Duck Duck Goose

My nervous tick is indicating it is about time to put out another bird post!  Unfortunately, the one I have teed up for today is one I’ve kind of been dreading.  Not that it a terrifying bird or anything (in fact it is quite visually appealing), but rather the offshoots of the Goose are difficult to ID with any certainty.  Once there’s crossbreeding with the Canada Goose and domestic geese you never know what you are going to get – from there, the mutations just get beyond levels of truly classifying.  This is possibly the case here, but based on some serious research, there might be a check here after all.

For reference, focus on the LARGER birds in the images – there was a smattering of Mallards hanging around that looked quite content in the midst of the larger flock.  These shots were actually taken by the side of the road on our way back from Wildcat Den State Park near Muscatine, Iowa.  Linda had always been wanting to take me there so took her up on it one weekend we were free (geesh, probably a year or two ago).  If you have never been there it is similar to Starved Rock in the features, but actually better – for one thing they have way less graffiti all over the place which always make me sick every time I journey up to Starved Rock.  That is one of the few uses of drones or cameras that I condone if that will curtail that crap.  So, on our way back, I noticed a nice collection of Geese and Ducks hanging out enjoying the nice weather.

Hit the jump to read a lot more about these birds and a few others I shot at the same time

Continue reading Duck Duck Goose

Another Check in the Bird List – The Scarlet Tanager

Can you tell I’m !#%!@@#$@ cooped up in the house this weekend with a hell spawned cold?  If memory serves (and it is on the fritz at the moment) this is the third post in three days.  Blogging at least keeps my mind off of the missed training runs this has caused which couldn’t happen at a more inconvenient time… but more on that in less than a month.  To be honest, today’s post is really more about a half check than a full check on the Life Birding List.  Linda and I headed out to a photo shoot at Wildcat Den about 30-40 minutes outside of Davenport in Muscatine County, Iowa.  We were in Davenport for our 3 day concert extravaganza (yes, that will be a future post topic) and figured it would be a good opportunity to take some shots at the State Park.  So we strapped on the backpacks, cleared out the memory cards and grabbed the cameras.  Needless to say with opportunities for wildlife, The Beast was in tow.

For the first hour there was not much action in the feathered category.  I decided to focus on some large butterflies while Linda busied herself with some water landscape shots.  From there we moved deeper into the State Park when Linda (so she says) pointed out a reddish bird sitting in the dense trees.  Having learned from previous mistakes, I dropped the tripod down and did my best to get a preliminary shot so I wouldn’t be leaving empty handed.  Once I had sufficient attempts  from afar, I slowly moved in to try and better the shot.  Out of all of them, this is probably the best one.

Hit the jump to see more pictures of this distinctive bird  … prepare yourself, some are a little scary

Continue reading Another Check in the Bird List – The Scarlet Tanager