Georgia Bird Burst Pt 2 of 2

30 years ago today, I woke up early, put the suit on my parents were gracious enough to buy me so I looked decent for my corporate interviews. I wasn’t heading to an interview that day, rather to my new job with wide eyes, a little bit of fear and ambitions to help build a better world. That day I joined 16 other individuals also entering the corporate world many of which have stayed very close friends to this day. One in particular turned out to be extra special as I eventually married one of those classmates – Linda. As you can infer she is also celebrating her 30 year anniversary. Since those first few months in the college grad training program I’ve had the opportunity to see far off places, engage with coworkers all across the world on a daily basis and develop/design/architected systems that play critical roles from engineering, manufacturing, financial and IT. Sure doesn’t feel like it’s been that long until you remember back on the on the great people you have met along the way. The best part of it all (besides marrying my best friend of course) is the financial independence it has brought allowing me to pursue my other passions which brings us directly to today’s post!

Georgia Birding May 2015

Yep, the second part of the Georgia birding dump. As before, this is basically a close out set of birds photographed while on our trip back in May 2015. The shot above is likely a female brown-Headed Cowbird. Not the best angle for identification since the tail, back and half of the face is obscured. Going solely on the thick black conical bill and the overall gray-brown coloring. Unfortunately, the Brown-Headeds are on my top 5 most hated birds list due to being brood parasites – let’s move on shall we.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more closing shots of the Georgia haul.

This shot actually required assistance from Ron. The angle and complete void of anything that could be used as a size reference let my imagination wander a bit. It could have been due to all the Anhingas and Wood Storks that were taking up much of my tin on that trip, but I wrongly assumed this was another large bird. After a lengthy session on the phone with Ron, we came to the conclusion it was not a larger bird, rather a female Grackle – likely a Boat or Great based the size of the tail.

Georgia Birding May 2015

These rather awful shots above and below are more for a personal reference that something to really show off. It is nearly impossible to go birding without seeing the Rock Dove as they cover the entire US and Central America year round. What I hadn’t come across (at least at the time) was the mostly white variety. These Rocks have a wide variety of coloring including the darker morphs in the shot below. Sorry for the bad execution on the shot – it happened to be drizzling at the time and was shooting into a dark crevice in the rocks above.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Another fairly common bird, at least in the US is the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. Often seen, but an absolute pain in the ass to get a decent picture of. These little birds must take 5 shots of espresso the minute they wake up.

Georgia Birding May 2015

They also tend to stay fairly high in the tree canopy adding even more hardship to an already difficult task. Note, I experienced a harder specimen to photograph while at Lake Tahoe last week. While walking around their trail a bat decided to do some late afternoon hunting. Now that was a workout – fingers crossed at least one of those shots came out decent. If not, it wouldn’t be for lack of trying.

Georgia Birding May 2015

I think the shot above is one of my favorites of these birds. Managed to get one away from stray limbs and leaves. Also like how most of the angles line up between the bird, and the branches other than the one it was perched on. The specimen below took the top prize for number of shots taken – 221 pictures thanks to being unable to tell exactly what it was as it dove in and out of the pine trees. After all that it wasn’t a new bird .. sigh – thank god for the digital evolution.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Might as well throw in another shot – pretty cute bird.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Yes, there’s always at least one joker in the bunch that lets you know what it thinks of stupid birders invading their space.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Another crappy shot, but good news on this one. This is a Mississippi Kite which is technically a +1 for me. However, I was lucky enough to get better pictures from a more recent birding trip to Arkansas. I’ll use that series as my official checklist (as soon as I get those processed). Adding this one just to tease Ron as I do not think he has one of these hehehe.

Georgia Birding May 2015

I think I have a new bird to add to my nemesis list. Not sure what it is with the White-Eyed Vireo, but I have yet to get a decent shot of one of them. Seems like every time I come in contact it is either bad weather conditions, poor visibility or deep in foliage causing me to crank up the ISO just to be able to tell it was even a bird in the tin. Here was my previous craptastic effort (link here). Pretty much looks the same as these new shots.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Slightly better, at least you can see the eye-ring a bit better. Definitely didn’t get the super cool eye.

Georgia Birding May 2015

…and another shot – still can’t see the eye coloring.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Pretty sure these are just crossbred mutant ducks. They were hanging out in a pond in the campground we were staying at. I usually don’t waste time with the un-naturals, however, this looked like a cute couple.

Georgia Birding May 2015

Okay, just throwing this last shot out there to taunt myself. I’ve hunted the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker on numerous trips in numerous states. Want to guess how many time I’ve been able to get one successfully in the tin – here’s a hint ZERO. Place after place advertised they had breeding Reds. Even found the trees with their nests – some even marked by the rangers to the exact location on the tree. All I’ve gotten is an impressive collection of small black holes. While at one location, a Pecker came flying by, lit on a tree for a micro second and then darted away. There was a chance to get one amazingly quick shot.

Georgia Birding May 2015

I doubt it is the Red and there is no way you could ever tell from the portion of the body that was copied. I will say that it does seem to fit based on what made it into the frame. I’ll be after it again before too long – wish me luck.

Well, time to get to bed – have to be up early for work tomorrow – keeping the run alive for now – 30 years and one day.

8 thoughts on “Georgia Bird Burst Pt 2 of 2”

  1. Congratulations on your work anniversary! Also, those are very nice pics of the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. Was it at Starved Rock State Park that we both got the first of these birds? Definitely a hard bird to convince to pose for a shot.

    I think I just got a White-Eyed Vireo last year—if the pics weren’t lost in the Great Digital Disaster (GDD) of 2018.

    There is a pair of Mississippi Kites that nest every summer in an elementary school grounds in Rockford, Illinois. I haven’t driven up there, but I see from eBird that none have been reported there yet. I thought they were brown, but now that I see they are white I’ll have to make a trip up there if they reappear!

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    1. Thanks! Yep, we got a workout at Starved Rock trying to get one in the tin there. Think we ended up getting our best shots on the back trail when one landed in a nearby tree. Oh yes, the GDD (I swear I had nothing to do with that!) Have you accessed the total damage resulting from that event yet? I fear that everyday of my life, but as an IT guy I’ve tried my best to have sufficient recovery options. I heard those Kites have TOTALLY left the area – eloped with that Ross’ Goose so no need to head over there. Thanks for dropping by and congrats on the post to comment speed on this one.

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  2. Hey, 30 years is a great accomplishment! I always tease the hubby that he must be the only person left in the world that has worked 30+ years for the same company, now I know I can’t say that anymore.😂
    I like your honest wrap up. Meaning it is nice to see you get other than top quality pictures sometimes. It is a great reminder for the rest of us.😊

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    1. Thanks CJ! You can now officially say you know two others dedicated to their first employer – I can tell you for sure, once this wave of hiring in the ’89 timeframe passes through they can probably eliminate the 30 year anniversaries from their celebration list. Most new hires today are lucky to stay around for 5 years – my previously conservative Midwest company has taken on a coast profile. Trust me, there are crap pictures all over my den floor – as a famous photographer once stated – the key to a successful photography career is never let anyone see you screw-ups. Thank god I have a real day job ha! … on the other hand your shared shots as of late have been amazing. Having checked in on the back lately, hope all is well.

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  3. Rock Doves? Over here we call them feral pigeons or tree rats (our true Rock Doves are restricted to the very far north west Scotland) In any town or city centre you will find a multitude of colours!
    Nice post B and yes good luck with that ‘pecker!

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    1. Right with you on the tree rats although they tend to spend more time on top of our bridges just waiting for cars to pass under their gauntlet. I will get that pecker in the tin if it the last shot I take before I drop. I would already have it if Ron would allow shots of stuffed ones – rules, I tell ya. Wanting to head back to Conroe, Texas before too long which will give me another good chance to tin one – now that I can distinguish their nest holes and have a better idea on the size I’ll be in better position. Thanks for dropping by B and taking the time to comment!

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  4. Congratulations on celebrating 30 years! That’s a commendable accomplishment. And becoming a rarity in today’s world of nearly annual job changes and micro-second long attention spans waiting for the next shiny app, or Gnatcatcher to spasm by. Oh, and welcome to the 30+ club from someone that just passed 31.

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    1. Thanks Brad! I have officially made it to your rare air. I’ll let you know when I get the cake ceremony scheduled – trying to work it around a trip to Mayo for Linda. Right with you on the attention span comment – a definite theme of entitlement seems to be more and more prevalent in the new crops not everyone of course, but more than a few. I hope that works out for them, been reading about the generation coming behind them which appear to be reversing course which will make the job market very competitive. … now where is that blue button hehehe.

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