Gone Nuts

Here we are at the feels like day 2,882 of the Illinois lockdown. All I can say at this point is our political leadership has gone full on batshit crazy. Can barely stomach the news anymore and the next entertainer that thinks I give a crap what they think is going on my “never again” list. Trust me, you do not want to be in the customer facing business and be put on my NA list. Unfortunately new adds these days are already starting on page 52. I was sitting here thinking to myself how nuts this whole thing and one of these specimens flew by the window I was staring out.

White-Breasted Nuthatch found at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Spring Grove, IL April 2017

Now that is a sign if I’ve ever witnessed one. Mid-thought on the pontificating nutjobs and a Nut – a White-Breasted Nuthatch lands in a tree near our porch. Yes Mother Nature that is a perfect metaphor for our current situation. My camera was too far away to bring to bear on our new visitor (that being it was sitting about 30 feet away ha), but I was pretty sure there was a series in the queue that would do fine. Sure enough, with a little digging found a suitable stand-in. Honestly, was a bit surprised to find only one specimen in the queue as just about every common bird in our area has a couple sets just waiting for a chance to be revealed to the world. The only question is how far back do I want to go 1990, 2000, 2010 hehehe. Our lone entry today takes us only back to April, 2017 – a mere 3 years ago which is about when my broke state imposed its lockdown. Ron and I were checking out the inhabitants of Chain O’ Lakes State Park in Spring Grove, IL. A nice park that happens to be relatively halfway between us. Linda runs the kids in dog agility up there so I tag along to do a bit of birding. Always a fun time when Ron can join me, although finding a bird, snapping a shot and then scaring it off before he sees it is getting harder and harder (did I write that out loud ha). In this case, pretty sure he managed to tin this specimen. No gain on the bird count, but still an entertaining little bird (that, for a fact, has never felt obligated to preach to me).

White-Breasted Nuthatch found at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Spring Grove, IL April 2017

Hit the jump to see a few more images of our featured Nutjob.

Continue reading Gone Nuts

Project Chekov: Nuthatch

Today is a milestone of such for me. Not so much the ongoing record number of posts this month, but more on a personal level.  Today’s road run crested 10 miles which puts me 6 months ahead of schedule on the yearly training program.  This came at a cost of 7 pounds – must force myself to be more diligent on the hydration.  The Winter months are usually recovery time for me (the season can take a toll on the old body), however, this year I’m trying to run more outside during the Winter months.  Hoping this will help curtail some reoccurring  injuries that has plagued me late in the season.  Of course, this means that I had to buy additional sets of cold running suits/shoes  and as of late put up with 4 to 7 inches of snow mixed with solid layers of ice.  It does force me to keep my foot falls under my body which helps to curb any residual heal strikes.  We’ll see how this goes but for now definitely exciting.   To celebrate let’s spotlight another winged creature.

Today we are revisiting the White-Breasted Nuthatch.  This is definitely not a new bird to the blog but today’s shots are certainly a lot crispier than any of the other offerings on this bird to date.  It is actually embarrassing how bad the first set of pictures was (link here) and even the later shots while walking the park (link here) leaves a lot to be desired).  This is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place – to allow me to track my progress in the field of photography.  Still thousands of miles to go on the journey but doubt anyone can argue there is some progress.  These Nuthatches are common in our area and a frequent visitor to our feeders – they really like those sunflower seeds.  They have a unique coloring that makes it fairly easy to identify, but one of their behaviors is a dead giveaway.

They have a tendency to walk DOWN tress and branches.  Pretty impressive they can keep control like that (and avoid those dreaded headrushes).  These Nuthatches are not too social at our feeders.  You will see one come and stage in a nearby branch, survey the situation, dart in, grab a seed and head back out into the trees to consume it.

Hit the jump to see some feeder shots

Continue reading Project Chekov: Nuthatch