Tuesday, September 30, 2008

South Dakota - Bison

While we were in the Black Hills(Custer State Park), we took a Bison Safari which was very cool. They actually take you off road up into the hills and right into the Bison herd. There are about 1500 in the herd and you get quite close to them throughout the tour. Here are a couple of shots.



Monday, September 29, 2008

South Dakota - Black-billed Magpie

Here are a few more shots of the Black-billed Magpie. Not the most fantastic shots overall, but it is such a cool bird, I thought they were worth posting.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie

Sunday, September 28, 2008

South Dakota - Black-billed Magpie

This bird was a close second in terms of a 'coolness' factor on the trip. I have a few more shots of the bird showing the wonderful coloring which I'll post over the next few days. It's much larger than I was expecting and they were very curious birds. Again, these were all around the cottage we were staying at in the Badlands. I never really expected to see the numbers of birds in the Badlands that I did. I fully expected to see more birds while in the Black Hills, but as it turned out, the majority of my photos came while in the Badlands.

Black-billed Magpie (1 of 2)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

South Dakota - Spotted Towhee

Well, here is another new bird for me, and probably the highlight of the trip in terms of birds. I was hoping to see one, but didn't expect it since this wasn't really a birding trip. I was pleasantly surprised to find this guy right next to our cottage in the Badlands.

Spotted Towhee (1 of 2)

Spotted Towhee (2 of 2)

Friday, September 26, 2008

South Dakota - Horned Lark

I was also able to see a number of horned Larks (another new bird for me) while in the Badlands. This particular bird was on the ground and at first appeared as though injured, although by visual inspection looked basically fine. He never flew away but definitely was wary.

Horned Lark

Horned Lark

Thursday, September 25, 2008

South Dakota - Mountain Bluebirds

Well, I'm back from my trip to South Dakota and have been steadily working my way through all of the photos I took. We spent a few days in the Badlands and actually saw quite a bit of wildlife including some new birds for me. So here is the first of many posts about our trip to South Dakota.
I had never seen a Mountain Bluebird before this trip and they were plentiful and also quite stunning in the sun.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What bird?

Hey All,

I'll be heading out of town for the next 10 days and will hopefully have a few shots to share when I get back. For the time being I thought I would leave you with the shots below. When I was looking through my shots after the trip I thought this was a terrible shot of the back of a bird on a branch with the majority of it's body behind the trunk of the tree. I'm not sure what it is . . . maybe a Brown Thrasher . . .

Brown Creeper

However, if you look a bit closer you'll see that there are actually two birds in this shot!
Brown Creeper Close Up

Can you see the brown creeper! Man that bird camouflaged!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Rocks in Water

Here is another experiment with a long exposure. Although it may look like fog, it is actually just a 4 second exposure as the water rushed over and around the rocks.

Water Rocks

Saturday, September 06, 2008

North Shore Cabin

Here is the cabin we stayed at on the North Shore. It is just south of Tofte, MN and is a wonderful place to spend some quiet time.

Cabin on the North Shore

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hummingbird Wars 2

Here are a couple more shots of those Hummingbirds!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hummingbird Wars

The cabin we stay at has a hummingbird feeder right outside one of windows and the Hummingbird wars were raging on almost the entire time we were there. I believe that there were 4 different birds competing for the feeder at any given time. So I removed the screen from the window sat in a chair and shot these photos. The birds were so close that none of the photos have been cropped. They are such cool birds, so there will be more photos tomorrow!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

North Shore Sunsets

Here are a couple more sunset shots.

North Shore Sunset (2 of 3)

North Shore Sunset (3 of 3)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Wizards of the North Shore

Every year we are also visited by a Merlin and this year was no exception. This one spent it's evening dining on the hundreds of dragon flys that were flying about. This is one acrobatic bird in the air. We watched him chase and eat for about a 1/2 hour. Very cool!!!

Merlin (1 of 2)

Merlin (2 of 2)

Monday, September 01, 2008

North Shore Landscapes

Well, as I stated previously, I took a number of landscape shots while up on the shore and I spent quite a bit of time working with long exposures near sunset. Here's one of the shots I really liked . . . I hope you enjoy it as well.

North Shore Sunset (1 of 3)