Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Deer Friend

Today was a gorgeous day so I decided to spend about an hour and half at Ojibway today after work.  I brought my camera and binoculars (of course) and a baggie of bird seed.  I love feeding the Chickadees :)  I checked out the feeders when I first got there and there were the usual suspects....House Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Chickadees, American Tree Sparrow, Mourning Doves, House Finch and Tufted Titmouse.  There was still a fair amount of food in the feeder, so no one was interested in feeding from my hand.  Here is my favourite bird picture from today.
American Tree Sparrow
I then headed out on one of the paths.  I heard some Chickadees in the branches after about 10 minutes of walking, so I stopped to offer some seed.  I soon had some eager takers flitting in and out of my hand with seed.  After they moved on, I turned around to continue in the direction I was heading and I saw this gorgeous deer in the trees.  I took this picture at 1:23pm according to the data on my card.
First view of the deer.
  It continued to walk toward me, watching me intently, but not scared off.  It paused on the way over toward me at a clearing on the ground looking for food so I took more pictures.

When I saw it still wasn`t spooked, I decided to see if I could get it to come I threw bird seed on the ground in front of me.  It came right to me!
Check out the squireel in the background...wanting in on the seed but never brave enough ;)
My favourite shot of the day!

Bird seed is good!

I took about 150 pictures of this deer!  There could have been a Gyrfalcon perched on the tree beside me and I wouldn`t have noticed....this was such an amazing experience for me!  The deer eventually was distracted by something and began to look around.  It was looking at this...
Another deer!
The above picture was taken at 1:42.  The first deer walked off toward this deer and paused to look back at me.  I decided to continue down the path and at the first step, the second deer bounded into the woods, while my friend stayed put, watching me as I left.  This was the most amazing 19 minutes of my year so far :)  The first deer was within 3 feet of me at one point, but was feeding about 6 feet from me for almost that entire time!  Wow!

As I walked the loop back toward the visitor centre, I couldn`t help but offer praises to God for such an awesome encounter!  I then heard a lot of birds protesting and was hoping to see an owl (that would have been the icing on the cake), but instead I saw a nice Red-tailed Hawk, but there were too many branches between us to get a good shot.  Rounding the corner, I saw these guys all lined up and it made me think of banding at the East Harrow station this past Saturday...
Mourning Doves
I headed back to the feeders and finally was able to coax some of those Chickadees to take some seed.  I headed for home very grateful I stopped by the park today :)