Industrial Birds

Greetings everyone! We are nearing the end of another month and in the past I would be in a bit of panic to make up any difference in my self-imposed monthly post quota. As you probably noticed, not so much an issue now with the retirement. Don’t want to jinx myself though as there is a new exploration currently in planning that might impact my productivity. As we are still in the early stages of week, wanted to get something to you that was fresh out of the tin.

Monk Parakeet found at Elmhurst, IL substation in March 2021

Our featured feathered friend … wait, just realized I can now go with … our fresh featured feathered friend – and yes, it was noticed it was “flying”, but that just seemed one ‘f’ too many or as they say “right out” ha. As I was saying, our F.F.F, just came out of the digital darkroom solution bath.

Monk Parakeet found at Elmhurst, IL substation in March 2021

Hit the jump to see a few … err… better make that a lot more shots from our birding trip up north.

Continue reading Industrial Birds

Shrooms and Goslings in the Concrete Jungle

Every year I forget how much work it takes to keep the ol’ homestead up. During the winter months I get a bit of a break as the tasks related to the woods are somewhat suspended beyond dealing with unexpected downed trees overpowered by the additional weight of snow and ice. That all changes when spring starts to push its weight around. Lucked out today as the clouds decided to pelt us with water balloons. To the blogosphere!

Canada Goose and Goslings found in University of Illinois campus in April 2018

I tried my hardest to find some chickens or something equivalent in recognition of my Alma Mater choking away its number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, but no luck. Crap, just realized I could have used an American Coot being that I always refer to them as water chickens. Already have the Canada Goose worked up for today’s post so let’s stick with that.

Canada Goose and Goslings found in University of Illinois campus in April 2018

Hit the jump if you are curious about where today’s featured feathered friend happens to be sitting.

Continue reading Shrooms and Goslings in the Concrete Jungle

A Grey Day

Ever have one of those days in the field when you come up on a subject that just doesn’t want to cooperate with you no matter how hard you try. Perhaps you are initially elated to witness a bird for the first time and as the encounter plays out that early jubilation fades away leaving a soured feeling behind. Has that frustration embedded itself so deep in your psyche that you are willing to simply clear the digital record and forget the whole event?…

Grey Hawk found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2020

Yeah, me neither ha! When the feathered friend is already in the tin, then that may be different story. When it comes to +1’s you take what you can get, work it as much as it deserves in the digital darkroom and be happy you can make the little mark next to a new entry in the check list.

Hit the jump to learn about one such experience – warning, the images only get WORSE!

Continue reading A Grey Day

Be My Guest and Go First

Welcome everyone to hump day or as we now call it around Intrigued headquarters “What the Hell Brian!” Wednesday. Translated… it’s the day where I set the wayback machine to full power and pull a series from the farthest reaches of the fodder queue free of shame, guilt, embarrassment and taunts for a second timah. So, please return your seats back to their full upright and locked position – we are rocketing back to September 2017.

Cedar Waxwing found at Glacial Park Conservation Area in McHenry County, IL in September 2017

A little less than 4 years ago, Ron and I had the opportunity to do a little birding at Glacial Park Conservation Area in McHenry County IL. Typically we spend part of the day birding Chain O’ Lakes and then make the short trip over to Glacial to see what’s hanging out.

Cedar Waxwing found at Glacial Park Conservation Area in McHenry County, IL in September 2017

Hit the jump to read a bit more about our young Waxwings.

Continue reading Be My Guest and Go First

A Splendid Encounter

It is a new week and you know what that means… yep, time for some LIFO popping off the photography queue. We happen to be in the middle of a March ice storm and keeping one eye on the trees in our forest to see what kind of damage we might be in for. Usually not a problem as the density of the trees usually keeps the swaying to a minimum, but the wind is picking up and I am starting to see some ripples. It is quite beautiful with the shimmer off of the ice covered limbs. Speaking of beautiful, let’s get to today’s very special featured feathered friend.

Female Elegant Trogon found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2021

How about that for a gorgeous bird!?! Even for a female, this aptly named Elegant Trogon has an aura of nobility. Be sure and check out the stunning color sported by the males if you want to see what it looks like to be clothed in splendor. Today, however, we will be focused on this lady in the trees.

Female Elegant Trogon found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2021

Hit the jump to see some additional images taken of this new check on my birding list and learn about what it took to get it in the tin.

Continue reading A Splendid Encounter

You Call that a Curve?

As this is officially Flashback Friday, I can finally get to the post I had originally planned for last Friday. Before I do that, a quick self-pat on the back. Runkeeper recently notified me I had reached the 10,000 total miles mark.

Runkeepr 10000 miles

99.9% of that was thanks to tracking my runs since April 2011. That was about 10 years after I had transitioned to this hobby due to some serious injuries in my true love martial arts that signaled those brutal days in the dojo had run their course – new pains/bruises/breaks were coming faster than I could recover from the last ones. So, in actuality, well short of the total miles covered in my brief running career, but those first few years were training to complete the 7 mile Bix7 race where now the roads have been replaced with ultra-trails. My body definitely appreciates this lower impact hobby (although thanks to running I have had two trips via ambulance to the emergency room where I was able to make it there myself during the combat days ha!) Enough about me, bring on the featured feathered friend for flashback Friday.

Curve-Billed Thrasher found at McAllen Nature Center in McAllen, TX in January 2020

Our rather menacing looking bird comes to us courtesy of our birding trip along the Texas Gulf Coast back in January 2020. Seems odd to be talking about flashbacks for an outing that occurring a little more than a year ago – in the past that would have been considered fresh out of the camera.

Curve-Billed Thrasher found at McAllen Nature Center in McAllen, TX in January 2020

Hit the jump to read more about our menacing looking bird.

Continue reading You Call that a Curve?

Gonna Need a Change of Feathers

Greetings everyone. Sitting here in our dentist parking lot waiting for Linda to finish getting some work done. How times have changed as now I actually long to sit in a real “waiting” room vs being cooped up in a vehicle. Looking at the positives, this situation is quite conducive to cranking out a post. We are still in the “fresh” post part of the week putting the focus on more recent outings. While perusing the options in the queue, noticed that I left everyone hanging on the third part of the latest Eagle experiences at Davenport lock and dam. Along with the traditional shots (link here) and the action shots (link here), promised you some highlights of new behaviors seen above the water. The Eagles were quite active that day showing off their skilz for the dozen or so photographers lined up to see the show.

A quick recap to get everyone in the mood. First relax the legs and line up the approach.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Then cock the legs to prepare for the impact.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Finally stab to break the water’s surface.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to read about my new experiences that day – one was quite comical.

Continue reading Gonna Need a Change of Feathers

Where’s walQue

Well, I had a post topic all planned out. Got the images worked up in the digital darkroom and was all ready to sit down and pound out a few accompanying words and hit the publish key for a fitting end of the week. Except that was supposed to happen on Friday. Ended up getting distracted by some projects and next thing I know it is Sunday. In the past, not a problem, what’s a couple more days when the shots were taken well over a year ago. With the new year’s commitment to get fresher material out during the first part of the week.. well, let’s just say the “search” was on to find another topic. Taking that theme to heart, going with Where’s walQue?

Common Pauraque found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, TX in January 2021

Our featured feathered friend today is in the cell phone image above – actually, bringing you TWO specimens today from our recent January trip to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Hit the jump to reveal our well-hidden friends.

Continue reading Where’s walQue

Go West Older Man

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! To be honest we are really not going to venture too far back in time – especially in Intrigued time units where it seems more like yesterday. Normally for new birds, we lead with the males and then throw in the females to round out the full birding experience. Flipping that around for today’s featured feathered friend

Western Tanager found on Reno/Lake Tahoe trip back in May of 2019

I could wax poetic about giving the female birds their day in the limelight in recognition of their constant slighting at my hands on this blog, but that would just be a ruse. The real reason is this little lady is far prettier than her male counterparts. Hmmm nope, that’s also a lie. Simply stated – my execution on the males sucked and I wanted them below the jump hehehe.

Western Tanager found on Reno/Lake Tahoe trip back in May of 2019

Hit the jump to see a few more shots our Miss Yellow..oh, and the male.

Continue reading Go West Older Man

Zoomba

Welcome to March everyone! (or as I like to call it, my second month of less stress and better sleep.) I gave you a break from all of the birds in the last post. The choice of material may have not been the wisest decision as I am still waiting to be released from the couch. Didn’t know those Iowa women could hold a grudge that long. Good news as today’s featured creature won’t set her off. In fact, this may turn out to be one of her favorite insects.

Without further rambling I present to you an incredible transformation. Take a look at this boring, plain looking Butterfly.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Now for the surprise transformation. Our dull subject has a secret rave side. Fold those fragile wings down, catch some light and presto – vegas baby!

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Hit the jump to see all the beauty this Butterfly has to offer. Continue reading Zoomba