Sora Doubletake

Greetings everyone!. Been a fun day around here thanks to a spontaneous decision to celebrate our 27th anniversary by hunting down some birds and sunflower fields. We were not sure if the weather was going to hold out our not as some storm clouds were rolling through the area most of the day – thankfully we didn’t get hit with the tornado swarms that were doing significant damage to our Iowa neighbors. Looks like Linda’s relatives made it through without too much trouble. We ended up making a run down to Havana IL so I could get a nice bird in the tin (looking forward to getting that posted here) and Linda was definitely able to add to her flower portfolio form the two sunflower fields we successfully located. Those were both still in their bloom stages where the fields down the road from us have officially wilted. Tired from the long day, so opted to rest a bit and push out a post.

Sora at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge December 2017

For ease, going back to our recent trip to the Texas Gulf Coast for this post. A lot of those pictures were processed already and easy to simply pull them into a new post. I find the largest chunk of time in any of my posts is getting the pictures in a shape I’m willing to share, so having that part out the way is a huge benefit when you have a short time to get one of these out. Today’s featured post is our friend the Sora. Like the last post, the Sora is not a new bird to the blog. That previous posting (link here) featured a specimen found down at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge. We ended up swinging through there today on our way to Havana. Unfortunately, the dry summer has really impacted that place. For those familiar with it, the water has receded way beyond the observation decks at the back of the refuge.

Sora at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge December 2017

Hit the jump to read more about my encounters with the Sora.

Continue reading Sora Doubletake

Sora, Glad to Knowya

I decided to go ahead and stay with the programming interruption for yesterday.  Normally the fruits of my photography shoot labors go on my FIFO darkroom queue.  Unfortunately, that means you might not see anything for a long long time – (as regular readers may know, the Yellowstone trip from May 2013 is just know being worked up.  Since yesterday’s post was such a downer, thought I’d brighten it up a bit and talk about a silver lining that came out of the tragic event.  Once everything was wrapped up with the wreck, we continued on to  Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge – or intended destination before we were sidetracked for an hour or so.  The wildlife was primarily made up of water chickens but my golden rule is to look for the outliers.  This was what I was doing while standing on the cement blocks along the shore.  Disappointed that a potential find ended up being just another chicken I lowered The Beast.  At that time movement was detected.  Absolutely stunned, this appeared.

Sora shot at Havan, IL - Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

Up came The Beast and the snapping commenced. To be honest, I was not exactly sure what it was.  It definitely did not fit the Sandpiper family – the bill was way too thick and those feet where mega-thick.  As my brother can attest, I’m not one for really doing my identification in the field.  If it is bright out, it virtually impossible to see the 7000’s LCD screen anyway.  Check the image histogram (which is easy to read) to make sure the full range of exposure is available and focus on getting as many angles as possible to aid in the ID process.

Sora shot at Havan, IL - Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this unique bird.

Continue reading Sora, Glad to Knowya