Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge… a day trip (3/1/2017)

Wednesday, I was able to sneak away and spend the day at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. I really didn’t know what to expect because I normally visit in the fall during the geese and duck migration.  I’ve gone at other times and always manage to come away with some photos but I’ve not gone this late in the winter.

The first critter I saw was a barred owl but it was too dark and it was too fast for me to get a shot….. Darn! I had to remind myself that I should “just enjoy the moment.” Which I did, reluctantly.

Not to be disappointed though, look who’s peeking out of the nest. At first I didn’t see anything in the nest. A train came by then all of a sudden it looked out. I was quite lucky to be there at the right time.  I stayed only a few minutes because I never want to disturb nesting. I drove by the nest several times throughout the day but that was the only time I saw it peeking out.

I always love it when the animal I’m photographing doesn’t  know I’m there. It affords getting a glimpse into their normal daily lives.

This coyote was hunting and at first didn’t notice me. However, they have excellent hearing. After a couple of clicks, it knew I was there.

It quickly went on its way. I was hoping it would stop and turn around as they often do to see if it was being followed.  It did but in tall grass where I couldn’t get clear a shot of it.

The next critter I saw seem to be happily dancing along the side of the road.  It really looked like it was dancing. I was surprised to see it because they are nocturnal. It brought a smile to my face as I watched it dancing along.

This eagle looked so majestic, that I couldn’t resist taking its picture.

Then, it made a gesture as if to say, “Are you kidding me?”

Even our National Symbol gets an itch now and then!

They must have been tired!  This is the first time I’ve been able to get this close to them without them getting nervous and flying away.  Too Cool!

This was the second coyote I saw. However, it saw me first. While butt shots are rude, this was the only shot I was able to get as it quickly moved away.

This might have been what it was hunting. Can you see it?

Now, I’m sure you can see it. There were two of them. While they have excellent hearing, I don’t think they knew I was there. I watched them for a few minutes as they slowly walked by.

Nope! This is not the same opossum. Now I knew it was a luck day. You hardly ever see one in the daylight, but two?  How cool is that?

This one didn’t seem as happy as the other one and didn’t want anything to do with me so I just took a couple of quick shots and moved on.

Just as the sun was going down, all of a sudden, hundreds of thousands of red-winged black birds appeared. There were hundreds of them perched in all the nearby trees while the sky was fill with them flying in all directions. I have never seen so many at one time.

You can tell by the soft golden glow of the light that the sun was almost down. This flock  landed on the ground close to me.

This is an enlargement of the center of the previous photo. Like the ducks and geese, I just don’t know how they avoid mid-air collisions when they all start to fly at the same time. It was really awesome to see.

Well that was my day at the refuge. I saw other animals which were to fast for me to photograph.  There were a variety of hawks, including a northern harrier, that barred owl and of course, there are always deer. All in all, I think it was a good day.

For the locals, it’s really not that far to go and visit. From my house in Overland Park, it takes an hour and a half to get there. I hope you’ve enjoyed my day adventure at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge and perhaps, visit it yourself.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bill