Tern-Fit

Been a long day today as we finished up the last of all our preventative medical appointments. We wanted to get everything checked off the list so we could start the new year fresh and not have any commitments should we decide to do some extended exploring. Eye doctor, medical doctor and today the dentist. I am definitely tired of being probed and prodded, but glad to have confirmation from the experts that I am still alive (some mornings I wonder ha). Feeling a bit tired, decided I’d take a break and tickle the keyboard a bit. Like our featured feathered friend for today, this will be a quick post.

Black Tern found at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Spring Grove IL in June 2017

I will start out by saying there is a lot of room for improvement in these shots. Lighting is clearly not the best and some of them are rather soft. Problem is, the key to improving shots of this bird is to get physically stronger! My rig is not the lightest coming in at 11-12 pounds with the Beast attached. Thanks to nights in the gym, I generally hand-hold in the field as dealing with a tripod can be a pain in the ass depending on how much distance you plan to cover.

Black Tern found at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Spring Grove IL in June 2017

Hit the jump to read a bit more about our agile bird.

Continue reading Tern-Fit

It’s Their Tern

Greetings everyone! First off, our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted by the weather events in Texas. Kind of shocking when you think it wasn’t too many months ago Linda and I were vacationing down in South Padre Island. Every time I see someone walking in waist high water down there, all I can think of is the huge alligators we encountered while birding down there. Hope to god the rain and flooding doesn’t bring those beasts up into the communities. In no way glossing over the human impact that has resulted, but as a birder, it will be interesting to see how the birds handle this change in environment. The SPI area was such a wonderful birding location it will be disappointing if that element doesn’t recover right alongside the lives and other wildlife already experiencing tragic displacement. We will keep an eye on how things are going there.

For now, thought I would go with the following for today’s featured post:
Black Tern shot at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Minneapolis, MN. in July 2017

That dark and mysterious creature is referred to as a Black Tern. This is not a new bird to the blog having first appeared back in July 2015 (link here). If you recall, that encounter with the black arts took place at Goose Lake. For the record, that was my first encounter with this bird having made my way up there thanks to an IBET post followed by a recommendation from my brother Ron who had made his way down there.

Black Tern shot at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Minneapolis, MN. in July 2017

Hit the jump to see and read a bit more about this acrobatic sky hunter.

Continue reading It’s Their Tern

Taking My Tern

It’s a special treat today folks!  With a complete break from protocol, I’m bringing you the fruits of a bird outing from just a couple of weeks ago.  In relationship to my usual delays in getting my babies out of the camera and into these pages this is nearly light speed.  If we were in a jet there would be a HUGE boom about now.  There is a couple of reasons for this promptness.  One being that the images were already processed – literally the day I took them and the other just due to the excitement of getting this bird in the tin.

Black Tern Shot at Goose Lake on the Hebron Bike Trail

That my friends is a Black Tern.  Without question, this is a new addition to my Birding Life List and I owe my brother for having the chance to get it.  We had recently signed up for the Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts (IBET) Yahoo group.  I am not technically sure if Ron saw all the posts that were occurring regarding the Black Tern sightings and decided to head down there or if he went there on his own first and then saw all the posts.  Regardless, he went over to the Hebron IL. bike path and checked out the scene.  Sure enough, there were Black Terns hanging out in a distant pond/lake.  It really looked a bit like a marshy area but apparently it is referred to as Goose Lake by all the birders in the area.  Note, there is absolutely no signage anywhere near this area that actually refers to it as “Goose Lake”.

Black Tern Shot at Goose Lake on the Hebron Bike Trail

Hit the jump to read a bit more about the Black Tern and see a couple more pictures.

Continue reading Taking My Tern