It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the reduction in days in this month has a tendency to cause stress in my blogging activities. Those precious days between the 28th and say 30/31st is often my “get down to business” days. That’s when I take out my trusty TI60 calculator, punch in 6 for my self-imposed quota of posts per month (note, that includes post on the mothership Intrigued site, not just the wildlife blog), count up each of the posts made in the current month, hit the minus button and then insert the recently summed number of posts and hit equals button. After a burst of electrons through an array of ands/ors/nands/nors logic gates the liquid crystal is signaled to delivers the painful blow. Then the scramble begins to address the missing posts. Granted, this year, gives me an extra day this month.. but that has already been earmarked for birding (need to keep the hopper full for the 2025 posts hehehe). Linda enjoys teasing me while I am trying to stay focused on the posts – I shall let the Great-Tailed Grackle demonstrate the look I give her.
That pretty much sums it up! I will admit, this has absolutely zero impact on my wife’s behavior beyond extra volume to her laugh. Then she’ll start touching my stuff and moving it just enough to cause my OCD to fire – evil woman! The good news is I wasn’t far off this month and was able to close the gap pretty quickly – for the record this is the 6th so all is good. I might feel better, but this rather torqued looking creature is likely still holding a grudge against me. In fact, every time I come in contact with the Great-Tailed Grackle I get the feeling I wronged its ancestors in some way and it’s taken a lifelong blood oath to extract a compensating revenge. Is it just me or do others have this same experience with this disgruntled bird? – Ron you don’t count as all birds basically hate you.
Hit the jump if this Grackle hasn’t already scared you too much.
Continue reading You looking at Me !?!
The Halloween prop shop is in full production as we get closer to the haunt event. This year’s effort should be epic if I get everything done in time – every year there are always a few ideas that don’t make it onto the trail just purely due to only being given a mere 60 seconds in every minute (damn thee Father Time, damn thee!). The good news is I had a giant breakthrough in a design of a motor housing tonight which I’ve been struggling with for couple of days. The best part about all the Halloween activities is I get to dust the rust off my 3D solid modeling and electronics education. Now just sitting here waiting for the 3D printer to finish with my new parts – since I don’t like to just sit figured why not claw a bit of ground back on the post quota..
Decided it was time to feature the second part of my series on the big birds. If you recall, I covered the first set back in June – where the hell has the summer gone!?! (link here). That set of Great Blue Herons was brought to you from the great birding mecca of South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. This second series comes from a couple of different places although still down on the Texas Gulf Coast from our trip down there in late December 2016 into early January 17. These first two specimens were found at Galveston Island. They were so intent on Froggies stupid enough to wander too close to natures living spear that they didn’t pay me any attention. Ended up being able to move in to the point where The Beast couldn’t retract enough to get those long bodies in the frame. No worries, always happy when I can put some nice close ups in the tin.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the Great Blue.
Continue reading Great Blue Take Two
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Linda and I had the opportunity to learn more about the International Crane Foundation tonight thanks to a guest speaker at the local Audubon Society chapter. We are members of the ICF based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Linda discovered that place sometime back when investigating things to do while in the area. About every year since then we have been making our way back up there to see how the Cranes are doing in their recovery. Tonight we were able to learn a bit more about the site and pleased to see the Whooping Crane (link here) status is starting to look up. Unfortunately, Linda nixed my efforts to put on the Crane suit the speaker brought showing how they imprint the young – someday I’ll get to try that bird suit on and post the pictures here hehehehe. Big thanks to the Audubon Society for hosting that event. Oh, and if you are in the neighborhood you might want to check out the guest speaker for next month – heard it might be on Texas Birding.
Speaking of Texas birding, how about this intriguing specimen.
If you live in North America and Central America, at first glance you might mistake this bird for the Mourning Dove. That Dove is very common in those regions and wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t see at least one a day hanging out in trees next to your feeders or hanging out with their friends on powerlines trying to choose which car they want to aim their white bombs at – based on experience this always ends up being the shiniest clean car they can find. From a birding perspective, the Mourning Dove is one of those species that has become so common I generally do not pay them very much attention. Same goes for those water chickens the Coots. I might take a few pictures of them just to help with the end of day count summary. That is exactly what occurred while we were at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge on our Texas trip back in January 2017.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this feathered encounter.
Continue reading Edge of Seventeen
Welcome back to my blog ladies and gentlemen. If you have been having some problems getting to this site over the weekend you can blame GoDaddy. Not sure yet what is going on with them, but their availability has been crap for the last couple of days. I was getting really worried, but found out that my brother Ron was having similar problems with his blog which is also served by GoDaddy. He has been exploring the actual WordPress services and those appear to be working out quite well – his birding blog I mentioned previously is hosted there already. Depending on how things work out, there may be a switch considerations coming in the future. Until now, we’ll just use my current blog – which by the way, I have pretty much worked all the kinks out of already and has been working pretty good up to this point. Enough about the technical details, let’s get to today’s featured bird.
How do you like the snout on that one! For some strange reason I have an affinity for this species hehehe. That there is a Long-Billed Curlew. To be honest, was not entirely sure when I came upon it in the digital dark room. Based on the key characteristics (yeah, the snout), it could have been a Whimbrel. Decided to phone a friend (Ron) and get his opinion. He pointed out that the Whimbrel has a stronger striped head, a dark crown with a white median stripe and generally less buffy look. I have to agree – a Curlew it is!
Hit the jump to see a couple more shots of this Curlew
Continue reading Lone Star Goodness
Sorry these posts are coming so slow. Of course, the reason for this is the “epic” post theme for this month. I’m trying my best to cover some very significant events, but that means I have to work for subjects. Well, actually, I have the subjects, since I’ve been waiting awhile (in some cases what seems like forever) to get some of these topics published but I still have to process all the images. Case in point, today’s featured bird.
If you are a birder, you are probably salivating right now. That my friends is a shot of not one, not two, but three specimens considered the holy grail of my North American Bird List. For those of you not drooling, these awesome birds are none other than the rare Whooping Crane. Let’s type that again .. Whooping Cranes – wow, that feels really good.
Hit the jump to read more about this epic bird
Continue reading Whooping it Up