Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Springbrook V

Last Monday, as I was returning to the parking lot at Springbrook, I came upon this juvenile Green Heron. I don't know which one of us was more startled. Thankfully, there was no one around to take my picture.

After staring at me for a few minutes ...

... he decided to return to hunting for food.

Is that a crayfish?

international reach

I continue to be amazed by the far reach of the Internet. After my help request for Dr. Vrajesh in India, I received a prompt response from Tom in Bristol, U.K. (check out the comments to yesterday's posts). Tom is also from Kerala and has quite a selection of India's birds on his blog. If you would like to see what daily birding is like in Bristol, be sure to take a look at the entries in the main section of his blog, Birdsnapping.


If you have an iPhone, you should take a look at PhotoCalc, a program developed by Adair Systems, LLC. The feature I use the most is the Solar Calculator which will tell you sunrise & sunset times at wherever you are (or for any other location you enter). Another feature that may be helpful is the Depth of Field Calculator. Enter the focal length of the lens, the f/stop, & subject distance and it will show the depth of field; somewhat useful since most DSLR lenses no longer show this. Other features include a Flash Exposure Calculator, Exposure Reciprocation, and a number of other reference items. The cost is $2.99 from the iTunes Store.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Any experts on birds of India out there?

In response to today's early morning post, I received a comment from Dr. Vrajesh in India; he publishes My Handycam blog. Is there anyone out there who could help him? 
In any event, check out his blog which consists of interesting videos -- birds as well as other diverse topics.

Springbrook IV -- what is it?

winter adult Chipping Sparrow? -- Clay-colored?
immature White-crowned?
Maybe I should see if there are still openings for the Sparrow classes the next couple of weekends at Milbank.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Springbrook II

Do Flickers migrate in groups? There are many of them at Springbrook right now.

And, of course, the ever-present Blue Jays.

some private comments on the picture in yesterday's post

It looks like our economy these days.  Accurate.
i love that!
Well, the White Sox just did!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Monday I returned to Springbrook Nature Center, having been absent since early summer when I was driven out by hordes of mosquitoes. And now, here it is, fall.

Many of the summer birds are already gone -- but, of course, we still have ducks.

Yes, Mallards are a common bird -- but ain't they neat?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crex Meadows V

My favorite shots of cranes are those of the birds in flight.
Here are a couple.

The ultimate DSLR?

read about it here

Monday, September 22, 2008

Crex Meadows IV

lining up for inspection?

standing up against the wind

more to follow

Sunday, September 21, 2008

need an extra body?

If you are a Nikon shooter, this may interest you.

the unusual

The unusual wins out over the usual.
-- Thad Abell

Crex Meadows III

The big attraction at the Crex, of course, are the Sandhill Cranes. With the fall migration, I am sure that the numbers will increase in the next few weeks.

A small flock of Cranes in the background with Geese in the front.

more Crane shots will follow

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crex Meadows II

The fall colors are beginning to arrive at Crex and will probably be at their peak in two weeks or so.

An interesting feature at the North-east corner of Crex is the "Sand Blow" at Auto Stop 14. The sand at this spot is up to 80 feet deep as a result of a glacial lake which covered most of the county. The sand is constantly blown by the wind and vegetation doesn't have a chance to take root. Several sedges, grasses, and mosses have adapted to sandy soil and are growing along the periphery.

Who do you suppose lives here?

It isn't this critter, although he has managed to make a large excavation on Phantom Lake Road. Another good reason to have All-wheel Drive.
For pictures of some plant life at Crex, take a look at my other blog.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crex Meadows

I hadn't been to Crex Meadows since last fall -- so it was good to get back early this morning. I was expecting more migration action than I saw. Very few hawks. Nothing special re ducks. Maybe several hundred cranes; I don't know what their nesting population is, but I wondered if these were residents. Looking at my last year's notes, during an early November visit we saw many more cranes and tons of raptors. I think I'll shoot for a return visit around the middle of October.
You can keep up to date on activities at Crex through their web site.
Note the big Fall Festival October 5th.
The Grantsburg downtown cafe with the faux log finish serves excellent breakfasts!

shortly after sunrise, the geese were waking up

the swans were posing

and ducks were feeding on ?

what is that?

more to follow

Thursday, September 18, 2008

appropriate caution

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes ....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

21.1 megapixels!

Canon's new EOS 5D Mark II

Hawk Ridge IV

The fun part of Hawk Ridge, even on a slow, misty day, is to see some of the raptors that have been caught for banding.

As you can see, this is a popular part of the Hawk Ridge experience.

Great close-up picture taking opportunities!

For $20 you can hold a raptor & have your picture taken with it.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, you have to let it go!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

learn more about Hawk Ridge

for even more info, join Hawk Ridge's Yahoo group

Hawk Ridge III

Photos of flying raptors were not easy to come by in the mist last Sunday.

As you can see, the raptor count wasn't great Sunday morning; I understand that yesterday's count was well over 20,000.

I had better luck with the White-throated Sparrows at the feeding station.

the next post from Hawk Ridge will have more fun stuff


If you have an iPhone, you no doubt use the built in camera because it is so handy and is probably better than your previous cell phone camera. These  shots were taken last night at my grandson's soccer game (I had left my DSLR at home -- I know! I know!)
For a review of what looks like ALL of the photo programs available for the iPhone, click here.