Thursday, November 10, 2022

Harvest in the Moonlight

 Last evening I perched myself in the upstairs dormer window to catch the Waning Gibbous Moonrise which was to be at 6:10pm. 
I was pleased to see that the farmers were harvesting the corn in the fields behind us and photographed them working as the moon rose from the horizon. 
Not the best shots technically, but for subjects over a mile away and in the dark...they'll do. 
Thankful for the farmers and their crops...








Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Lunar Eclipse.....Yawn

 We got up at 3am... although neither of us really slept in anticipation of heading to the CJ Brown Marina to watch and photograph the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse. 
I had been out to the marina on two recon visits to see which point would be best for shooting foreground images and for the best viewing angle of the eclipse. Using the Photo Pills App, I decided that the Marina would be best. 
There's been lots of publicity about this eclipse. Full lunar eclipses happen about every 3 years, but this is actually the second one to occur in 2022 (there was one in May that was not viewable in the US). There won't be another until 2025.
Once we arrived, I set up my OM Systems OM-1 with the 100-400mm on a tripod to get full frame images as the eclipse evolved. I set up David's OM-1 with the Pana/ Leica 8-18mm to get scenic shots of the foreground. And...new this year, I set up the Vaonis Vespera to shoot automatically tracked images. 
The Vespera shoots the moon in grayscale, so I didn't plan on using it other that to be able to stay in the warm car and monitor the eclipse progress from my phone screen. It was perfect for that, but it lost the moon as umbra approached, so I retargeted it for a nebula and used to time to shoot images that I'll post later. 
While David and Gracie (our pup) dozed, I hopped out of the car every 15 minutes or so to grab shots. 
While we didn't have good views of the end of the eclipse (because the moonset was occurring and the moon dropped below the horizon), we did have amazing views of the penumbra, umbral, and the totality stages. 
Here's a stacked image of some favorite shots....



And another view as a collage....


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Monarch Migration

I received a message from friend Jim Gloyd telling me that Monarch Butterflies were roosting at an Amish School property near Plain City. We took the short drive to catch them clustering for the night.
Hundreds were perched on Spruce branches....it was amazing!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Cormorant at Old Reid

 This Double-Crested Cormorant hung out at Old Reid for a few days. While folks up north around the Great Lakes see them as pesky, they intrigue me...and I can't help but love their bright turquoise eyes!





More Shorebirds at CJ Brown

 Following another message from the Clark County Birder's group, I headed over to CJ Brown. The text noted that a Willet, a Ruddy Turnstone, and an American Golden Plover were near the beach in  drainage ditch.
When I arrived, one of the birders, Dan, told me that a maintenance truck had inadvertently flushed to Willet. 
I decided to wait a bit and sat on the concrete to watch some Terns as well as some Pectoral Sandpipers working the shoreline. Sure enough, the Willet returned....first to the shore, then it traveled back to the ditch. It don't know what was so enticing there, but I left after watching the Willet, the Turnstone, and several Killdeer and Mockingbirds have an excellent morning feast!

Willet
Willet


American Golden Plover


Lesser Yellowlegs


Ruddy Turnstone


Pectoral Sandpiper


Caspian Tern

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Common Nighthawk Flyover

 I was sitting on the deck this evening....enjoying the hummingbirds and their territory war. You'd think that with three large hummingbird feeders there would be enough for all, but not according to the older male....he thinks they all belong to him. 
I heard a familiar call and looked up to see two Common Nighthawks cruising over. I snapped a series of shots and about 20 of them were sharp. Here's a stacked image of 7 of them....


I was recently recalling that when I grew up not far from our home, it was commonplace to see large flocks of Nighthawks each evening. I could clearly hear their calls and identify them by the white wing bands. 
While I do still see them, they are uncommon, and then only single birds or just a couple. The Nighthawk numbers have declined, and All About Birds cites that the decline of Common Nighthawk populations declined by over 1% per year between 1966 and 2019, for a cumulative decline of about 48%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey." A reduction in flying insect populations related to pesticide use is thought to be one of the causes. In addition, Nighthawks nest in gravel patches...including those that used to be common on flat rooftops. The move to avoid the gravel in leu of rubber roofs has led to decreased availability of nesting sites.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Avocets at Sunset

 We made a second trip to CJ Brown last evening to catch the American Avocets in the setting sunlight. Also caught some Common Mergansers and a Ring Billed Gull getting a sip of water....





Thursday, August 18, 2022

American Avocets at CJ Brown

Wow! We had some amazing visitors to the CJ Brown Beach today.....16 American Avocets!
 
From Wikipedia
         "American avocets were previously found across most of the United States until                         extirpated from the East Coast. The breeding habitat consists of marshes, beaches, prairie ponds, and shallow lakes in the mid-west, as far north as southern Canada. These breeding grounds are largely in areas just east of the rocky mountains including parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and even down to parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Their migration route lands them in almost every state in the western United States. The avocet's wintering grounds are mainly coastal. Along the Atlantic Ocean, they are found in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. There are also wintering grounds along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, Texas, and Mexico, and along the Pacific Ocean in California and Mexico. There are resident populations in the Mexican States of Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico City and Puebla, and in Central California."

While we do see them in Clark County, the most I've see is one or two...not 16!







Sunday, August 7, 2022

Ruddy Turnstones

 A couple of Ruddy Turnstones popped in for a few days at the CJ Brown beach. 
Such gorgeous birds!!!





Tuesday, July 12, 2022

American Avocet

 An American Avocet visited CJ Brown yesterday. 
I had seen on the Ohio Birds list that one was seen yesterday morning on the CJ Beach. I didn't think that it would still be there last night when I stopped to photograph the sunset, but there it was....
Not only did it stay all day, but it paraded back and forth in front of me in the amazing sunset light.
What a treat!!









Thursday, July 7, 2022

Cedar Bog Orange Orbeaver

Some looks at an Orange Orbweaver from a visit to Cedar Bog today.
Shot with 60mm macro using 8 shot in-camera focus stacking. 

The Orange Orbweaver is fairly rare....only 4 iNaturalist Observations in Ohio!






Monday, June 27, 2022

Ohio Odonata Conference: Sedge Sprite

 I attended my first Ohio Odonata Conference last weekend. Learned lots, and had a great time in the field with experts!
On the post conference field trip at CJ Brown, I located a Sedge Sprite. This lovely little (about an inch in size) damselfly is a gorgeous metallic green and brilliant turquoise. The coolest thing is that is hadn't been recorded in Clark County since 1896 (per Jim Lemon from the Kellicott observations). 





Friday, June 10, 2022

There Be Dragons.....

 I'm loving the AI bird tracking capabilities of the OM System OM-1.
And......it works well for Dragonflies, too!
Some of my recent pics: