March has turned out to be a very good month and we still have several days left! Thanks to our quick trip to Vegas, my Average Year status is now at 239 (link here) – that includes two local finds yesterday thanks to standing out in a large tree lined meadow waiting for the distinct peent of horny male American Woodcocks (link here – more sad memories). Call me 12, but I still laugh every single time I say or type out that name hehehe. The other +1 was more of a twist as it “found” me. I was just standing there noting it was getting surprisingly chilly as the sun was preparing for bed, when I noticed a fast moving bird heading across the meadow directly at me. Ever witness people just standing there taking it all in as a car or other potentially dangerous object speeds in their direction? This bird just kept coming, I just kept standing there, bird continues to close the gap, I continue to gawk, bird appears to be on a mission, I continue to ponder the history of flight, bird undeterred, I wonder if Ron is standing next to me (birds hate him), bird proceeds to whiz past my right ear and land on a nearby branch, I nearly crap my pants. What the hell was THAT! I turned to give it a stern talking to when I noticed it was a Fox Sparrow. Took a few snaps to get the +1 for the year and politely informed it a Top Gun flyby wasn’t necessary, a friendly wave would have been sufficient. I don’t speak bird, but I think it called me a ground hugging troglodyte and pointed to its wings – sigh.
That puts me a mere 61 birds away from the 300 goal for the year. Hoping to take a huge chunk out of that next week as we are heading down to Dauphin Island (and along the Panhandle) for some migration action. During that time we’ll be bringing you several posts from Brad including an adventure to a place Intrigued has never been before. Actually, Brad also influenced today’s featured post.
I swear we are cursed. Once again, our Texas trip has been hit with an unexpected cold snap. Been off and on while on the border – 70’s one day, 50’s next. Moved north a bit to check out some other sites and now we are looking at temps down to 30F. Granted our driveway is currently covered with snow, but come on Texas, let’s keep the boiler on until we have to head back! Meanwhile, things are still going well on the “Average Year” front. Initial surges were expected and now the daily hauls have drastically dropped as the easy adds (at least in this region) are mostly done with only a few unfortunate misses. Did tin two rarities which were amazing – sorry, you have to wait for those reveals until 2025. Just kidding, but at least until we return home. As Ron has already returned to Chicago, decided I’d go ahead and make a new page to help us keep tabs on our progress. Added a new item on the nav bar appropriately titled The Birding Chronicles (direct link here). Planning to update it at least monthly and random times in between – at points when I am ahead of course ha!
Hit the jump to read a bit more about our time with Mr. and Mrs. Yellow Eyes.
Last post you were introduced to a mother and chick Osprey that we were able to shoot on our North Carolina trip in July 2014. As luck would have it, we are still under a monsoon out here in the Midwest putting most of my planned outside work on hold, but still leaving plenty of worry as my 46′ free standing bridge over our creek is officially under water. Not a lot I can do about that right now, hell, I can’t even get to it as the end is currently sitting 20 feet out from the water’s edge! My fret is your gain allowing me extra time to crank out another bonus post.
This shouldn’t be a surprise if you noticed the last post title had a clue – that was not the only mother and chick Osprey sighting we were able to witness in Tarheel country. We were checking out the various sites in the Outer Banks area when we spotted something interesting in the parking lot of a restaurant. This eatery happened to sit on a water inlet and like the shots before, had a man made mast that had been claimed by another Osprey mother.
Hit the jump to see the rest of the shots from this second sighting – and there’s a surprise!
Welcome to Blog Bonus Time everyone! Now that my mandatory post quota has been officially met, I can focus on burning down some of my backlog. This is typically when I release post of birds that have already made their way on the blog – usually not as exciting as when I get to show off a new entry on my Birding List, however, there is always the chance I’ve been able to improve on images previously captured in the tin or even some new element that makes the repeat visit interesting as well. The latter is exactly the case in this particular post.
For the non-birders out there, that is an Osprey. A female Osprey to be more exact. These skilled hunters have been featured a few times on the blog already – link here, here and here. Before I go any further, let me just apologize for some really poor pictures on that last link from Yellowstone. Those Osprey shots were done from a less than ideal distance and could have used a lot more light. One advantage of having a photography related blog is you have the opportunity to look back at your body of work and be your own best critic. I think you will like these pictures much much better.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this Osprey … and maybe a surprise!
The pressure is on now – definitely would have been a good time for a 31 day month. To be honest, it is actually a bit difficult to type tonight. I am in a battle with a 270 foot long 18 inch deep ditch I originally trenched a couple of months ago to supply power to a new outbuilding. Since that original dig, I’ve had to hand dig across power and phones lines, re-dug the entire ditch by hand not once, not twice, but now three times due to rain and just spent all evening laying wire in conduit. At least half of it is done now – damn you rain gods!
For tonight I thought I would go with some more shots from my Ft Myers trip. Luckily these shots were already processed so the hard part is already done. Let’s start with a gorgeous Brown Pelican.
Pretty stoic bird all around. As with the previous Ft. Myers shots, these were taken at the secret lagoon behind the Holiday Inn. Wait.. I am not sure it is a Holiday Inn anymore. My brother Ron may know for sure – he was just down there to see my parents and had an opportunity to visit that birding hotspot again – I would have went with him, but that was the weekend of my Marathon (link here). These Pelican shots were taken on the backside of the lagoon on the ocean/gulf side – you have to cross a small inlet of water, but it is definitely worth it.
Hit the jump to see a few more birds from the trip.
There is no rest for the weary these days. I can see the edge of October and it is approaching fast. The good news is I am down to one more post after this one and I think that is doable … at the moment. I ended up losing yesterday because I forgot to process all the pictures for this post. Soooo last night was spent getting that done and uploading them to our Smugmug account (Eddiesoft) so I could post tonight.
Today’s entry is from our trip up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in early October. Linda and the boys were competing in the Petit Prix, also known as the Teacup Dog Agility Association National’s. Although I have really nothing to do with this since I neither train the dogs or run them in the ring, that doesn’t stop me from taking credit for how well they competed in the event. Both Kerby and Rizzi came home with a pile of ribbons and Rizzi even made the Semi-Finals consisting of the top 84 dogs in the whole event. Of course, there is a reason I get to take some credit…. I have to take off work and help Linda haul everything to and from the car and these toy dogs travel heavier than Paris Hilton. The good news is Linda drove most of the way providing ample time to snap some shots along the way. With that, let’s get to the pictures eh ? (in my best Wisconsin accent)
Keeping with the Halloween theme from the previous posts, I’ll start with these. My eyes lit up when I saw this pumpkin. Just imagine the cool pumpkin carving I could do with one of these babies. It might take a chainsaw instead of a Dremel, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.
Hit the jump for the rest of the pictures from the trip