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

Not Going to Go Well for Me

This has definitely been a good month for production here at Intrigued.  Today’s post will double my minimum quota of 6 (including the non-wildlife ones on the mothership).  So far, retirement appears to be agreeing with me.  Unfortunately, the topic being covered today will probably get me into some very hot water with my lovely wife.  The real question is whether relationships are stronger with complete openness or whether the unknown is wedded bliss.  If nothing else, it will give a good indicator on whether Linda reads my musings as I’m sure I’ll know the EXACT moment she starts reading this.

In what may be a first in the history of Intrigued, leading with a shot of a restroom – a bad cell phone shot taken last month none the less.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Okay, now for some background.  This particular restroom sits in the back part of Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Texas.  Note to self, I really need to dedicate an entire post to this incredible birding site.  Estero is a very close second on my must visit sites to South Padre Bird Viewing and Nature Center (and now Alligator rescue) which currently reigns at top.  The nice thing about Estero is it has multiple habitats for a large variety of birds.  The pictured restroom was straight out from the parking lot in the now reclaimed mobile/RV area.  We happened to be back there to tin an extremely nice +1 that will certainly be featured in the coming months.  The previous year Linda had used another bathroom in that area and didn’t have good things to say about the experience.  I was actually elated to tell her this set was very nice and even recommended she use them should the need arise.

Okay, this is where it gets a bit tricky – hit the jump to see why … unless you are Linda in which case it would be a great time to simply go outside and take pictures of the cute Bunnies hanging out under the feeder.  No, I mean it, go take pictures of the Bunnies …now! hehehe

Continue reading Not Going to Go Well for Me

Throwback Thursday – Rusty Yellow

We are in the latter half of the week and that means I get to go back to the traditional FIFO processing of the image queue guilt free. Today we take just a jump to the left, a step to the right, hands on hips, bring your knees in tight and pelvic thrust our way all the way back to July 2016.

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo found at Rend Lake, IL in July of 2016

Apologies for the mind flip for you’re into the Intrigued birding time slip. How about that for a cheesy movie lead in. If you are old enough to remember the reference, then that song will be floating in your head all day long ha. Let’s get to our featured feathered friend. Not new to the blog, the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo was first featured back in 2015 (link here) and a year later featured again with not one, not two, but three underwhelming pictures of its breast (link here).

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo found at Rend Lake, IL in July of 2016

Hit the jump to read more.. there might even be a surprise!

Continue reading Throwback Thursday – Rusty Yellow

Find ‘em, Relax ‘em, Cock ‘em, Stab ‘em and Lift ‘em

And we are back on the Mississippi River for the second part of the spoils from the recent Davenport, IA Eagle run. As promised, part two will take you from the more traditional shots like this.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

(mental note, go back and lighten this one up) and bring you more action oriented perspective like this immature preparing to bring death to those that dare swim too close to the surface.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to see a crap load of action images from the Davenport shoot.

Continue reading Find ‘em, Relax ‘em, Cock ‘em, Stab ‘em and Lift ‘em

Featuring Fresh Friday Finds for Followers

Welcome everyone! Before getting down to business, wanted to do some housekeeping. I left some of you hanging when I decided to put part one of the Biltmore Estate architecture series here due to the rather wild look of the featured grotesques. Part two was more focused on the mansion reliefs and various statues about the grounds. Those were left on the mothership. Feel free to jump over there if you want to check out those additions (link here). Okay, on with the order of the day.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Yep, the Bald Eagle is once again front and center. If you recall, January was closed with a 3 part series on our country’s national bird (link here, here and here). Originally thought about holding off on featuring Eagles again so soon. Problem is, I made a commitment to you to emphasize fresher shoots – well for at least part of the week. In that vein, how about some tins from TWO days ago!?! (a round of golf claps please ha)

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to see a few more of the traditional Eagle shots.

Continue reading Featuring Fresh Friday Finds for Followers

Yellow Firecracker

In the last post it was mentioned I was considering a cosmic shift in approach to Intrigued posts – in particular the wildlife side. Up to this point, I’ve tried to focus on a sequential path slowly moving from early outings to the more recent. That was working fine until the backlog started trending from weeks to days to months then years. Foreseeable for sure – we take a lot of trips and my shutter finger can match strokes with a Hummer’s wing. Here’s what I am thinking. Focus on the newer stuff for Sat-Tue posts and feature the older series from Wed-Friday. Maybe Flashback Fridays, Throwback Thursdays and WTF Bri, how about a bird at least from this decade Wednesdays (bit long, but you get my drift). As a test drive I have a bird to feature from just under 5 years ago, so Throwback Thursday it is!

Yellow-Breasted Chat found at Rend lake, IL in July 2016

We took a quick trip down to Rend Lake back in July 2016. Decided to enjoy the fireworks from a different location that year and their motto was “Where the Fun Begins!” (yes, complete with exclamation mark). A mere 4 hours away from the start of all joy with an exclamation mark… pack up the RV. Birding opportunities seemed good as the lake is only an hour or so from Shawnee National Forest. Escape, relaxation, fireworks and birds – all words I like to see on a trip agenda.

Yellow-Breasted Chat found at Rend lake, IL in July 2016

Hit the jump to see more shots of our winged firecracker.

Continue reading Yellow Firecracker

I Shake My Little Tush on the Pond Catwalk

Good news as I am for once ahead of the game when it comes to my self-imposed post quota. February used to put a lot of stress on me thanks to the missing days – apparently retirement is already showing benefits. Still trying to iron out the approach details, but thinking about burning both ends of my photo queue at the same time – for the techies out there, popping traditional FIFO and then swapping the head pointer and popping LIFO. For the record that was a test to see if I missed work.. relieved that was an internal “nope”. Jargon tabled I need to continue featuring old birding outings and would like to start featuring the newer finds – as B. in the UK hilariously put it, nice to read about a bird that might actually still be alive. Last post I featured a find from our January 2020 Texas Gulf trip. We saw this little one just before coming up on that Y-CN-H.

Least Grebe found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2020

There is a birding blog challenge that B. alerted me to that I am desperately working to get caught up on so I can participate on a regular basis. The most recent one I missed covered birds you love. I would need to think about that a bit as there are really multiple ways to view that. Photographing Whooping Cranes (link here) in the wild brings the biggest smile by far knowing how successful conservation efforts were to bring them back from the brink (at least some distance). Then there are the shoots where cuteness takes over and warms the heart. Black-Necked Stilts (link here and here) take the prize in that category.

Least Grebe found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2020

Hit the jump to read more about the bird too sexy for this post.

Continue reading I Shake My Little Tush on the Pond Catwalk