I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since this trip and I still have quite a few photos to share. Not much time or gumption to post much lately. Here are some photos of one of the more abundant shorebirds we had on this particular visit – the Semipalmated Sandpiper. It was fun and interesting to see so many individuals up close. You can really see variations in individual plumages at this time of year, as I hope this collection shows
Long-eared Owls Finally!
The Long-eared Owl has been on my top most wanted list for adding to my photographed species list for nearly 15 years. During this past New Years Eve, I finally found that opportunity.
Long-eared Owls are a bit different in that they hold and keep winter roosting sites, sometimes using the same trees or a single tree for these winter roosts year after year. This was the case here, where we found five birds roosting in a couple of exotic pine trees. Unfortunately, all but the one pictured here were too far in the mix of branches to be photographed. I am sure happy to have this one.
I had heard that this species is particularly weary, flushing with the least provocation. I did not find this to be the case at all with this group. Yes, this was a hard to find location and they do not likely see many visitors. When we stepped from the car they did become aware, moving their heads back and forth to get better looks at us from between branches. But, with keeping low voices, slow movements and respectful distances, they got used to our presence fairly quickly. I was even amused that they began ignoring us, turning their backs to us, going back to sleep and having what seemed to me normal behaviors and interactions. We stayed until dusk at which point they began stirring, moving from perch to perch and interacting with one another. This was too dark for still photographs but I did collect a little bit of video that I hope to process and share someday.
I know this is a sought after species in our region. This roost is on private property in which we were invited. I will not be able to share the location information for this site. Thanks for understanding.
Sedge Wren – August 2022
A cooperative Sedge Wren from August of last year.
Some Winter Songbirds (Mostly Sparrows)
Here are a few songbirds I’ve photographed over the past couple of winter seasons.
Kentucky Warbler – Spring 2022
From a late May trip to Weldon Springs Conservation Area. I found this Kentucky Warbler with some insects, presumably on its way to provision some chicks in a nearby nest.
Peregrine Falcons 2022 Season – Part 3
In this post, mom continues to provision the chicks with freshly caught birds. The chicks are beginning to try out their wings and are on the verge of fledging.
Peregrine Falcons 2022 Season – Part 1
Miguel and I spent a few hours in the spring and early summer of 2022 photographing a pair of Peregrine Falcons in Madison County, IL during their nesting season. In this first post, the photos were taken in March. There were likely no eggs in the nest at this point and the pair was bonding by the male bringing in food for the female and the two soaring the skies of their territory. It wound up being a pretty dramatic nesting season. Lots more pics to follow.
Blackpoll Warbler – Spring 2022
I’m calling this striking bird a juvenile male Blackpoll Warbler. Feel free to let me know if you disagree. Found on May 22, 2022 at Little Creve Coeur Ecological Area.
Mondays are for the Birds – Connecticut Warbler
“Raptors” of 2021/2022 Winter Season
I know that at least one of these birds pushes the definition of a raptor a little far, but, there is no denying that each of the birds featured in this post is a truly horrific predator if your are unfortunate enough to be considered their prey. It’s been a lot of fun this season shooting these birds. I get out as much as I reasonably can and although it looks like the season is turning over, I’ll have a lot more photos of these birds to share in the following weeks.
That is all for tonight. I will hopefully have more photos of these species to share soon.