Not So Shiny

A friend of mine has been getting me all teased up for a vacation trip to Hawaii.  He is headed there soon and busy pointing out all the birds from that region he’s already managed to get in the tin.  Linda and I had plans to go there for our 25th wedding anniversary, but we ended up postponing it due to other commitments.  Every year since then we have tried to plan a makeup trip – again to no avail.  Last year we decided that this would be our retirement gift to ourselves and put the trip on the shelf until we decide it’s time to divorce ourselves from the daily grind.  So every time someone mentions they are heading to the islands my fingers get all twitchy like, a tick develops in the shoulder and my eyes start to blink uncontrollably until I make Quasimodo look like GQ material.  They have some stunners of birds there that I need to see… damn, there goes that twitch again.  Oh well, I can at least live vicariously through my friend’s captures until we decide to turn our badges in.  You’ll be mine Red-Crested Cardinal .. some day… some day.  Until we get to go island hopping, I can still continue hunting for all the continental US birds that still continue to elude me.  Today’s featured bird first fell victim to my hunt back in December 2015 (link here).

Female Phainopepla found at Wetlands Park Preserve, Henderson Nevada, November 2018

Wait.. ummm, a little late on this, but for those that might be slightly concerned over wildlife with red eyes, you might want to be cautious – the light on these shots were not as conducive to getting the nice red highlights, but they do possess the dreaded early morning Vegas eyes.  If you recall back on that initial encounter, we were at Corn Creek Visitor Center outside Las Vegas, Nevada.  While birding the Mojava Desert over New Year’s, we found a Phainopepla hanging out at the top of a tree.  Those shots had to be heavily processed to account for horrible backlighting.   In oddly similar manner, we discovered this new specimen.  Like before, we were in Vegas, in Late November (close enough to the New Year’s timeframe), and once again it was sitting at the top of a tree in horrible backlight.

Female Phainopepla found at Wetlands Park Preserve, Henderson Nevada, November 2018

Hit the jump to read a bit more about the shoot.

Continue reading Not So Shiny

Latin for Damn Evil

Well folks, it is a new month.  Anyone that has been around this blog for a while know that means the post quota counter on the wall gets reset to ZERO.  It is a bitter sweet event. It brings with it the personal satisfaction of completing another successful month of blogging but it also means four more weeks of fretting about getting new material out to my loyal readers.  However, this time I am in a very good position – drum roll please …. thanks to a lot of hours in front of this computer I can announce the image queue has been trimmed to January 2016.  That’s right, this photographer is now only a bit more than 2 years behind (champagne for all).  Takes a lot of pressure off when you easily have 2 year’s worth of post material just waiting to be introduced into the world.  Let’s get to it shall we!?!
Phainopepla shot at Corn Creek on edge of Mojave Desert, Nevada in December 2014

So we all know the old saying, March comes in like an evil demon and exits like a cute and cuddly baby chick.  In honor of it actually being March (you’d almost think I plan this stuff out), thought it would be fitting to feature …well… an evil demon of a bird.  I’ll be honest with you, today’s featured bird scares the crap out of me.  It scared me with I was looking through the glass when the pictures were taken, it creeped me out when I was processing the pictures in the digital dark room and looking at it right now makes me want to go find my childhood plush dog, grab a carpet square and ball up like a baby on my den floor.  In case you are wondering my constant toy as kid was a golden colored Snoopy looking stuffed toy named Henry (don’t laugh, but I still have it sitting on the top shelf of my closet).  Wow, how did I get on this…back to demon spawn.

Phainopepla shot at Corn Creek on edge of Mojave Desert, Nevada in December 2014

Hit the jump to find out what this crested specimen is.

Continue reading Latin for Damn Evil