Florida Space Coast 2013 – part 2

Ha!  Right into part 2 with no delay.  I’m ready to roll after skimming through my 3,000+ photos for Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.  In my previous post I had posted a bright red dragonfly I labeled “is this a very bright Roseate Skimmer” from Green Cay in Boynton Beach, FL.  Thanks to the expertise of Angel Abreu of Miami, FL, this dragonfly has been correctly identified as a Scarlet Skimmer.  Cool.  Thank you, Angel!

January 23, 2013 I was only scheduled for my opening keynote speach.  Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos, but the auditorium was packed and the audience was great.  During the day I got to relax with leisure birding at a fabulous little spot called Rich Grissom Viera Wetlands (or referred to by me as just Viera Wetlands in Viera, FL).

Blue-winged Teal pair - Viera Wetlands - Viera FL - 2013-01-23

Blue-winged Teal pair – Viera Wetlands – Viera FL – 2013-01-23 photo by Greg Miller


Carolina Satyr - Viera Wetlands - Viera FL - 2013-01-23

Carolina Satyr – Viera Wetlands – Viera FL – 2013-01-23 photo by Greg Miller

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Invisible Race of the Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird (invisible race) near Bellville OH 2011-06-26 photo: Greg Miller

I was very lucky to capture this elusive critter, the invisible race of the Western Kingbird.  Too bad I missed the normal-plumaged Western Kingbird that appeared in this very field the day before.  Sigh.  Such is birding.  But any day out birding is more fun than, say, sitting in a cubicle at work.

We stood at the same place for several hours.  Even though we didn’t get to see the real kingbird (you knew I was kidding, right?), Robert Hershberger, his son Michael, and I did have some consolation prizes.

Singing Grasshopper Sparrow near Bellville OH 2011-06-26 photo: Robert Hershberger

I had my digiscoping setup in place and let Robert focus using his sharp eyes and snap this timely photo of a grasshopper sparrow in the middle of throwing its head back and giving its insect-like call.  Nice shot Robert!

Savannah Sparrow near Bellville OH 2011-06-26 photo: Greg Miller

It was fun to see these grassland sparrows in good numbers.

Widow Skimmer near Bellville OH 2011-06-26 photo: Greg Miller

This is a digiscoped dragonfly.  When you spend a few hours in one spot waiting for your target species to show up–well–you end up doing interesting things to bide the time.  Practicing shots through the telescope is a good skill to develop.  I really like the close up of this dragonfly gripping the metal bar.  And this is a juvenile female Widow Skimmer (thanks to Cheryl Harner on the i.d.–I’m still a rank beginner in odonata)

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