Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sax Zim Bog

The following photos of Pine Grosbeaks were taken at Sax Zim a few weeks before the ones from last Saturday.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Friday, February 26, 2010

no birds

For more of my non-bird photography, check out my Voice blog.

Sax-Zim Bog trip - III

As we criss-crossed the Bog, Stan was looking for a special bird (in addition to Bohemian Waxwings and Grouse). 
  
  
Several times we ran into another birder who was on the same quest. At this stop, he thought he had heard something significant in the woods. The noise was a quiet tapping. A special woodpecker? Was it worth going through hip-deep snow in the ditch to find it? Stan thought so. Most of us followed. 
  
  
A short distance into the woods we spotted it! Was it special? Do you know what it is?
  
  
Here is a better view -- unfortunately blocked by many branches. Even though the photo is poor, it should give you sufficient clues for an ID.
  
  
It is a Black-backed Woodpecker. A first for me! They are quite rare even in Northeastern Minnesota, extremely rare South of there. Stan came through again! Another great trip.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sax-Zim Bog trip - II

We were not welcomed by all residents of the Bog!
  
  
We saw quite a few Gray Jays, a treat for us from the Twin Cities. Unlike retired Marine snipers, they are quite safe -- until they spot something to filch.
  
  
I don't understand the feather in his beak. Unlike raptors, they are not nesting yet.  

  
  Common Redpolls were also plentiful.
  
  
  
  
  We were fortunate to find many Pine Grosbeaks!

  
  
  
  What is she looking for?
  
  
The male Grosbeak, of course!
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
We were well into the afternoon, what next? Stan always manages to save a special treat for the end of the day. Look for our next post to find out what it was!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sax-Zim Bog trip

Last Saturday about a dozen of us traveled to the Sax Zim Bog in northern Minnesota. The trip was sponsored by Eden Prairie's Outdoor Center and led by its director, Stan Tekiela, of NatureSmart. Stan is a prolific author of many nature books, illustrated with his excellent photography. 

   
   
Stan is firm about leaving on time.
  
  
Coffee & potty breaks are essential.
  
  
Stan lining up a spotting scope on our first quarry, the Hawk Owl.
   
   
   
   
We saw five Hawk Owls. Unfortunately, they were too far in the distance for good photos.
  
  
Is Spring on its way?
  
  
Wolf tracks nearly as large as Stan's hand.
  
  
A number of folks in the area had set up feeding stations for birds in anticipation of the 2010 Sax Zim Bog Festival of Birds, Feb. 12-14. These included rib cages of deer, providing suet for birds such as woodpeckers, Gray Jays, and Boreal Chickadees. The night before the Festival, Feb. 11, the DNR, in its infinite wisdom and arrogance, disregarding birders and most local residents, removed the feeding stations, claiming they constituted littering!!?? Although some of the seed feeders have been restored, the deer suet had not been by the time we got there. 
   
   
   
   
Purple Finch

more to follow

time-waster

Not much about birds, but a wonderful, educational time-waster. Thanks Les.

the answer to the previous post

video

Who did this?

If you do not know the answer, I will post it soon (actually, I will post it in any event). This was also a test posting, since last night Blogger refused to post photos from my computer.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bigfoot

Without photography, bigfoot would have remained largely unknown and in-focus.
-- @colerise


Monday, February 1, 2010

noMac

My iMac is in for possible transplant surgery & diagnostic testing. Hopefully (please!), I'll be able to resume posting by next Monday. I asked for a loaner iPad but was told they were out of them   :-)