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My Trip to Radnor Lake, Meet up with Fellow TPFer SCraig


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Oct 4, 2011
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The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
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My sister and I went to Murfreesboro TN last weekend to see my son. He'd have an extremely rough week at work and I decided he needed some family around to cheer him up. If nothing else, to remind him that at least he didn't have to deal with US all the time!! :D

We got in very late Friday night. My son had to work on Saturday until about 2:30, so I'd already planned on spending the morning exploring Radnor Lake with Scott. When we left the hotel, it was a beautiful clear day. By the time we got Radnor, it was cloudy and cold.
We had just gotten there, hadn't even gotten from the parking lot to the lake yet, when someone told us that there was a ranger with an owl and a hawk just around the bend. We were headed that direction anyway, and sure enough, the ranger was set up at the side of the lake with a red-shouldered hawk and a Great Horned Owl. Owls are my nemesis birds--I've only ever gotten a shot of ONE in the wild; I've never even seen a Great Horned in the wild. Well, of course this one was injured, but it was still amazing to see!
Scott's already started a thread with pictures of the hawk and owl, and I just added a couple of my own to it. You can see those here.

We didn't see all that much otherwise, but I did get two new "life" birds for me, not even including the magnificent Great Horned Owl, so the trip was definitely worth while!

Here's a few from around the lake area:

1. Ruddy Duck; fairly common, but somehow I've never seen one, so this was the first "lifer" of the day for me.

2. Several Ring-Necked Ducks were still on the water. Besides them and the one Ruddy and a Bufflehead pretty much all the rest of the ducks had taken off during the previous week's cold blast.

3. There was just something I kinda liked about this very wet Mallard:

4. On the way back to the parking lot, Scott saw and pointed out this Red-bellied Woodpecker. When we first saw it, it would have made a great picture; but by the time I could manage to think of taking a picture and get my camera up, it had shifted position. Still like it though:

Now for the REST of the Story, which Scott doesn't know about yet. My sister had gone back to the parking lot ahead of us. When I got there, she said she wasn't feeling very good and really needed to rest for a while. It was still reasonably early and we had time to waste until my son would get off work anyway, so I was in no rush, but by that time, Scott had already pulled out. At first, I was just going to nap along with her--having only gotten about 4 hours sleep, that seemed like a grand idea. But I couldn't sleep in such a public spot, and the birds kept flitting past the car, landing in trees right outside the window and taunting me. So, finally, I just got out of the car with my camera and spent a while wandering along the fenced area near the parking lot. What a LOT of birds there were!! I could have stayed there all day long!

I *just* missed a great shot of two Northern Flickers, because I was just not positioned right to catch them. But here's a few I did get:
5. White-breasted Nuthatch

6. Downy Woodpecker. Got a male and several females, but I'll just post the male:

7. A Hermit Thrush, I think. Could be a Wood Thrush, I can never tell them apart.

8. The second "lifer" of the day, a Winter Wren! Must have been at least a dozen of them:

9. Another Winter Wren, having a tug-of-war with a creepy crawlie:

And then, while I was engrossed in taking pictures of all the birds, I suddenly realized that there were two deers off in the woods, not that far from me:

One of the deer decided that was close enough, but the other decided its thirst was more important than I was, and came right up to within about 25 feet of me, to drink out of the stream.

11. This is an uncropped shot, at 290mm:

Jan18_4468editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

More on my flickr page, if you want to be a glutton for punishment. :D
As always, C&C, general comments and witty banter are all appreciated!
Love that last shot. Really. Ed
Sounds like a great day. Two lifers in one day is awesome. Love the 1st winter wren and head shot of the deer.
Really nice photos, my favorite is 3 and 4, love the wet look of the duck. I had not realized you live in TN that is neat. I live in TN as well and have the same camera. Just curious what lens did you use? I am still learning and trying to get better focus on my back yard bird shots, though I don't have a super telephoto lens just a 55-300.
Great shots, Sharon! Glad to hear you got a couple of new ones so that the trip was worthwhile.

Radnor is a fun place sometimes. The rules get annoying, especially the "Stay On The Trail!" rule when there all I need is a few steps off, but it's still nice. Plenty of woods and water and birds and critters. You do need to get back this way during the spring though.
Sharon, looks like it was a great day. Nice going on the new ones in your portfolio. You have some nice shots on your Flickr page.

Those are terrific photos. I like every one of them. Radnor Lake just made my bucket list. BTW, is that a Sigma 150-500mm lens you were using?
I always enjoy your write-ups, Sharon!

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