 (© Kip Ladage)

 

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