Trifecta Scores One

Welcome back everyone! Hope everyone had a good holiday and didn’t go too far overboard on eating.  Always a tough holiday for me since I have a bad habit of doing the math on what it will take to work off every dessert that I opt to enjoy.  You gotta splurge every once in a while otherwise all those workout sessions start being …well w o r k rather than an opportunity to enjoy some sweetness.  Been a busy holiday for me so decided to take a quick break and rest the legs – fingers were itching to do something, so brought up the WordPress dashboard and away we go.

Today’s post doesn’t feature one bird… not even two birds, rather THREE birds.  A true birding trifecta.  Let’s start with this pretty Heron.

Heron shot near Galveston, TX in November 2013

That my friends is a Tricolored Heron.  It was shot while on our Texas birding trip back in November 2013.  In fact, all three birds in this post were taken on that particular trip.  My apologies, but I cannot remember the exact location this one was taken at.  Maybe Linda can remember and let us know in the comments.  I do recall that there were a number of small channels that were being used by kayaks – possibly a state park.  Likely somewhere near Galveston.
Heron shot near Galveston, TX in November 2013

Hit the jump to read more about this bird as well as two other large waders.

Continue reading Trifecta Scores One

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

May your travels be safe and your family and friendships be strong

Wild Turkey shot on lot in Brimfield, IL

Sorry for the slightly soft pictures – only Turkey shots I had that were processed and haven’t already been featured on the blog.  These were taken by my feeders back in August 2015.  The mother hen would bring her offspring over for a morning snack.  To her credit, she kept a close eye on them and would hurry them to safety whenever she saw my camera pointed at them.
Wild Turkey shot on lot in Brimfield, IL

Happy Holidays!


Score One for the Blotches

Welcome back everyone and since it is like an hour before midnight .. Happy Thanksgiving.;  Now that I am thinking about it, it might have been more appropriate to feature a post on those that probably don’t see the “Happy” of that day… the Turkey, but I’ve already featured them back in September (link here).  Instead, I’m going with Mr. and Mrs. Blotchy

Mottled Duck shot in Galveston Texas, Nov 2013

While processing the pictures from our Texas birding trip back in November 2013, I came across these shots.  At first I wrote them off as female Mallards … well, because just about all ducks with drab female coloring look like… female Mallards.  It can be as painful as trying to identify juvenile Sparrows if you do not get lucky enough to capture a nearby male.  While processing them in the digital darkroom I became quite intrigued.  For some reason they just didn’t look like the standard Mallard or any other female brown duck that has made their way through the darkroom in the past.   I guess for starters, they didn’t have the classic colored stripe on the wing. Then there was that small black splotch on the base of the bill.
Mottled Duck shot in Galveston Texas, Nov 2013

That prompted a visit to the reference bookcase.  Confirmed the wing stripe on the Mallard and sure enough no black splotch on the base of the bill ladies and gentlemen, this just might be a new check mark in the bird list!  It just so happens my brother Ron had recently brought up the topic of the Mottled Duck. Unfortunately, the reason escapes me – he might have gotten one in the tin on his trip to Ft Myers (went back in my emails and couldn’t locate a reference – Ron, if you remember please let us know in the comments).  Either way, I was super stoked to potentially  have one of my own so sent them off to Ron for validation.  He is a great reference whenever there are difficulties on the ID phase.  His assessment was a confirmation giving me another +1 for my list and ANOTHER +1 from my Texas trip.  That birding excursion is turning out to be a gold mine for new birds.  Sorry about taking so long to get these processed.

Mottled Duck shot in Galveston Texas, Nov 2013
Unfortunately, these were the only shots of these two Mottled Ducks in the lot.  This means we need to get to the facts like right now hehehe.  The Mottled is a dull relative of the Mallard which attributes to the similarities and my original incorrect ID assumption.  There really isn’t much else of interest on the Cornell site beyond the fact they typically pair up in November which is earlier than most ducks.  Seeing as how we were there in mid-November, these two must have been embarking on their honeymoon.  Lastly, if you are curious, Mottled simply means having different blotches of color.

Well, that’s all folks – hope you enjoyed my new addition to my bird list.  Now be safe on the roads if you are out and about on the big T-Day.  I can’t afford to lose any loyal readers.

One Vicious Songbird

Welcome back safe and sound!  I was a little worried there for a bit.  Based on the crying all the pundits, pollsters and biased talking heads were apparently doing last night you would have to assume the end of the world was at hand.  Now, I say apparently because I chose to spare myself all the hoopla of a Hillary win based on the all the information coming at me around noon yesterday – the last time I bothered to check the news.  Instead, I worked on wiring my garage and watched a pretty good movie – fittingly, Purge the Election Year.  I gave strict orders for no one to give me any updates and to their credit they stuck to their word (even my wife who I know must have been dying to tell me by the time she went to bed).  At 5:40 this morning, Linda gave me the news and to say I was shocked is a huge understatement. I would put it more in the lightning strike to the head level made up of 50% jolt and 50% uncontrolled happiness.  Don’t get me wrong, Trump wasn’t my guy, but compared to the most corrupt candidate to ever run for the highest office in the land … he’s a godsend.  I have to give President Elect Trump credit.  He took on a boat load of challengers, fought back against the establishment (of both parties), paved his own path and came out the end a winner.  Flyover country has awakened (link here) and they are taking their country back.  Note, to all the hack celebrities, comedians and singers that promised to leave the country should the election turn out the way it did, your names are all on a list sitting next to my desk and recommend you order your U-Haul pronto – Cher might need a rocket to go where she promised.

Time will tell how this turns out, but in honor of Trump’s tenacity I give you today’s featured bird.
Loggerhead Shrike shot on Texas birding trip in November 2013
Some birds have an air about them that exudes confidence.  Eagles, Hawks, Falcons and of course Owls all leave you with the expression that they command the skies and can rain down death on whatever prey they happen upon.  They are built to kill and their features and capabilities are all perfectly constructed to be extremely efficient in that line of business.  Now, let’s contrast that with this rather cute looking songbird.  From afar, they simply look like a smallish but stockier bird

However, when you get a little closer..
Loggerhead Shrike shot on Texas birding trip in November 2013

Hit the jump to learn a bit more about this bird .. and, of course, a few more shots.

Continue reading One Vicious Songbird

Bloodletting for Checkmarking

Greetings everyone!  Decided I would give my loyal readers a break from all the Halloween posts as of late and bring you something new and refreshing.  Part of this is to buy myself a little bit of time because there is an upcoming Halloween post to cover the Haunted Trail night walkthrough – can you say a butt load of pictures!?! It took forever to get those images processed and queued up for publishing.   While those are aging properly in wooden barrels, feast your eyes on this intriguing bird.
White Ibis Shot on Texas Birding Trip November 2013

Pretty cool eh?  Kind of a cross between that spoonbill you saw previously (link here) and a Stork.  Wait… did that say Stork – that reminds me I have some Georgia surprises coming hehehe.  But I digress.  This colorfully paletted bird is a White Ibis.  Your probably could have guessed the first part of that name, but the second part might be a bit more difficult to pull out of the air.
White Ibis Shot on Texas Birding Trip November 2013

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this bird and maybe learn a few interesting facts.

Continue reading Bloodletting for Checkmarking