Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A few more shots from last Saturday . . .

So I had quickly gone through my photos with my father on Saturday and pulled out a few that we liked. One of the things that we forgot was that we had seen a Rough-Legged Hawk (Dark Morph). It basically flew righ over our heads while we were watching the owls. So it was a few quick shots of the bird and then back to the owls. I had forgotten about the shot until I was able to sort through the photos today. So here is a shot of the Dark Morph and another shot of an owl, that truly look like it's built for speed!

Rough-Legged Hawk (Dark Morph):
Rough-Legged Hawk (Dark Morph)

Short-eared bullet:
Short-eared Owl

Camera Equipment

After posting my Owl and Hawk pictures, I had a number of people ask about what kind of equipment I was using. For almost all of the shots posted on the blog (there are a few exceptions) I use a Canon 20D and Sigma 50-500 (commonly referred to as the "Bigma"). I have been pretty successful with this lens, although if I could afford it, I sure would like to get a 500mm lens with Image Stabilization. This would make those hand held shots a lot more likely to succeed. Thanks again to all that visited and asked questions.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Short-eared and Rough-Legged

My father and I went to Carlos Avery again tonight to see the Short-eared Owls. We had a great night seeing a Northern Shrike (a new bird for both of us) a number of Rough-Legged Hawks and at least 12 or so Short-eared owls. We both had a great time seeing the birds, walking down the trails, and finally at home looking through the photos I had taken on our visit. I have to say it was a really nice time. I took a lot of pictures tonight so I'm going to post 4 photos instead of my normal 2. I hope that you enjoy . . .

Short-eared Owls:
Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Rough-Legged Hawk:
Rough Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Short Earred Owls

Well, there was an impromptu meeting of birders up at Carlos Avery WMA due to the many Short Earred Owls flying over the marshes. It was the first time I had seen one of these owls and we all got quite a show. I would guess there were 8-10 owls flying around just before dusk. I took a lot of photos, but with the low light conditions and moving targets, I wasn't terribly successful at getting a good shot. Either way, it was a very neat experience for me. I'm hoping to get out there again since the birds are supposedly still present. Here's the best shot that I got.

Short Earred Owl

Monday, November 27, 2006

Carlos Avery Again

Well, unfortunately I have not gotten out very much since my trip to the north shore, but I was able to get for a few hours over the weekend. I guess you take what you can get and enjoy it as much as possible. Here are 2 more birds that I can add to my photography life list. I've seen both of these birds before, but I've never gotten a decent shot of them. I hope you enjoy:

Rough-legged Hawk:
Rough Legged Hawk

Female Pheasant:
Pheasant (Female)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Warbler Migration . . .

Well, the warbler migration is happening and we've had a lot of birds coming through the yard over the last 10 days or so. Unfortunately, the first weekend of birds coming through I didn't have my camera, and that was to bad because we really had some neat birds. Anyway, here are some pictures that I took today:

American Redstart:

Chestnut Sided Warbler:

Tennessee Warbler (and a Chickadee):

Friday, August 25, 2006

More from the North Shore

My father and I really did have a good time birding up on the North Shore this year. The first few days didn't yield much, but each day got a little better than the last and we ended up seeing quite a few warblers. Here are a few more shots from that trip:

NOTE: Thanks to those that noticed I had mis-identified the first picture as a Yellow Warbler. It is now correctly labeled. :)

Cape May Warbler:
Yellow Warbler

Ruby-throated Hummingbird:
Ruby-throated Humming Bird

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The North Shore

Well, it's been a long time since I have posted photos, but I think people will like these shots. I spent a bit of time up on the North Shore this week and I had a great time birding with my Dad. We had a bit of success and most of all we really enjoyed ourselves. I'll be posting more photos from this trip over the next few days/weeks. Here are the photos!

Yellow Rumped Warbler:
Yellow Rumped Warbler

Black Throated Blue Warbler:
Black-throated Blue Warbler

Monday, August 07, 2006

Out of Date . . .

Hello All,

I apologize for not posting to this blog for quite some time. Unfortunately, the lens that I use needed a repair an it's been in the shop for the last few months. I still have not gotten it back. However, I will be posting again soon as I will be taking a trip to the North Shore and I friend has been kind enough to let me use his lens for the trip. Hopefully I get some good shots, but either way I post some photos in a couple of weeks. Thanks for you patience and I hope that you all haven't lost interest in my blog.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hopes of the young . . .

I have had the pleasure of a pair of Red Shouldered hawks nesting in my yard this spring. I posted a few photos of them earlier this spring, so consider this post an update on there progress. The currently have 2 young in the nest and the parents are quite attentive, as it seems that at least one of them is always on nest protecting, while the other is out hunting for food. The one hunting brings food back to the nest, and starts to feed the young while the other takes their turn at hunting. It's been wonderful to see this from the start. Here's a picture I took this last weekend:

Red Shouldered Hawks:
Red Shouldered Hawks on Nest

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mother Goose . . .

So as promised, here is a photo of Geese & Goslings . . . although it did take me a bit longer than expected to get this photo posted. :)

Canada Goose & Goslings

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Just a quick visit . . .

So I needed to drive up near Carlos Avery last night, so I thought on the way back from my errand I would just make a quick drive through a small part of the WMA. I figured about 30-45 minutes. Well 2 1/2 hours later, the sun was going down and I was still shooting pictures with a smile on my face. How is it that every time I go into Carlos Avery I see something new and exciting? Last night, the Sandhill Cranes were putting on a show, and were close enough that I was able to get a few shots. I also, had the opportunity to add the Eastern Kingbird to my life list for photographs! It was a truly wonderful night, I only wish I had gotten there a bit earlier so I would have had more time . . .

Eastern Kingbird:
Eastern Kingbird

Sandhill Cranes:
Sandhill Cranes

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Muddy and Rainy . . . but still good!

Today was a bit rainy and muddy in Carlos Avery, but it still managed to show me a good time. I saw a decent variety of birds today and even got a few good shots off. Most days I hope to get 1, maybe 2 good shots, well today I had 4 that I wanted to share! I'd say that's a pretty good day! I also have a few shots of Geese and Goslings that I'll probably post sometime over the next few days, so check back for those.

American Goldfinch:
American Goldfinch

Tree Swallow:

Yellow Warbler (this isn't the greatest shot, but it's such pretty bird . . .):

Red Winged Blackbird (female):

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Unknown Birds . . . are now known!

I can't thank everyone enough who replied with answers to these once unknown birds! The Thrush seemed to be the hardest to identify but Swainsons was by far the most popular answer.

Swainsons Thrush (Back Yard):
UnknownBird 3

Ruby Crowned Kinglet (Carlos Avery):
Unknown Bird

Red Tailed Hawk (Imm) (Carlos Avery):

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Abundant but quick . . .

There are a lot of Tree Swallows in Carlos Avery but they are very difficult to get a decent picture of because you almost always see them flying and not perched. There flight is usually quick and erratic and many times over water at a distance which complicates it even more. This little fellow though was quite considerate and sat atop a sign post for about 5 minutes and allowed me the time to get into a good position to take a shot of him.

Tree Swallow:
Tree Swallow

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Never Disappointed

Carlos Avery seems to always lift my spirits, and allows me great opportunities to see birds. I added two more to my photography life list! I hope you enjoy these:

Northern Flickers:
Northern Flicker

Palm Warbler:
Palm Warbler

A little help for my friends . . .

Last weekend, when it was raining so hard and my Dad and I couldn't get out, I decided to build a couple bird houses to put up in the yard in hopes of having a few spring time visitors. Here are couple pictures of the bird houses, and if anyone wants the plans for these they are quite simple to build. I think it took less than an hour to build both.

BirdHouse BirdHouse-2

Monday, May 01, 2006

Oh the rain . . .

Well it's been raining for almost 3 straight days now. My Dad and I were planning on going out this weekend to do a little birding but the weather just didn't cooperate. We were hopeful and kept our plans for Sunday morning, all the way up to the end. It just wouldn't stop raining so we postponed our plans and will probably go later this week if we get the chance. So for now I'll post some more photos from my last outing. Red Winged Blackbirds are abundant in Carlos Avery and so they almost always present opportunities for photographs, but I have never had a good shot of a female. . . until this last time out. So here is a pair of Red Wings:



Thursday, April 27, 2006

What a day!

Well I took a little time away from the office today and took another drive through Carlos Avery. As usual, it didn't disappoint and I was able to see quite a few birds today. They had a Prescribed burn this morning so there was a bit of smoke in the air but not enough to present any problems. It was another beautiful sunny day and even if I hadn't seen any birds, it would have been a successful trip. Here are just a couple of the photos from today. I'll post more tomorrow or the next day.

By the way, if I have any of my identifications wrong on any of my photos, please let me know! :)

Song Sparrow:
Song Sparrow

Monday, April 24, 2006

A beautiful day to be out . . .

Yesterday was a bright sunny day, probably not the best for taking pictures, but it wusre was nice to be out at Carlos Avery again. It was more crowded than I've seen it in a while, but with a day like that, how can you blame people for wanting to be outside. I saw lots of birds, but I have to admit, with as many people as there were, most of them had collected in the center of the park so it was quite difficult to see, and definitely not good for photographs. With all of that said, I was able to get a few shots.

Wood Duck:
Wood Duck

Bald Eagle:
Bald Eagle

Friday, April 21, 2006

Non-Minnesota Pictures?

I realize that this blog is about photography in Minnesota, but I took a trip down to Florida last January with my Mother and we spent a lot of time taking pictures of birds at Ding Darling National Park, and the Corkscrew Swamp. These two pictures happen to be from the Corkscrew swamp, but I liked them and thought I would share them.

Northern Parula:
Northern Parula

Gray Catbird:
Gray Catbird

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Carlos Avery Again?

I had forwarded this blog to my sister and she was quite excited aout some of the pictures I had taken, but she asked if I had any pictures of Great Blue Herons. So here ya go sis, this is a picture of a Great Blue Heron that I took last week at Carlos Avery. I'm also including a picture of Red Winged Blackbird . . . just because I can:)

Great Blue Heron:
Blue Heron

Red Winged Blackbird:
Red Winged Blackbird

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Barred Owl

Over the last few years we have had a pair of Barred Owls living in our neighborhood and I've taken numerous photos of them. At Christmas this year, we had the family over and the owl flew into our yard and landed in a tree right outside our bedroom window. The entire family had a great opportunity to see this wonderful bird. After everyone had gotten there fill of watching the bird, I snuck out the front door and around the house and took a series of pictures. Here's one that I really liked:

Barred Owl:

Monday, April 17, 2006

Carlos Avery WMA

Last week my father and I went birding up at Carlos Avery WMA (see the link on the right). We were a little early for the migration so I'm hoping that this week will yield a few more birds. Even though we were a bit early we did see some nice birds and probably identified about 20 different species. All and all, we had a really nice afternoon. Here are a couple pictures from outing:

Eastern Bluebird:

Canada Goose on it's nest:

Friday, April 14, 2006

Another visitor in the yard . . .

I've been working in my home office lately, and right outside my office window a pair of Eastern Phoebes have decided to make a nest on top of the flood lights on the side of my house. Here's a picture of our new house mate:


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wild Turkey in the Back Yard!

This spring has been fun since we've had so many birds in the yard. The wild turkeys come through almost every day now, and have been roosting in the oak trees in our yard at night. They appear to like the small clearing just off our deck so they spend quite a bit of time strutting around, gobbling and making a good show for us. Here are a couple photographs of the birds from about a week ago:



Red Shouldered Hawks!

A few weeks ago I heard a hawk calling repeatedly outside my window. So I went out to investigate and found that we had a pair of Red Shouldered hawks building a nest in my backyard! I was quite excited to see this and wanted to share a couple pictures that I've taken in the last week or so. I'm pretty sure that I'll have more opportunities to photograph these birds so there will be more posts and pictures in the future.

Here is the female in front of her nest:


Here is the pair mating:

Hawk Pair

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

. . . and so it begins!

I've spent more and more time over the last couple years learning to identify birds. The main focus that I've had is taking photographs of birds in and around my home in Minnesota. When I first started it took quite a bit of time learning how to photograph birds, especially smaller birds that tend to "flit" about. I have a lot more to learn but the journey sure is fun! I hope that those who read this blog enjoy my thoughts and pictures.