2010/03/13

Running away from the sex-crazed pheasant!

The title pretty much summed up what happened to me today. But let's start in a normal fashion.

Using my new camera for a sky-watch photo.

I saw a Great Blue Heron standing on a log hunting. It was quite far away so I used my trusty FZ18 for the job.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Looking.

Small fish caught!

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Satisfaction

Panoramic view of Stugeon Bank
Panoramic view from where I was photographing the heron. Larger image here.

Sky-watching on 2010-03-12
Olympus E-620 does a nice job of landscape photography since I can decrease the aperture as small as f22.

While biking, the alder tree (I think) with all those drooping catkins caught my attention!

Raining catkins!
Raining catkins! Photo taken using the awesome articulating LCD screen on the Olympus E-620!

Alder catkins
Pinkish catkins with droopy male flowers.

Crows croaking loudly caught my attention. Looking up, it was a juvenile Bald Eagle (I think). With the E-620 and 14-42 lens in my hand, I can only take the following pictures.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Soar like an eagle.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Despite the subject being so far away (this cropped image was probably 1/4 of the original image), the camera auto-focused very nicely. I can't wait to put a birding lens in front of this camera.

Puffy clouds
Zooming out and enjoying the clouds.

Now came the the exciting part. Passing through the sharing farm, I spotted the pheasant as it slowly walked into the small patch of forest beside it. I decided to leave it alone and continued to go to the slough. However, as I was biking, I realized there was something running behind/beside me. Turning around, it was the pheasant!? I quickly stopped, and the pheasant stopped too.

Then it slowly walked towards me (much closer than I am comfortable with). So I got off and placed the bike between the bird and I.

Ring-necked Phesant (Phasianus colchicus)
Then it did this strange behavior again. Searching on-line, I found this explanation - In the courtship ritual the male's colorful plumage is fully utilized. Approaching a hen, he spreads and lowers one wing while spreading his tail and fluffing his feathers in her direction. With his ear tufts erect, wattles a brilliant scarlet and head held low, he struts before the hen with an exaggerated bobbing motion.

So it thinks I am a hen!??

Ring-necked Phesant (Phasianus colchicus)

Ring-necked Phesant (Phasianus colchicus)
Then the bird got closer and closer, so close that I can easily use my 70-150 lens to take these portrait photos. At the same time, I wondered how I am going to get myself out of this situation. I had a wooden stick on my bike and so I took it out and banged it against the bike hoping to scare the pheasant away. But the bird did not seemed too scared.

Ring-necked Phesant (Phasianus colchicus)
It did moved away a bit.

While the pheasant backed off a bit, I quickly grabbed my bike and biked away! However, the pheasant began to chase after me! So I quickly my pedaling through the wooden walkways in the slough to make it harder to follow me. Eventually the distance grew between the bird and I. When I slowed down, the pheasant began to run towards me again. Yikes! So I hurried again and biked to the parking lot. Along the way, I passed through 4 people with a dog, and I think in the end the dog scared the pheasant off. I am not so sure what will happen the next time I saw this bird.

Panoramic view of mouth of Fraser River
Finally I can relax and enjoy the scenery at the mouth of the Fraser River. Larger image here.

Watched an unknown caterpillar climbing a tree.

Sunset

Enjoying the sunset as I bike home.

What a crazy day!

365 days ago (2009-03-12) ...
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4 comments:

Cicero Sings said...

Crazy in deed! Great photos though.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

That is so funny! It probably thought your bike-banging was part of your courtship ritual, too.

I've watched turkeys go through their paces this way. After a while, they seemed to catch on that I wasn't responding (just watching), and strutted off to find a receptive female turkey.

KaHolly said...

You certainly are having fun with your camera!! What gorgeous photos. And what a handsome bird. How could you resist?? ~karen

PSYL said...

Thanks everyone. I'll stop the bike-banging then. Gorgeous bird indeed, but I like to keep my distance from wild creatures - for their and my comfort.

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