We are finally back from our exploration part deux. For those that didn’t already figure it out based on the recent comments, we headed down to the shores of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle for some migration birding. Ron was able to join us down there making for a wonderful time. We managed to hit the fallout while at Dauphin Island and had the best birding of our lives. Ron and I are both in the +20s which means almost certain I’ll be hitting my 300 bird list goal by the end of the year .. assuming I can get those posts out by then. More on the trip when I get to those posts. For now, going with what was previously the most recent trip – Texas in January.
So, to set the stage for this featured feathered friend, I need to weave in one of my fellow bloggers. Timothy over at Off Center & Not Even (link here) is an Owl aficionado, purveyor of sunsets , accomplished musician, clever poet, Bird tinner, Cat nurturer and owns a slick looking red car… to highlight just a few facets of things he covers on his entertaining blog.
Greetings everyone. We recently made our way back from a week in Las Vegas which means the sleep counter for the month of November took a serious decrement. Not complaining, of course, seeing as how that was pretty much self-inflicted. From a birder’s perspective, Vegas is up there in the top 10 birding places we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. Actually, should clarify that a bit, the birding is primarily a combination of the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area inside the Mojave Desert. We opted to rent some glass out there this time rather than hauling out the Beast. I wanted the prime Nikon 600 f/4 but the VR ended up being broken on that option, so settled for the 150-600 f5-6.3 Tamron. I am here to say, Tamaron glass is NOT Nikon glass. Still need to go through the images, but it was a fight the entire time. That glass is way to light to hand hold in the wind and extremely slow to focus compared to my rig making it impossible to nail any in-flight shots. Did manage to get at least one +1 and possibly a couple more. More to come on that front. For now, was totally shocked when I came upon this set of pictures in the queue.
This is not the first time the Greater Roadrunner has appeared here at Intrigued, first appearing way back in May of 2013 (link here). That first encounter was at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and took some effort to find. It also didn’t allow us to get too close it. Now this specimen was the Walmart greeter for Laguna Atascosa.National Wildlife Refuge. We were navigating the absolutely awful road (if you can call it that) that leads into that refuge when our little feathered friend popped out of the brushline.
Hit the jump to read more about my favorite runner.
Another day, another post! Guessing the doubters are starting to get a little concerned (hehehe). I’m not out of the woods completely, but as each post rolls out through the publishing pipeline the stress ratchets down another notch. The good news in all of this is I was able to get started on another vacation’s worth of shots from last year. The great news is it looks like the topic hopper will be full for an extended period of time based on activities that has transpired as of late. Of course, this does have the downside of erasing all the gains made on the already overflowing topic queue. A very good problem to have when all your peeps have such high expectations.
Speaking of queues, next pop from the stack places us back in Henderson Nevada, home of the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve discussed a couple of posts back (link here). If you recall, that post introduced a new bird to the blog. Let’s continue that streak with still another new species.
Most people will recognize this bird thanks to the numerous references over the years. If you are struggling, imagine it as a highly clever bird painted in blue and yellow. No help? How about Beep Beep? If that didn’t trigger the name, then clearly you did not watch enough cartoons as a kid. Just in case the suspense is too high, this is a Greater Roadrunner. That day in Henderson officially marked the first time I’ve ever seen a live one of these and to say I was elated is an understatement. After shooting the Green-Winged Teal, a blur of brown and white caught my eye dashing across the shoreline of an adjacent pond. Intrigued, I immediately headed over there and tried to get a decent shot. Let it be known that the amazing speed of these birds is confirmed. It could flat out move making focus tracking nearly impossible. Left, right, under brush, out of brush, to the water, back to the shore – it never seemed to stop. To get the shots here required some high shutter speeds combined with just a smidgen of luck. Tracking brown colored birds against a brown backdrop makes for interesting times with the Beast, but when you get it… you generally get it.
Hit the jump to read more about this runner’s friend