Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Dark and Dreary Day...and damp...and drizzly...and actually two days...that were damp...and dank..and...

 Yes. That American Wigeon IS crashing into the butt of the one in front of him.
Some kids just don't pay attention...must have been texting... really was a dark and dreary day in Shreve for the annual  Migration Sensation....and damp...and cold...I wonder why I was sick the following least I kept my camera dry. Remind me to re-waterproof my boots...

I must say I did have a great time even with the questionable weather. I met up with a lot of old friends that I only see once a year, and made some new ones too! I spoke with my good buddy Karen from Black Swamp Bird Observatory and Robert from Time and Optics(watch for their new catalog coming soon with a few photos from yours truly!) Oh, did I mention PIE? HOMEMADE AMISH PIE? Yeah, I had that too! After wandering around the Shreve Elementary School where the festivities are held and listening to a couple of great talks from Jim McCormac and Cheryl Harner, I finally made it out for  some bird cruising around the farmland of Shreve.

Wright Marsh is always a great place for duckies and them lil wet birds...I would recommend bringing a scope...or a 1000mm lens if your budget allows. Some days you can get fairly close, this day, not so much. Oh, and when it's like this a flash would be better on your camera and not at home. At least I remembered my rain cover for the camera and lens...I spent the longest time slogging through the muck at Wright, I love that place. There's always something good to see and you never know from year to year. Remember waterproof boots. I'll remember next year...

This year brought the largest quantity of Sandhill Cranes I've ever seen! Probably a dozen on Saturday and another dozen on Sunday! And a few thousand ducks...and Tundra Swans! If you've never been to the Shreve Migration Sensation, look it up next year and make the effort to go. It's a small town and they put a lot of effort into it. It's very inexpensive to attend, only $15 this year. And there's pie.

 Yep,  m r ducks.
LOTS of them!
And that's not dirt on the top of my lens...that's more ducks zooming back and forth.

 There's otters out there...somewhere...I didn't see usual...

 This is why you should never fly below another American Wigeon.
That's gonna leave a mark...

 Canada Geeseseses are loud.
VERY loud.


 Whatever this Downy Woodpecker just ate made his hair stand on end...
Must have been a spicy one...

 This male Hooded Merganser was trying to keep a low profile as he was stalking that female...

 I saw a couple of Horned Grebes during the weekend.
This one even decided to get closer to see what I was doing on the ground.
"Silly man, you should be in the water!"

 ...still no...

 This pair of Sandhill Cranes were walking along the dike at Wright Marsh.

 There were dozens and dozens of my little Song Sparrow buddies singing up a storm.
Hey, maybe that's why it was raining!
 There must be good nom-noms in there!

 So many ducks, so far away...
The noise from the Tundra Swans was amazing to hear!

 The swans almost drowned out the Red-winged Blackbirds...almost...

 There's always an argument when you get that many together...
"We should migrate now! No, tomorrow!...No! NOW!...NO..."

 A few decided to leave...

 Anytime there was any movement, from me, the trains going past, the bald eagle flying over, everyone was up and away...flying in aimless circles, then landing again.

 I also went to Shreve Lake and the area around Funk Bottoms(I love that name!)
This was one of the Sandhill Cranes that zoomed around that day.

 It's always worth your time to check the flooded farm fields.
There were a few Northern Shovelers  on this day, there have been Eurasian Wigeons on other occasions.

 Yes, that's all ice  around there.
These early arrival Tree Swallows had to fly through and look for openings in the ice.

 Funk had dozens of Northern Pintails...and a Great Blue Heron...among the Mallards and Green-winged Teals in the area.

 LOTS of Pintails!

 That's all for now!

I'll see you soon with more birdies...and no otters!

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