Home

Yes, its June, but I’m playing ‘catch-up’ today and I wanted to ‘plug’ an upcoming event!!  I’m leading a bird walk at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge thanks to an invitation from Julee at Mt Adams Lodge!  Saturday, July 1st right after breakfast at the Lodge.  Hope you can join me!

Thanks to a lead that Pintail Ducks were at ‘Pintail Lake’ I went up to the refuge in spite of the dark & dreary April day.

Lucky me, I found a huge herd of ELK.  I counted over 40!

Later that morning I saw the herd running through a marshy field while I searched for Sandhill Cranes.

The raven looked very black against a gray sky…wouldn’t a BLUE sky have been better??!!!

Red-winged blackbirds are so melodious, I love them and they were everywhere!

I also found a pile of snakes!  This one let me grab his portrait.

 

Swallows were building nests underneath a bridge.

Brewer’s Blackbird…

Northern Flicker….

Western Meadowlark….

I was surprised to find a Wilson’s Snipe!

And some birds we could see on our July 1st birdwalk, that I’ve seen during this time of year:  Yellow-headed Blackbird

Spotted Sandpiper

Eastern Kingbird

Western Tanager

Sandhill Crane

Cedar Waxwing

Maybe we’ll see dragonflies!  I know we’ll see a lot more than I’ve shown you here.  Join me!!   Mt Adams Lodge Saturday July 1st right after breakfast in Glenwood WA, at the base of Mt Adams!

No experience necessary, just your curiosity, willingness to take a walk looking for birds in a beautiful place.  Binoculars &/or your camera are good things to have with you.

 

 

 

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-5

My first field trip during Winter Wings was with Paul Bannick in and around the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17

I paid close attention to his every word in yesterday’s workshop, so my camera was ready and I was ready!

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-2

About a dozen photographers had plenty of room to spread out in our school bus that took us to the first eagle sighting.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-3

Still early, a bit dark, we had learned how to let more light into our sensors and clicked away as the pair of eagles came and went from their nest.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-4

It was difficult to choose which images to share out of the many I took.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-6

The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge was amazing in spite of overcast skies and threat of rain.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-7

We watched swans and geese take off and land, especially after an eagle ‘fly by’.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-8

There were literally thousands of Tundra Swans and Greater White-fronted Geese.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-9

Tundra Swans are another of my favorites.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-10

We saw a few Sandhill Cranes and lucky us, we caught them dancing!

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-11

I didn’t count the Bald Eagles but they were plentiful … and as usual in a group, fighting over food.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-12

There were also thousands of Snow Geese.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-13

They were especially sensitive to eagle fly overs and took off at every sighting of a Bald Eagle.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-14

They usually landed not too distant from where they left.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-15

Looks like a pair of Tundra Swans having some alone time away from the group.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-16

I have a series from this incident…a Great Horned Owl flew across a field then landed in the grass where we could barely see him.  A Northern Harrier buzzed overhead & dove near the owl several times.  Can you see the owl?  He’s directly below the Northern Harrier in this shot, hidden by grass.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-17

There was a plethora of Red-tailed Hawks floating in the sky for us to capture.steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-18

Bald Eagles and other raptors perch on utility poles.  Generally there is only one bird per pole, so this shot with an adult and juvenile Bald Eagle was fun to see.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-19

To my delight we also found a Rough-legged Hawk!  I am getting to know this raptor quite well.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-20

Another Red-tail ~ a juvenile that hasn’t fully developed his red tail yet.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-21

I had to yell “stop the bus!” when I saw this coyote in a field.  I rarely can grab my camera in time at home when I see them and he was so beautiful.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-22

He stood there posing for a bit then ran off with a glance over his shoulder.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-23

Our last stop for the day was back in Klamath Falls where Black-capped Night Herons roost in trees along the Link River near the Favell Museum.

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-24

We noticed Barrow’s Goldeneye in the river as we watched the herons…

steider-studios-field-trip-bannick-2-17-17-25

…and a few interesting Mallard hybrids!

Later in the afternoon I enjoyed a class learning intermediate and advanced raptor ID that I am most grateful for!  My next post will chronicle a fabulous field trip in search of raptors.

Our keynote speaker that night was Chas Glatzer.  My friend and I sat in the back, expecting to leave early because we were so tired from a full day that began at 5am.  We were literally the last to leave.  We didn’t want to miss an opportunity to talk with and thank Chas for an exceptional presentation.  I love that all three keynote speakers are ethical about capturing their wildlife shots.  Chas’s parting words still ring in my ear as it applies to wildlife photography, “Do the right thing”.

I don’t think I’ve addressed ethics in my posts, but if you haven’t thought about it I would never bait my subject or interfere with its life in any way.  I don’t whistle, rustle the brush or do anything that would turn its attention away from eating, feeding it’s young, sleeping, hunting or even just to direct it’s attention to me.  I’m truly grateful and appreciate any opportunity I have to see birds and wildlife; and love sharing what I capture with you.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16

Have I mentioned I love the American Pika?  Today I hiked around the Horsetail Falls area in the Columbia River Gorge, hoping to see these cute little critters.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-2

I overslept a bit so didn’t expect to see any since I arrived later than planned.  But LOOK, he popped his little head up as if to say “Here I am!”.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-4

I ended up seeing two and hearing at least 2 others in the distance.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-3

A couple of families stopped to ask what I was capturing with my camera and I think I convinced one kid playing Pokemon Go to seek out Pika instead of Poke!!

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-6

As long as I was above Horsetail Falls I decided to hike in to Ponytail Falls.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-7It was by now lunch time and a bit crowded, so I creatively eliminated people from my viewfinder.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-8From inside the cave….

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-11Heading back down the trail…

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-9Another beautiful day in the Columbia River Gorge…

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-10

I watched for more Pika all the way back down, but I think they were in Siesta Mode.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-5

I DID see a Robin!

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-13

Back at the bottom of the trail and surprised at how few people were gathered around Horsetail Falls, I grabbed a shot of it while there.  I look forward to comparing it to the shot I took in January when the falls were raging and ice formed along the rocks.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16-12

At the very bottom of the falls, the water level was low enough I could climb down the rocks and take a shot at creek level.

Steider Studios.Pika.Horsetail.8.10.16

Here’s my little Pika friend again for your enjoyment.  Did I already say I love these little critters?!

Worth It

July 28, 2016

Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-3

I decided to take myself to the top of Angel’s Rest on this hot summer day.  I’ve been on the trail, searching for Pika with Cascades Pika Watch, but for various reasons never got to the top.  Above is the view looking west toward Portland.

Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-2

I headed up the trail at 7:30am and arrived at the top just after 9.  I stopped here and there to catch my breath.  Watching for Pika along the way gave me ample reason for frequent stops.

Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16

It’s only 2.3 miles up but with an elevation of 1600 feet, it felt steeper (to me) than it probably is.  Heading back down I stopped for a snack in a likely place to see Pika.

Steider Studios.Pika at AngelsRest.7.28.16

They didn’t disappoint!  Unfortunately, I only had time for a couple of shots of this American Pika before a noisy trail-runner scared him off ~ I was hoping on a weekday I’d have a quieter hike, but alas it is summer and the trails were busy by mid morning.

Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-4

Heading down I decided to stop at the stream that feeds Coopey Falls and found some stacked rocks that someone kindly left me.

Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-5

A tiny bit further I followed a lesser trail to view the stream cascading over some rocks at the top of Coopey Falls.

Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-6

Just beyond that is the last part of the stream near the top of the falls.  Any further downstream, I’d be tumbling in the waterfall (which is only accessible via private property).  Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-7

Back down at the trailhead at 11:30, I grabbed a shot of the sign, a memento of another fine day in the Columbia River Gorge.  Such a beautiful place to live and play!  It was definitely worth it!

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16

A friend had me walk her property to capture wildlife, pretty flowers or anything interesting I could find. When we first arrived, even though it was a glorious morning it was still and quiet. We walked in dew covered grass until our shoes and pant hems were soaked.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-2

Our first sighting was a Western Gray Squirrel. I saw a flash of it’s tail under the morning sun as it ran across a log. My trigger finger clicked away until he ran out of sight.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-3

Overhead a juvenile Bald Eagle soared majestically as we searched for little birds.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-4

A pair of Turkey Vultures seemed to float high overhead ~ too high for my camera to take decent pictures, and they eventually landed in a snag far in the distance.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-5

Finally we heard familiar bird songs and found a Mountain Chickadee singing from a branch.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-6

We watched a Red-breasted Nuthatch gather nesting material.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-7

A Yellow-rumped Warbler made it’s presence known. A couple of ravens flew noisily overhead and we discovered their nest later.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-8

Then a White-breasted Nuthatch appeared! I love seeing this bird as I rarely see it at home.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-9

We also saw a plethora of wildflowers. I’m told this little pansy is unusual so will share it here. I don’t recall the name, but will edit in when I recall or learn!  I’ve been out and about taking lots of wildflower shots lately, and will have to write a post just on those!

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-10

This was the first butterfly of the day we saw. I’m guessing it’s a Hairstreak or a Duskywing, but I hope to know after Robert Michael Pyle’s lecture (founder of the Xerces Society) at the White Salmon library on April 29th.  By the way, you can see some of my nature photography there for the rest of April.  I tried to choose images that correspond to the weekly lectures, so you’ll definitely find a butterfly or two!

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-11

We saw something move in a tree…..seeing a lizard instead of a bird was a big surprise! Looks like I need to buy a book on reptile I.D.  Tree Lizard?  Fence Lizard?

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-12

As the morning progressed we saw hawks, more vultures and THIS!! A Golden Eagle juvenile, on my list of birds to find and photograph!! My morning delight, for sure!!  Not the best image due to how far away it was, but nevertheless a Golden!!

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-13

Closer up, we found this Dragonfly when we sat down for a little break. Could it be a Robust Pink Skimmer? It was fresh and shimmering as though it had just emerged.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-14

Walking back to our car we found this sweet little bird. Hutton’s Vireo? We heard one singing earlier.  Originally we thought it a Kinglet, but his beak looks a bit longer than my book shows.  Looking further through my book, it might be a Phoebe, a Vireo, a Flycatcher, or a Kinglet!  I have so much still to learn!!

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-15

Another Butterfly guess, Elfin? We chased an Orangetip but I couldn’t get a clear shot of that one.

Steider Studios for WDFW 4.15.16-16

Exiting, we spied this Western Bluebird watching us from the tree it clung to. We saw and heard more, but these are some of my highlights from the 1500 photos I took!

 

Klickitat Wildlife Area

April 11, 2016

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-5

The Klickitat Wildlife area isn’t that well-known or used and I traversed it for the first time this past week.  It’s a vast wide open space about 5 miles northwest from the junction of Glenwood Hwy and Hwy 142.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16

The manager, Sue gave me a quick tour and as we drove in, our first sighting was a small group of deer jumping over a boundary fence.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-9

I specifically went there to find an Acorn Woodpecker after hearing about a pair seen in the area.  This snag is a good sign they’re here!

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-3

We saw Warblers flitting from branch to branch, so fun to watch.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-14

Several Robins warily watched us as we walked around a stand of oak trees.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-7

A couple of Western Bluebirds allowed us to view them before flying off.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-2

The view of Mt Adams is spectacular, but we did not see the elusive Acorn Woodpecker, so Sue & I parted ways after my morning tour.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-8

Of course I wasn’t satisfied ~ I knew the woodpeckers were there, so I went back.  An American Kestrel greeted me in the snag I stalked.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-6

With delight, I watched more Warblers catch bugs in flight, stopping to rest and even pose for me.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-4

It was a gorgeous warm spring day and as I watched a hawk fly overhead, getting my fill of little birds may have to be enough for now, I thought.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-10

Just as I was ever so close to giving up, look what landed in the snag!  I’m told Acorn Woodpeckers are a rare find in the state of Washington.  I felt such joy as I watched this little bird move from branch to branch with his ‘catch’.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-11

Unbelievably, moments later his mate landed at the top of the snag!  I concentrated on the new arrival and didn’t even notice the original woodpecker leaving until I saw this image later at home.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-13

The second Acorn Woodpecker stayed for about 20 minutes in the same place, then flew off just as suddenly as it had arrived.  I am one happy woman!

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-12

Three or four Turkey Vultures flew overhead to see me off as I headed back to my car.

Steider Studios.Klickitat Wildlife.4.8.16-15

A wonderful spot in Klickitat County, I’ll be heading back soon!  Thanks again to Sue for spending some time with me!!

Wild About Nature

April 6, 2016

WS_Gallery Show-Wild About Nature V_Linda Steider 4-2016

‘Wild About Nature’ is a lecture series at the White Salmon Library that runs through the month of April.  Produced by Joy Markgraf, you can experience a lecture by noted natural science experts each Friday evening at 6:30pm.  I am beyond thrilled to have my photography included in this year’s event.

Steider Studios.Dragonfly on Reed Flower

This coming Friday, April 8 Rachel Suits, an Education Program Assistant for Master Gardeners, Small Farms, and SNAP-Ed at the Hood River and Wasco County Extension Service will speak about the ecological impact of insects.

Steider Studios.Conboy Lake Frogs.3.8.15-5
Lisa Wilson, Refuge Manager for Columbia, Conboy Lake and Toppenish National Wildlife Refuges (and a favorite of mine) will follow with a lecture about wetland restoration.

Steider Studios: Columbia River Gorge Magical Sunset

On Friday, April 15 an eleven-year-old (!) activist, Dae Dahlquist will eloquently speak about climate actions and issues.

Steider Studios: Hummingbird in Honeysuckle
Following Dae is Jake Jakabosky, who has had a life-long involvement with the natural world, both personally and professionally, working for the U.S. BLM for 28 years.

Steider Studios: Catherine Creek

On Friday, April 22 Ellen Morris Bishop, a geologist, photographer and writer whose
passion is telling the stories of Oregon’s landscapes and geologic history will speak about waters and rivers, a history of sculpting the Columbia River Gorge.

Steider Studios.Conboy.2.19.15The last Friday, April 29 we’ll hear ‘For Love of Aspen’ a lecture by Steve Strauss, a Distinguished Professor of Forest Biotechnology in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. Also speaking is Burke Greer, a PhD student working with Strauss at OSU who is studying Rocky Mountain aspen in relation to climate change.

Steider Studios: Northern Checkerspot Butterfly

‘Of Books, Birds and Butterflies: All About Nature Writing’ by Robert Michael Pyle, a lepidopterist, writer, teacher and founder of the Xerces Society is the grand finale.

Steider Studios.Sand Hill Crane.Dance.Sauvie.1.23.15

The first Friday (sorry, already past) I thoroughly enjoyed an introduction by Jeremy Takala, a Columbia River Native American, Rock Creek band of the Yakama Nation, currently employed with the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program.

Bill Weiler, a wildlife biologist and habitat restoration consultant who founded the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute had me on the edge of my chair as he discussed Cougars.  Although I’ve seen one in my neighborhood, it was long ago and I did not have a camera with me.

Dark Skies & Light Pollution was discussed by Jim White, an amateur astronomer and
Vice-President of the Friends of Goldendale Observatory, and a friend of mine.  He was fascinating and afterwards set up a huge telescope so we could see Jupiter and it’s moons.  (Jim, correct me if my memory is wrong!)

Steider Studios.Stars.No Aurora.7.14.15-2

If you’re a Gorge resident, I hope to see you at the White Salmon Library each Friday night.  Yes, I will be there for all the lectures, it’s a wonderful event!!

Thanks to Joy, there is also a lovely display of natural history as you enter the library.

For more information you can call the library at 509.493.1132.

%d bloggers like this: