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