Festivals Recap – February-March 2014

Events

High Plains Snow Goose Festival Feb 20, 2014 Lamar, CO
Beckham Bird Club Annual Dinner Mar 11, 2014 Louisville, KY
Big O Birding Festival Mar 13, 2014 LaBelle, FL
Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival Mar 20-23, 2014 Spring Hill, FL
Road trip from Ohio to Arizona Apr 11-23, 2014 OH to AZ
Verde Valley Birding and Wildlife Festival Apr 24-27, 2014 Cottonwood, AZ
Biggest Week in American Birding May 6-15, 2014 Oregon, OH
Acadia Birding Festival May 29-Jun 1, 2014 Bar Harbor, ME
Ecuador: Northern Andes and Amazon with Greg Miller Aug 8-23, 2014 Quito, Ecuador

 

Prairie Falcon

At the end of February I went to Southeastern Colorado for the High Plains Snow Goose Festival. And there were thousands of Snow Geese. For me, the raptors were a treat. This Prairie Falcon is one cool camper! And ther are Red-tailed Hawks of all different colorations. Below is a “Western” Red-tailed Hawk.

Western Red-tailed Hawk

And a beautiful light morph Ferruginous Hawk.

Light morph Ferruginous Hawk

After a few short days at home I drove to Louisville KY to speak to the Beckham Bird Club. We had a great time during my quick visit. Below is one of the Red-necked Grebes on the Ohio River.

Red-necked Grebe

In the next day-and-a-half I drove 1,000 miles to reach LaBelle FL for the tail end of the Big “O” Birding Festival. I birded Devil's Garden during the day and gave a slide presentation that evening. The next day I got to bird Stormwater Treatment Area 5 (STA5). Here are a few highlights.

Barred Owl

Eastern Meadowlark

Purple Swamphen

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Snail Kite

After the Big O, I traveled north to Spring Hill FL for the Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. It was cool to bird this area of Florida–an area I had only birded once before. I visited lots of cool places. And the Saturday keynote went very well. I had a great time. Highlights of Naure Coast are below.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Boat-tailed Grackle

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Water Lily

After a fun-filled schedule at Nature Coast I drove north to Tallahassee FL for a couple days of recovery and also to wait out the snowstorm in West Virginia. While in Tallahassee I got to visit Maclay Gardens–an awesomely beautiful place to visit at this time of year. Enjoy the pics!

Maclay Gardens

Maclay Gardens

Maclay Gardens

Maclay Gardens

Maclay Gardens

I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

 

Florida Space Coast 2013 – Part 3

On Friday, 1/25/2013, I visited Lake Woodruff NWR before joining Michael Brother, Bob Wallace, and Cameron Cox for the fantastic gull fly-in at Daytona Beach Shores where as many as 50,000 gulls stage before going back out beyond the breakers to spend the night on the water.  We had distant views of a razorbill and looks at both parasitic and pomarine jaegers from shore.  A number of lesser black-backed gulls were among the most numerous gull species–Laughing, Ring-billed, Herring, and Great Black-backed.  Earlier in the day I explored Lake Woodruff NWR near DeLeon Springs, FL.  It was my first ever visit.

Cloudless Sulphur - Lake Woodruff NWR - near DeLeon Springs FL - 2013-01-25

Cloudless Sulphur – Lake Woodruff NWR – near DeLeon Springs FL – 2013-01-25 photo by Greg Miller

 

Eastern Pond Hawk - Lake Woodruff NWR - near DeLeon Springs FL - 2013-01-25

Eastern Pond Hawk – Lake Woodruff NWR – near DeLeon Springs FL – 2013-01-25 photo by Greg Miller

Continue reading

Bobolink Event at Byers Woods

Halloween Pennant - Byers Woods - Ashland OH - 2011-06-25 photo: Greg Miller

Hey!  That’s not a bobolink!  But–it *is* a great looking creature, don’t you think?  This Halloween Pennant was hidden down in the long grass out of the winds at Byers Woods on Saturday, June 25, 2011.

The event was well-attended by more than 100 folks from all over the state (and even a few out-of-staters were present!).  There was plenty to see and do at Byers Woods, especially overlooking the wide grassland areas of reclaimed land where the stars of the day–bobolinks–nest.  My high count for the day was 5 male bobolinks at one time from my tent stake out. Continue reading

Winning. Duh.

The house where I grew up--looking North

Pretty cool view looking North from my boyhood home, eh?  When that field was less manicured it used to be home to several pairs of Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks and Savannah Sparrows.  Meadowlarks are still there, but Bobolinks are less common now.  And that little pond has been a temporary hangout for some fascinating birds including Snow Goose, White-fronted Goose, and even Ross’s Goose.  One time a Bonaparte’s Gull dropped in and circled the pond a few times on it’s way North.  But I digress.  See?  I am already distracted.  I’ll start over again then.

Nooo.  This is not a blog about Charlie Sheen.  Haha!  But it *IS* about winning.  But what is winning?  Really.  Winning is pretty easy when we talk about sports.  Or is it?  In sports many folks measure winning by a score.  For football or baseball, for instance, the higher score “wins” and the lower score “loses”.  In golf, the lowest score wins and all the other other higher scores lose.  But really, that only represents a single game.  So if you win a tennis match, does that make you a “winner”?  What if you already lost 58 matches?  Are you still a winner?  Well yes, you did win–a match.  A single match.  But a winner? Continue reading