Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Birds and Nature Photography Workshop

Nine fortunate people signed up and attended Bob Paetchows's Birds and Nature photography workshop this last Saturday at the Lake Bluff Audubon Center. This was during a very snowy day and some of us had to plow through deep drifts to make it but it was worth it.

In addition to learning about all the settings on the digital cameras and techniques to get great bird shots we had a practice session taking advantage of the audubon center's excellent feeders to get photos like the Carolina Wren pictured here. The birds were cooperative and we were able to photograph Cardinals, Hairy and Downy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Chickadee, Tree Sparrow, Junco, and Blue Jays in addition to the Wren. Thanks for the great program Bob. Stay tuned here for the next workshop.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We Survived. That was the consensus for the field counters on Manistee's Christmas Bird Count. With temperatures in the teens and winds at 30mph along with snow squalls it was much more pleasant for those that sat inside and watched their feeders. No wonder the feeder counters did so well seeing a total of 31 of our 66 species. Good birds at the feeders were Carol Pasco's White-throated Sparrow Gloria Savory's Eastern Towhee
along with Rich Krieger's Carolina Wren at the Lake Bluff Audubon Center and Sharon Taylor's Evening Grosbeak, a bird that used to be common here but has declined supposably due to spruce budworm spraying control in the Canadian boreal forests.

Highlights for field counters were newcomer Chris Lipps's Lesser Black-backed Gull
Don Stroup and Kurt Schindler'sRed-headed Woodpecker and Tim Granger's Northern Harrier. Common Snipe is now almost an annual bird on the count but Brian Allen now greatly appreciates the effort Carl Freeman goes to to find them in the marshes at the east end of Portage Lake.

This was a down year for Red-breasted Nuthatch (4) and most ducks as we only had 10 species due to the complete freeze of Portage Lake and Manistee Lake. Barred Owl was the only owl out, as we could not do effective owling in the gale force winds.

See the link on the National Christmas Bird Counts on the right side of this blog to see our 2011 results.

Next year can only be better, thanks again to all that helped!