Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here I Am, Looking Down A Hole Again

American White Pelicans always know how to look good.

WEEKEND WEEKEND WEEKEND WEEKEND yup, its the weekend. For much of the year, you'll find me living The Perpetual Weekend, sleeping in a lot and birding at will. But this time of year a weekend actually means something, since I am servant to the plovers 5-6 days a week. So happy Saturday to you. Saturday is actually the least popular day of the week to be posting a blog, but as you know I'm not Mr. Popularity in the blogosphere. I mean, look at me...I'm a birdwatcher, my photography is....unprofessional, and I swear a lot. That eliminates almost the entire world as my potential readership. Which is why I'm so happy that you're here!

Friday was uneventful, although positive. Bad weather means a painfully boring day in the office, but I managed to take off early and make a shopping trip to Minot...looking around Goodwill was a waste of time, but I picked up some Howard Zinn and Edward Abbey books afterwards, with a case of Schmidt (a hilariously packaged cheap beer) and a bottle of "Choice" Jim Beam, which is aged 5 years. I'm not sure how aged their regular stuff is (anyone know? I would guess 2-3 years), but apparently its less...Yup, I'm a high roller.

"Bourbon" is in the title of this blog ya know, I gotta give it some lip service once in a while.

Look. Look at this fucking bird. It's a Baird's Sparrow. A BAIRD'S SPARROW!!!!! This is probably the most sought-after bird on the prairie, and I get to meet them almost daily. I tell you, there is nothing like getting bombarded by Baird's Sparrow and Sprague's Pipit songs at the same time.....straight up goosebumps, man. Photo with work camera and work scope.

Piping Plovers, as I have mentioned, are not happy campers this year. A couple pairs have resorted to nesting on roads. As you can see, plovers are masters at the art of camouflage...

Least Flycatcher, one my few common yard birds. Che-bek!

How is your summer? Bird of your local birdlife already? What a bunch of ingrates! All of you should come here and bird with me. I will take you to the Bairded One. For free! Then we can drink whiskey in my trailer. Sound like a vacay or what? No?

I have begun plotting some fall work...not much up on my personal radar but you never know what will pop up. Picture me birding.

I've only run into one pair of Mountain Bluebirds here so far, but as always it is an intense experience. If I was completely colorblind and suddenly could see the full spectrum, the first thing I would want to look at would be this bird. 

These violets got a bit violent with the wind.


  1. hee. Yes re: colorblind firsties. That'd be a great pick.

    I've been frustrated in the past trying to photograph dancing flowers, but so many were moving in your picture it's a nice effect.

    Not been birding, but an ash-throated flycatcher perched on our fruitless pear (?!? I don't know non-natives at ALL) was QUITE the beauty. Bold and handsome. Lovely subtle lemon-yellow under parts (pardon technical terminology), rusty tail, LONG creature, cool hairdo.

    That's a great shot of the bluebird. Very very nice, simple composition.

    A vermillion flycatcher would be nice if I'd lost my color vision too, tho' that much color that early might be dangerous.

  2. P.S. obsessed with road ecology & your plover nest shot is such a painful example of how directly roads pick off wildlife for ever and ever. Which is why I'm a HUGE advocate of roadkill studies as they are low tech (cheap & easy) & help give you the "d" in the population growth rate = birth rate - death rate super basic ecology equation of "so, how ARE these animals doing? Are they gonna, you know, go away?!?"

  3. Road ecology...truly a dark part of ecology. This nest is actually still active (its on my refuge's auto tour route), hopefully it can fledge some chicks! Glad you had the Ash-throated visitor, even if it has such a boring name. Long Flycatcher would be better. Looking at a Vermilion, after seeing many over the years, is still a dangerous experience...