Raggedy Andy

I had plans to get to this earlier this weekend, but it’s been a whirlwind around here.  Had to finish tearing out the tile in the bathroom, had a slight catastrophe in the guest room closet that ended up being more work that intended and this morning was my 16 mile training run (6.5 on the road, 6.3 on very muddy trails and then back to the road for 3.2) which included me hitting the ground hard thanks to a missed root hidden in the leaves while running down a hill – ugh.  Nothing like making the most out of your weekend.  While the body tries to recover, decided to try and get another post out just under the wire.  I technically already have my quota in for the month, but wanted to get another Georgia post out to make room for one of my top five favorite birds in April.  Without any more delay, here is a quick post featuring another apparent swamp liking bird.

Black-Crowned Night-Heron found at Harris Neck NWR outside Savannah Georgia May 2015

Hit the jump to see a couple more pics of our stoic looking bird!

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The Stork Delivers

Greetings all!  Just sitting here waiting for the deluge of rain to pass through so I can get to a ridiculously long training run.  Was supposed to get back on the trails, but by the looks of it, going to be too muddy – no reason to risk an injury less than a month from the first race of the season.  While I wait out the weather blahs, thought I would put a little NCAA tournament on and bang on the keyboard a bit.  May not get it completed before heading out, so apologies if this gets posted later in the day.

Okay, let’s discuss this half Pelican, half Vulture, half Heron looking creature.

Wood Stork shot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Savannah Georgia, May 2015

A bit creepy if you ask me.  As I’ve stated during my bird lecture intros, Linda and I are destination wildlife/nature photographers.  We essentially travel to our subjects – most of our vacations are specifically planned to get a particular bird or waterfall in the tin.  Grab some research books, travel brochures, cross-reference with the birding check list, check the research books again to confirm (to the best of our ability) there is a good chance of finding it, pack up the RV and hope for the best.  Sometimes it results in complete failure like the Arkansas trip we took last year (although I did manage to get a couple of unexpected +1’s and a Tarantula Hawk (link here) – Linda totally struck out).

Wood Stork shot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Savannah Georgia, May 2015

Hit the jump to read more about the Georgia trip target bird.

Continue reading The Stork Delivers

The Devil Bird Went Down to Georgia

Spent the day tearing out all the tile in my master shower which definitely had its moments – like the 200 pound sheet of cement board with the tile still on it that decided it would take it upon itself to try and kill me – unexpectedly, it broke free of the stud,  just missed my head and then hit the ladder I was standing on before embedding itself in the shower pan – thankfully the pan was the reason all this work was set in motion so it got what it deserved.  I’ll probably have to add that to the list of events which I like to label as the “near misses” list.  Not nearly as long as the birding list, but a bit longer than I like to admit to.  That which doesn’t kill me, serves to makes me wiser.  As I reflect on the day and prepare for tomorrow’s planned half marathon training run, thought I would pad the bird list and maybe gain some ground on Ron.

Anhinga shot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Savannah, Georgia May 2015

Ooops, should have mentioned in the intro that these shots are not my best work.  In a bit of luck, while shooting the target for the trip to Georgia, another bird showed up that I had not yet officially checked off the list.  I have a few pictures of this bird from a quick trip to Florida to drive my parents back from their winter stay.  Thanks to a vendor conference in Orlando, I was also able to get a shot of one with my cell phone.   All of those shots turned out to be awful and therefor elated to get a third chance at one.  This bird is becoming my nemesis – three attempts and still nothing I’d be willing to hang on a wall.  Now taking the +1 …well, that is a completely different story.

Anhinga shot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Savannah, Georgia May 2015

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this flying cross!

Continue reading The Devil Bird Went Down to Georgia

GatorNeck

Once again, bringing you another break from the feathered fodder.  Luckily, this time not a result of cargo loads of hate mail showing up at the door.  Nope, bringing you a non-birding post on my own terms.  Now, I will admit today’s post was a direct result of a birding adventure and the only reason Linda and I were even in this particular spot was to get a new mark on the birding checklist – actually, I can expand that a bit – one of the two reason we headed all the way to the Georgia swamps was to stand at the very spot these shots were taken.  I’ll get to those two reasons in a future posts – for now, let’s take a gander at the shot below.

Alligators shot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refugee, near Savannah Georgia May 2015

Back in May of 2015 (no idea what happened, the best I can tell is we time warped directly to 2019 – scary) we were visiting Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge which is about 30 miles outside Savannah, Georgia.  For those of you not familiar with this refuge, it was established in 1962 on an abandoned military airfield.  There are still runways hidden in the overgrown fields along with about 2,800 acres of mixed saltwater marsh, fields and woods.  The unique name comes from the peninsula it sits on being originally named Dickenson’s Neck and then later renamed for the principal proprietor in the 18th century, William Harris.

Alligators shot at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refugee, near Savannah Georgia May 2015

Form your impression of the shots above and then hit the jump to read some intriguing details.

Continue reading GatorNeck

Have a Laugh on Me

Let’s go ahead and continue with the Georgia birding trip theme for another March post.  From what I can tell from a quick count that excursion to the swamps to the east resulted in at least a +5.  Yep, 5 count increments that have simply been sitting in bit purgatory since May 2015 waiting for someone to give them a bit of love and in some cases a dose of processing to get them in decent enough shape to show the world.  Suspect there’s probably less than 800 images left to comb through to finish out the haul from the trip – one good effort over the weekend should put a bow on Georgia processing.  That just leaves the easy part, smacking the keyboard in hopes of delivering a post worthy my  reader’s time.    To that end I bring you the second +1 from the trip.

Laughing Gull found at Tybee Island, Georgia May 2015

For starters, in case you haven’t noticed, I do not feature a lot of Gulls on the blog.  There are two main reasons for this.  One is the fact that they can be damn hard to ID unless you are lucky enough to find the ones that are regionally constrained or have some unique element that makes them stand out from the horde.  I have taken 10’s of thousands of shots of Gulls in my adventures in the field and very few of them fall into the easy to ID category.  Many are juveniles or females which have about an equal chance of getting correctly labeled as a juvenile Sparrow.  Thus, those shots lay nestled on their digital platters patiently waiting for me to dig in and devote the time and energy to properly check them off the list.  Knowing the Gulls are pretty much untapped gives me a bit of comfort when it comes to my relatively low bird count and something to fall back to on a rainy day.

Laughing Gull found at Tybee Island, Georgia May 2015

Hit the jump to find out more about this hooded bandit.

Continue reading Have a Laugh on Me

A Carolina in Georgia

Finally getting around to processing the rest of the shots form our birding trip to Georgia back in (looking down in shame) May of 2015.  You at least have to give me some credit for trying to muscle through the incredible backlog.  Truthfully, there is a reason I’ve been actively hesitant – is that a thing, let’s go with intentionally slow to get to this trip.  One of the main reasons is I f’d up while out in the field there and almost got myself seriously injured.  I’ve had a few experiences where I’ve skipped a few heartbeats due to something unexpected happening.  One of those times was seeing Ron’s head almost smashed with a steel door.  On a personal front, I came way to close to dangerous wildlife in the swamps of Georgia thanks to looking down my glass while walking and not watching the created void in front of me.  I’ll get to that in a future post, but thought I’d start with a picture I took while I was heading out into the swamp.
Raven in Georgia May 2015

That’s our youngest, Raven.  I laughed to myself when I saw this image come through the digital darkroom.  He’s as cute as it gets, but has a serious attitude: “Hey, do you really think you are going to leave me here while you go off and play in the woods!?!  Get your ass back here now.”  Good thing that cockiness serves him well while competing in the agility ring – he also knows I’m a pushover for ear licks.

Guess I better get to the featured bird for today’s post.  My shots are a bit weak for this series, but it is a +1 so I have to go with what I was able to get in the tin.
Carolina Chickadee found in Georgia May 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more mediocre shots if a bird I thought Ron didn’t have yet.

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A Rocky Warbler

Welcome to March everyone!  Always a weird feeling when another month is torn off the calendar.  A variety of emotions and feelings seems to collide at once.  First a slight wave of panic comes over me as I realize that the quota counter resets back to zero and I have to start thinking about at least 6 new topics worth the time my readers generously give me.  Soon after that a major concern washes over as I quickly compute the days left before the summer’s planned 50K running event.  Then a major swing to the positive as the thoughts of spring make their way in bring a big smile with the excitement of getting back out in the field for the early migration.  Of course, it always ends with the sobering “WHERE THE HELL DID THAT LAST MONTH GO!?!”  I like to keep myself very busy and have a to-do list that probably rivals small novels in paper thickness – hate to leave this world without getting the very most out of it.  While I try to figure out how to squeeze a few more minutes out of the day, figured I’d put out a quick post on a pretty cool looking bird.  Before I do that though, wanted to give a shout out to Brian over at Butterflies to Dragsters (link here) who just celebrated his second year of blogging!  Those of us with our own blogs know very well the work that goes into them and Brian has been putting up some amazing stuff from his outings across the pond.  Check him out and wish him a happy anniversary, you will not be disappointed.

Decided to go with a quick post today from a shoot back in May of 2014 – I know, I know, I’m waaaay behind, but these calendar pages keep flying off the walls.

Wilson's Warbler found at Rocky Mountain National Park May 2014

Hit the jump to see a few more picture of this very distinct Warbler.

Continue reading A Rocky Warbler