Sunday, June 10, 2012

Volo Bog - May 27, 2012 - Birds Post #1

So I've been doing a crazy amount of shooting.  And working a full time 'day job'.  Which means that I have a massive backlog of pictures to edit and post.  So I'm going to try to make shorter, more frequent posts to get caught up.

Memorial Day weekend I shot more than 2000 pictures.  Of course, half of them were utter garbage, but that's still a lot of pictures to sort and organize and edit and.. whatever!

That Saturday I went to all three Lincoln Park ponds.  It was about nine hours of shooting.  It wanted to rain on me just a little in the morning, but it cleared up about 8:30 and I was good.

On Sunday I drove out to Volo Bog since I hadn't been there in ages.  We'd been warned all weekend that it would be warm - hot, really - on Sunday, so I planned accordingly.  I had a liter of Gatoraide, a liter of water, pickles, sandwiches, sunscreen, the whole nine yards.

I still don't think that prepared me for a 5 mile hike in 100 degree (F) weather.  I made both loops that I wanted to, but I didn't spend nearly the time I wanted to chasing butterflies and things like that.  It was just too hot.  In fact there were times when I'd just find a place where a tree made a little shade and plop down on the grassy path and rest and hydrate.

The kinds of flowers I was used to seeing there weren't out yet.  I guess most of them are late summer/early fall bloomers.  There was no mammal activity, which was disappointing.  There were a bunch of butterflies and dragonflies, but it was so warm that they were so energized and never sat still long enough to get a good shot of many of them.

That said, it was still a good hike and I did get quite a few good shots.

Tree Swallow(42 - 2012)
 This was one of my favorites from the whole day.  This is a Tree Swallow.  Clearly he wasn't too concerned with me getting reasonably close.  He was just singing his little heart out up there on his nesting box.

This is him form further back.  He kind of looks menacing from here, but clearly he really wasn't. :)
Eastern Kingbird (043 - 2012)
 This is one of the first sites that greeted me when I got there.  This is an Eastern Kingbird.  He's most easily recognized from the back by the white band on his tail.  Apparently, according to one of the posters in the Visitor's Center, these are very common birds in Illinois.  I'm pretty certain I've never seen one before.
 He was nice enough to turn and show me his head after a minute.
 And then he showed me the other side too!

So those were two of the most major spottings for the trip.  There were other birds that were more significant that I'll get to soon, but those shots, unfortunately didn't come out as well.

Total Identified Species Sited for the Year: 43
Total Unidentified Species Sited for the Year: 1
Total New Species: 25

Tree Swallow*
Eastern Kingbird*

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