I was very excited to get a photo of this beautiful lark sparrow! House sparrows are very common in my area, and can be somewhat annoying, so most people don’t give a second thought to sparrows. However, a couple of years ago I spotted my first “not a house sparrow” and have been fascinated with sparrows ever since. I really enjoy spotting the subtle differences and find that all sparrows are beautiful in their own way. I must say, I think that lark sparrows are stunning;-) I think I am going to see how many different sparrows I can spot this summer; lark sparrow #1.
While I was out and about today I also spotted some of my old friends. There is nothing better than enjoying God’s gifts on a beautiful spring day!
The forecast for today was sunny with the highs in the mid 60s, so of course, I decided I needed to get out with my camera. I drove to Fulton, Illinois to once again check to see what kind of waterfowl I could photograph. I have never been to this area when there were fewer birds on the water! Of course there were a few American coots.
There was also a pair of American white pelicans.
American White Pelican
My favorite was a group of wood ducks. After trying for several years, I finally got a decent shot of a beautiful male.
Other than those three subjects, there were only a few egrets and herons that were too far away to photograph. So I decided to see if I could get a few photos of some songbirds. I was not disappointed! After several years of trying to photograph an eastern towhee, I finally got my chance today;-)
There was also a beautiful brown thrasher that really wanted to make himself heard. This is the first time I have seen a thrasher in a tree. Usually they are on the ground in and around dense brush.
Finally, I spotted this beautiful tree swallow. I have always found these swallows difficult to photograph. There is something about the contrasting colors, and the sheen on the feathers that make it difficult for me to get a sharp photo.
It was a beautiful, productive morning. Tomorrow I am heading to the Quad City area to see what I can find at Sunset Marina, Nahant Marsh, and Credit Island. The weather is supposed to be great, so no mater what, it is going to be a great day!
I was so happy this week when I looked out my window to find my bird feeders full of goldfinches! When I saw their vibrant yellow bodies flitting about I knew that spring was truly here.
After several days of 80 degree weather, today we got some rain and temperatures were a good 20 degrees cooler. It was sweatshirt time once again for my afternoon hike. I decided to go to Geneseo Prairie Park to see if I could spot any birds. Right away I saw several bluebirds; unfortunately, I could never get close enough to get a good shot. However, I was happy to get some photos of a blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern phoebe, tufted titmouse, and white-breasted nuthatch. I am so happy that spring has finally arrived!
Today my friend Bill and I traveled up to the Fulton/Thompson, Illinois area in hopes of photographing some of the waterfowl stopping in the area during spring migration. We are not sure if we were early or late for the migration, but there were very few birds to be seen. We saw a few scaups, blue-winged teals, and lots of coots. But the big number of birds we were hoping for were not there. So, we traveled even further north along the Mississippi River to Green Island, Illinois. The Green Island area is also a hot spot for spring migration, but again, not too many birds. One thing we did see was this swan. There were actually four of them all with the same coloring. They looked, and sounded like trumpeter swans, but we have never seen this color variation. What do you think? Is this a trumpeter swan?
The outdoors was calling my name today! We had a very subtle warm-up (mid 50s), sunny skies, and very little wind. After spending an afternoon outside with my grandson, I decided to stop by our local prairie park to spend a little more time in the beautiful outdoors. The very first bird I saw was the yellow-rumped warbler. It was exciting to find something new so close to home. I spent about two hours hiking, and just before I left for home I spotted the second “new-to-me” bird of the day, the brown creeper. I am planning to stop by Prairie Park again tomorrow:-)
Ring-necked Duck and Canvasback
Juvenile Bald Eagle
Although the day started out with cloudy skies and a few light showers, I decided to head out with my camera. I drove to Fulton, Illinois which is about 45 minutes from my house. My friend Bill was up there on Saturday and said that he had spotted some different duck species in the area. Bill and I do a lot of photography trips together, but this weekend our schedules didn’t match. If you get a chance, you should visit his blog The Rural Path, where he chronicles his nature sightings as he travels about.
The weather had cleared somewhat by the time I made it up to Fulton, so I was able to get few shots without too much trouble. A little bit later the showers moved in, and I had to be a bit more patient. I was only out for a few hours, but I felt it turned out to be a pretty fantastic day:-)