It was a beautiful day here in the mid-west, and I couldn’t resist getting out to enjoy the weather. I decide to explore a new spot, the Morrison-Rockwood State Park in Morrison, Illinois. It is about a 50 minute drive from my house, which gave me an opportunity to reflect on my work day as I drove there. Finding the park was a bit of a challenge, but once I got there I was pleasantly surprised by the large lake and both woodland and prairie areas to explore. I definitely will have to come back when I have more time to see what the park has to offer. While I was there, I was excited to get a shot of this cute American tree sparrow. This is a new-to-me bird, and another sparrow to check off of my list.
The last few months I have been pulled in a number of different directions. There have been a lot of things that have needed to be taken care of, and leisure time has not been on that list. Things have settled down a bit, and finally I feel like I can set aside some time to get out with my camera. It feels good to be back:-)
This beautiful owl has found the perfect nesting spot (in my opinion). She has a clear view of what is going on around her, and I have a clear view of her for some great photo opportunities. Thank you to my friend Bill for sharing her nesting site with me. I have stopped by to see her three times, and all three times she has been on the nest. Therefore, I assume she is incubating her eggs. It is going to be very interesting to watch her raise her babies!
I was so excited to get a photo of this eastern meadowlark! All last summer I tried to get a photo of this very common, but skittish bird found along the farm fields in my area. Most of the time when I would see one I couldn’t get close enough to get a shot. Today was my lucky day! This handsome guy was more than happy to stay put and sing a beautiful song for me.
Now, I am off to check out what all of you have been up to in the last few months!
I am very fortunate to live in an area where eagles are frequent visitors in the winter. Along the Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 14 near LeClaire, Iowa eagles can be viewed during the winter months.
Last weekend my friend Bill and I spent the afternoon hoping to capture some eagle action. Things were pretty slow where the eagles were concerned. However, we enjoyed watching these beautiful goldeneyes swimming in the area.
We enjoyed watching several pelicans fishing in the quiet waters. It was a beautiful winter day with bright sunshine and temperatures in the upper 30s. It was a perfect day for a road trip with a good friend!
This is the third weekend in a row that we have been greeted with winter weather. This weekend we got just a couple of inches of snow. But, the real story is the bitter cold. Last night we had a low of -10 and the high today was only 0 degrees. Burrrrr! So, needless to say, I stayed inside as much as I could; luckily I got to view some beautiful birds in my backyard!
I was really excited to see a new-to-me bird at my feeder! It was a rusty blackbird and he stayed for only a few minutes. This was the first time I had seen this bird, and I didn’t actually know that this bird existed.
The starlings were very active at my feeders this weekend. I had not seen them since earlier in the fall. Even though they are considered a nuisance bird, I think that they are quite beautiful!
It was another wonderful weekend for “inside birding.” Hopefully the weather will turn around so that I can get outside and get more involved in some “active” birding.
After a very mild fall, I was beginning to think that winter was not coming this year. Today it finally decided to show itself by dropping nine inches of snow in my backyard. I am not a fan of our long, cold winters, however, there is one bright spot; I get a lot more traffic at my bird feeders!
The amazing weather continues here in the midwest. Today the sky was crystal clear and it was in the mid 60s. What more could you ask for in the middle of November? My friend Bill and I decided to travel up to theMississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna, Illinois. Bill wanted to look for a type of mushroom he wanted to use as a fire starter. He is really interested in finding different ways to start a fire when he is camping.
Our first stop along the way was the Thomson Causeway in Thomson, Illinois. We usually have good luck photographing something interesting in this area. As we pulled in we saw this beautiful blue heron.
There was not much else to see, so we decided our next stop would be the Palisades. It was still pretty early, and the wooded area was pretty dark, so we didn’t even take our cameras with us. We hiked around a bit, and found some fungus, but not the type that Bill was looking for. So, we moved on to the prairie area where the sun was much brighter. Right away we were greeted by several red-bellied woodpeckers.
Our next stop was Sabula, Iowa. We traveled down a road that we had never been on before. We discovered several areas that we thought would be great spots for the spring migration of water fowl. We also found a great place to launch our kayaks. Off in the distance we saw a large flock of pelicans.
On our way home we decided to drive along the dam in Fulton, Illinois. There are always birds to see along this stretch of road. Today things were quiet with coots being the main attraction. However, we did see several pied-billed grebes, and a beautiful female wood duck.
I didn’t see anything new or exciting on our trip today. However, I enjoyed being out in the beautiful weather, as well as the company of a great friend; it was a fantastic day!