Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Season of Bluebird Nest Monitoring

Since early April, I have been heading out to Afton State Park, volunteering to keep tabs on 10 bluebird next boxes. It has been interesting every week, with something new to offer. I haven't take many photos, but decided to take at least a couple this last time out there, just for the memories. Boxes are often put up in pairs, as Tree swallows will often compete with Bluebirds for the same spot. The two species can often tolerate one another as neighbors, but will not tolerate another of their kind so close. I did not have such an experience with my nests this season, but so goes the theory.

The most intriguing occurance this week was seeing two Monarch butterflies connected in what I assume to be a mating coupling. The 'top' butterfly was able to fly all over the place with relative ease all while remaining attached to the 'bottom' butterfly. That was amazing to me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Western Kingbirds in Anoka County

I re-found this family of birds reported by Chris Brown. The parents were hawking insects and feeding the begging babies

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Glory

Caught a few flower photos today, missed an awesome cloud formation. Some before and after rain showers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bluebird Territory on a Windy Day

I have been monitoring bluebird nesting boxes at Afton State Park since April and Sunday was really windy. Watching the stiff breeze move the grasses was mesmerizing and I wanted to share a bit of that feeling.Later it was still blustery. In this clip you can see cloud shadows race across the grass and one of the bluebird houses I check at the end (after I shake when getting bit by a fly)

The Photographer within

Now that migration has settled down, I am exploring the world with my camera (Fuji S700) and am slowly learning how to take pictures that please me. It's an exciting process trying to capture the feeling I get when I see something I feel is worth preserving and sharing with others. The challenge is to preserve it in a way that is compelling and beautiful. Here are a few recent samples:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Birds, birds, birds

I have been doing quite a bit of birdwatching since March when the waterfowl migration begins. I would say I have put at least 2000 miles on my car just birding since then (gas prices be damned!!) and have been out as far as South Dakota, MacGregor and St. Peter since my last post. Reward? I have 205 species for the year, only 3 short of my best ever total from last year and I've got 6 months to go! More later...BTW these are not my photos! I borrowed them from elsewhere. Thank-you to the creators of these fine shots of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-crowned Night Heron, Broad-winged Hawk