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This Was March


This is a bit of a catch-up post. What have I been up to? Mostly talking about and not showing any photos from India. Photos from that trip are exporting as I type. I will have a couple blog posts about the trip, and then I will not bring it up again. (No promises.) Between all the talking about things and work and whatever else, I have managed to make it out a couple of times for photos. Migration is ramping up here, and I am trying to keep up.

Before migration kicked up too much, I really wanted to get out and get some Tree Swallow pics. I know I do this every year, but I enjoy it. And I want to do it before the birds start nesting. They are super cooperative this time of year, and they are beautiful birds. If you have been following my posts, you also know that I had another goal in mind when heading out this year. That aside, I was happy to see these birds and capture a few other around the park. There was not a lot of activity that day, and most of the waterfowl had moved out; so, I did not get a lot of photos. At least the Tree Swallows turned out.

My most successful outings all happened this last week. I was way ahead on hours at work and took Thursday and Friday mornings off to do some birding. Good thing, because the weekend weather was not great. Thursday morning, I headed down south towards Paynetown and Tower Ridge Rd. I had been down to Yellowwood the previous weekend and left with zero photos - of anything. Not my best day. I did a bit better this trip. I hit Tower Ridge first thing in the morning and then Paynetown on the way home. The plan was that I could look for Pine Warblers along the road, and, failing that, look for them at Paynetown. At Paynetown, I could also check the marina for loons. Things went well, and I even had a female Red Crossbill and a Red-breasted Nuthatch at Tower Ridge.

At Paynetown, I had a single adult Common Loon, but it was all the way across the lake at the docks. I sat down and waited. The loon became active and slowly drifted closer. There was a layer of fog over the water, and the bird was on the wrong side of the sun. I was hoping it would come and work its way closer and into better light. It finally got close and started diving around the docs. That is when the boats showed up. I was just getting into position to get some quick shots when a boat wheels around the end of the dock, heading straight at the bird, and the driver yells out, "Hey! A loon!" The bird had had enough and dove for cover. The boaters were with the DNR and were moving part of the doc. They floated it out, but the bird had moved back across the lake. I figured it worked once, why not again. I waited. Then I lost track of the bird. I had just given up and turned to leave when I spotted it right where I had wanted it to be in the first place. Of course, it did not stay. I wandered down to the last dock, but it took one look at me and moved off. I tried waiting there. Suddenly, an immature Common Loon showed up. It was a little distant, but it did show off and do a few wing flaps for me before moving on. I wrote the day up as a success and headed home.

Friday morning, I headed over to Central Park (Carmen, IN - not NYC) to look for ducks. Not much going on there. It was a beautiful morning, and I walked the loop around the pond. I had three Wilson's Snipe, which was a nice surprise. Literally a surprise each time. They would spring up out of nowhere and fly off. I managed a couple Red-winged Blackbird shots, but nothing like what I was looking for. The best shots here were of a Great Blue Heron that waited patiently as I photographed it. I would have loved to have been wearing some taller boots. I just needed about a half step into the water to get a better eye-level angle with the bird. Crouching and leaning out over the water to shoot around some high grasses is not an easy task. Regardless, I like how the shot turned out.

That pretty much covers March. The rest of the month has been spent working, recovering from being ill, or working on the photos for India. I should have some posts up for that, soon. Migration is also in swing; so, I should have a lot more photos coming up from a bit closer to home to share, too.

Thanks for reading,




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