As usual, we were not to be disappointed especially when we saw this beautiful American Bald Eagle sitting high in the tree watching over the land below.
After stopping along the trail in one of the best spots to hand feed the chickadees, we saw three fellow birders staring up a very large pine tree and of course we had to go inquire......low and behold, Kim's long awaited lifer, an owl..but not just any owl. Up on the branch looking down at all of us was the most beautiful Barred Owl. Not a lifer for myself but still left me in awe.
After gawking up the tree with our mouths wide open, we pulled ourselves away and headed down the path to find what has become regular residents, the Sandhill Crane family.
As we observed these graceful long legged creatures, the overwhelming honking of the Snow Geese had us turn our heads to see the flock in flight with a very large bird of prey amongst them ready to hunt his dinner. I only managed a shot of the geese in flight.
Since it was a Sunday and the weather was almost perfect, the amount of people visiting the sanctuary made it a little more difficult to photograph and enjoy the birds as we usually do so we headed off down some of the less beaten paths. We were then able to stop and enjoy one of the many juvenile American Bald Eagles we had spotted through out the day perched atop the trees. I have to list this as a lifer as I have only ever had the pleasure of seeing mature ones.
We were lucky to get a chance to photograph quite a few Cedar Waxwings this time. We almost always hear them during our visits but they seem to be either very shy or very private but today, they posed.
As the wind picked up and the crowds of people grew, we started to make our way back to the car but not without snapping a few last photos.
As I end this post, I want to share with you one last photo. 2009 started off on a rather tragic note for myself but through it, I met an amazing lady who helped me keep my head on straight and a smile on my face. This lady, has not only become the best birding partner anyone could ask for, she has become my best friend......Here's to us Kim, may we have many, many more months and years of life birds together.......I love you my friend!!!!