Beware of Phalarope Cougars

Coming back from today’s rather cold 10 mile run a new life mission popped in my head.  I am going to devote the next 5 years of my life learning how to communicate with Squirrels.  Learn their native dialog, dive deep into their culture and master their mannerisms.  Once mastered I shall use that valuable knowledge to engage with our local specimens in the hope to finally answer the most pressing question mankind has forever sought an answer to.. WHY THE HELL DO SQUIRRELS ON THE SAFE SIDE OF THE ROAD IMMEDIATELY FEEL THE URGE TO SPRINT TO THE DANGEROUS SIDE OF THE ROAD WHEN A VEHICLE APPROACHES!?!  It is absolutely insane and I am taking it upon myself to find out what is actually going on in their walnut sized brains.  Note, I may change my mind after the exhaustion finally leaves my body.

Now this fresh specimen has got it right.

Wilson's Phalarope found at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge in May of 2018

Just hang out at the shoreline, no playing Frogger across the busy roads, no accepting double Dog dares to out run the metal boxes with wheels and certainly no games of Chicken out on the asphalt.  Nope, just slosh through the muck in search of tasty morsels.

Wilson's Phalarope found at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge in May of 2018

Hit the jump to read more about our featured specimen.

Continue reading Beware of Phalarope Cougars

A Missed Phalarope Fallacy

Greetings all… welcome to October posting.  About time I got around to this, but I was hoping at least one comment would come in, but alas I’m like a month out now and nada, zip, chirp chirp chirp.  Oh well, I guess life will go on.  Truth be told I’ve been horribly busy as of late and just now getting over the brunt of it.  There are plenty of posts coming up to highlight all the interesting activities, but as a foreshadowing, this month brought about another long race and our annual Halloween Cookout.  Jumping back to the now, let me introduce you to my little friend.
Wilson's Phalarope shot at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

On a bit of confession here. I must admit that I was not actively aware I had this specific bird in the tin.  In fact, the opinion was just the opposite – total disappointment over having missed a great opportunity to get a +1 for the day’s birding efforts.  At least a month or so back I was birding with my brother at one of my favorite spots – Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.  Ron had come down the night before in hopes of scouting out some large floodles that had formed in the area.

Wilson's Phalarope shot at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

There were a number of posts out on IBET documenting interesting shorebirds that were frequenting the area.  With the general bird watching opportunities turning quite dull, the chance to add some Pipers and like to the birding list was an exciting opportunity.  We arrived at the area (on the Dickson Mounds road believe it is Rt 9) fairly early in the morning.  In our first pass we noticed a tremendous amount of activity out in the fields to the left.  On our way back we ended up pulling into a wide spot and walking back to see what we could shoot.

Wilson's Phalarope shot at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

Continue reading A Missed Phalarope Fallacy