Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wildlife Photography - Jack Pine Trail with Tony Beck

Thursday June 9, 7:30 am

There was a large group today for the last session of the current cycle - Tony, Nina, Michael, Lorraine, Paula, Bob, Heather, Ron, Roger and me.  Lorraine and Paula were new to me, but were obviously experienced, having birded in the tropics, Florida, etc.
Starting down the trail, we heard Blue Jays and a Pine Warbler calling.  Tony called the latter in for a brief view.  We photographed the squirrels and chipmunks in the relatively low light using high ISO - the results were not spectacular.   We also tried to photograph some silhouetted leaves with a sunny background on a tree trunk ; it's a lot tougher than it looks.
We heard some Common Ravens and Ovenbirds, but did not see them.  We saw a perched corvid, which turned out to be an American Crow.  A Killdeer flew over calling it's name.  Nina also heard a Swamp Sparrow and spotted it perched nicely for us on a dead snag.  We also saw a male Common Yellowthroat.

We heard a Virginia Rail from the boardwalk, so Tony played the call.  Two or three of them responded and came in close.

Heather was delighted by the dragonflies and damselflies.  We photographed a beautiful Ebony Jewelwing.  We had some Mourning Doves, then a Killdeer at the next stretch of boardwalk.  A sharp-shinned Hawk flew over very high up.

We carried on to the back of the trail.  I heard a Field Sparrow right away, but we only got distant sightings.  A White-throated Sparrow was more cooperative. 
A Great Blue Heron flew past, and in the distance, we saw a Broad-winged Hawk and a Common Raven.  We spent quite a bit of time photographing the wild flowers including an Ox-eye Daisy with  spider on it.  At the back of the trail, we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird perched in a dead tree and several Northern Leopard Frogs.

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