And thanks to Leica for the terrific optics I am using to do what I love this year…birding with passion and getting people hooked on it. You should see the really cool binoculars I am using this year–the newly released Leica Trinovid 10×42 HD binoculars! They are light weight. The view is crystal clear. They perform wonderfully in low light. And the close focus is so good you can even look at Chestnut-sided Warblers at Magee Marsh in Ohio during Biggest Week in American Birding. That is because these birds are ridiculously, reach-out-and-touch-them close. And now you can look at specs on an individual feather with these new binoculars.
Green Jay shucking seeds – Sabal Palm Sanctuary – Brownsville TX – 2014-11-17 photo by Greg Miller
I led a trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas November 16-23 for Wildside Nature Tours. We had a very chilly start but ended up with a nice list of birds. Here’s my trip report. If you are stuck inside on a cold evening, this will probably warm you up a little. Texas birds are pretty magical. I bet you’ll sleep better.
“Thee Creature of Extreme Awesomeness“, Sword-billed Hummingbird hovering – Guango EC – 2014-08-14 photo by Greg Miller
Nothing like a little shooting at the local mall to keep me indoors long enough to complete a trip report on the most phenomenal birding adventure I have ever experienced. Ecuador. It is a fantastic place full of thousands of orchids, fresh fruit all year (no seasons), deliciously strong, dark coffee, 16,000-foot mountains with cloud forests in the West, the Amazon Basin rainforests in the East, many wonderful people, and bird diversity like nowhere else in the Western Hemisphere (and arguably, the World).
I've finally waded through 8,000+ photos. My amateur strategy for good photos=volume. When shooting, it's easy to say “It's digital” and shoot away. What is harder is going through the results of that “digital” logic. Volume takes a lot of time. But I have to say that I like taking photos. And lots of them. In the end, I ended up with a number of decent photos that were very satisfying to me.
I have to say that I enjoy photography enough that I actually am willing to put some work into becoming better. Why? Well. Because I want to. Here are few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them, too.
It is hard to believe just a week ago I was delayed multiple times in the Atlanta airport on my way north to meet the Polar Vortex. I am still going through the 8,000+ photos I took at the end of January in wonderfully warm Florida. Sigh. But the photos get interrupted by shoveling snow…and going to work. This bird was photographed during Wildside Nature Tours Florida Birds Photo Workshop. In the mean time, here is another animated GIF file–a series of six photos of a diving Pied-billed Grebe that I found quite interesting. Check out how the bird seems to sink slightly before diving. And watch its back feet kick water upward to get some force downward on its dive. Very cool!
Pied-billed Grebe diving – Viera Wetlands – Melbourne FL – 2014-01-27 photos by Greg Miller
Yes. It has been forever since my last post. I just returned from a 10-day trip to Florida for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and a Florida Birds Photo Workshop with Wildside Nature Tours. I am going through my 8,000+ photos while occasionally glancing up at possibly the most boring of Super Bowl games ever. Even the commercial are mediocre. Well. Here is something new. I will try inserting an animated picture here. It is not a video. And I am sure it will not work in the email form of this blog (sorry). I will have plenty to post in the coming days.
Great Blue Heron eating large fish – Viera Wetlands FL – 2014-01-28 photos by Greg Miller
Yep. I’m behind on my target list for Panama. I’m behind with my blogging. I’m behind at work. I’m behind with half a dozen other projects. Sigh. It happens. What’s hollering the loudest? Panama, of course. It still seems just like a dream. But it’s only just 2 months away! I am writing tonight because there’s been some shuffling on the roster and there are now 6 spaces available. I know it is a last minute proposition but this is a great opportunity. The trip is with Wildside Nature Tours and is January 18-25, 2014. Full info can be found here.
Are you afraid you will be sleeping in mosquito nets? Roughing it without electricity? Eating canned food? Haha. Check out this short video from the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Maybe you are afraid I will push you to build your bird list at a relentless pace? Relax. We will get to see tons of birds and enjoy them, too! And wowzers! Have you seen any of the fabulous butterflies in Panama? Check out a few of these pics! And don’t forget the fantastic flowers! Pretty awesome, eh?
Did you know you can use U.S. dollars in Panama? And we are only gonna stay in one spot–no need to pack up your bags and move around every couple days. The hikes will be relatively easy–so easy, in fact, that I can do it. 🙂 Here is a longer YouTube video (unofficial) of the lodge and surrounding grounds.
Ok. I’m done for the evening. Sweet dreams (it’s brisk tonight in Ohio as the temperature is slated to drop below freezing). Just imagine how cold it will be in January. Now replace that with a warm, tropical breeze and a comfy hammock.
Greetings from Nebraska! I’m en route to Brighton, CO for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s BBQ with the Birds on October 5, 2013. I just had a great weekend at Pt. Pelee with the Ontario Field Ornithologists. More on that in another blog.
Previously I posted 2014 Target Birds 1-10 & 11-20 & 21-30. Today we will look at 31-40. These represent the most commonly reported birds in Panama in late January in eBird. I am using what eBird refers to as Frequency of Checklists. This is a number that uses the total number of checklists that have a particular species checked divided by the total number of checklists submitted. It is the percent of checklists that have reported this species. eBird data was accessed on 8/26/2013 to retrieve this list. Late January? Yes. This is to coincide with Wildside Nature Tours trip Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller, January 18-25. Ready for those target birds? Here we go:
Most Frequently Reported Birds in Panama for late January #31-40
Previously I posted 2014 Target Birds 1-10 & 11-20. Today we will look at 21-30. These represent the most commonly reported birds in Panama in late January in eBird. I am using what eBird refers to as Frequency of Checklists. This is a number that uses the total number of checklists that have a particular species checked divided by the total number of checklists submitted. It is the percent of checklists that have reported this species. eBird data was accessed on 8/26/2013 to retrieve this list. Late January? Yes. This is to coincide with Wildside Nature Tours trip Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller, January 18-25. Ready for those target birds? Here we go:
Most Frequently Reported Birds in Panama for late January #21-30
Yes. I have got the Tropics on my mind. I’m already thinking about cold weather and winter and that white stuff on the ground. And if you live in the Great Lakes Region like I do you already know that late January can be wicked cold. In fact, the third week of January is often one of the coldest periods of the year. The deep freeze of winter temperatures bare their teeth in January. This is part of the genius of the timing of the 2014 Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller coordinated by Wildside Nature Tours. The dates in 2014 are January 18-25. Perfect. And did I mention the birds? OH. MY. GOSH.
Broad-billed Motmot. Panama. Photo by Kevin Loughlin