Saturday, July 27, 2013

Swinhoe's Storm Petrel & Two-barred Crossbills!

Swinhoe's Storm Petrel  Oceanodroma monorhis 

A first record for Fair Isle and a sixth record for Britain.

The phone rings at 1:40 am. As I jump from bed and run down stairs I was thinking "they caught another Leach's Petrel?" I answer the phone with a groggy, Hello? "Tommy! They caught the Swinhoe's!!! said Susanna from the Fair Isle Bird Observatory. (must be the one they heard a few nights ago but never saw?) I respond "We are on our way! Jumping into yesterday's clothes Henry and I drive through heavy fog. Along the way we pick up two more excited islanders. Though the visibility on the road is only about 20 feet we are going as fast as we can. In the ringing room we add to the group of gathering wildlife enthusiast. Wow! What a bird! Most notably the Swinhoe's is larger, with a forked tail and missing the white rump patch of the Storm Petrel. I have never seen so many happy people at 2am. without alcohol.

Video at the scene...

White feather shafts identification features

Dr. Will Miles is to be commended for all his hard work and late nights.
Thank you Will!

Also yesterday...
The Two-barred Crossbills finally have arrived!

Female - Two-barred Crossbill
Juvenile - Two-barred Crossbill

Male - Two-barred Crossbill

Garden Tiger Moth
Again yesterday saw a second record for Fair Isle caught by Pat Thomson at lower Stoneybreck.

Two days ago we Had 3 Orca or Killer Whale circling Fair Isle.

I like the fin with the blow hole mist and the frighten Shag as they pass around the end of the Skerries.
South Harbour

Whale watching from the golf-course near the 1st green.

Pectoral Sandpiper
 July birding isn't to bad at the moment with Icterine and Subalpine warblers hanging about as well.

This little one was in my garden today. Chiffchaff?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Minnesota Wildlife - Butterflies, Frogs and BIRDS!

Great Spangled Fritillary

 Pearly Crescentspot

 White Admiral

Some of the many wildlife sighting Henry and I had during a two week vacation in Minnesota. 


A little video I made of Henry's night frogging adventure.

Wood Frog

Widow Dragonfly

House Wren

Least Sandpiper

American Avocet

Caspian Tern - Ring-billed Gulls - Forster's Terns
Wow that Caspian Tern is huge! bigger than the gulls.

Loon (Great Northern Diver) - It's not Minnesota wildlife without a Loon.

American White Pelican
I counted 20 at one time.

Oh Deer!

American Goldfinch

Northern Phoebe

American Redstart - male
not easy to see! but it did sit on a wire in the open only for a moment.

Yellow Warbler hiding in the tree tops.

Baltimore Oriole - juvenile 

Wood Duck - Female

Hooded Merganser and chicks

 I saw quite a few Bird species, but very few were photographed. most of those are just record shots.
Henry and I really enjoy investigating new ecosystems and habits and the critters with in.


Thanks Karen & Cove for a lovely vacation on the lake.

Bye Bye American Pie...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gone Fishing! Minnesota Summer Vacation - Henry's Bass Fishing Video

Henry's Big Largemouth Bass!
 & Fishing Video

We spent 2 weeks on Cotton Lake in Minnesota... We did quite a bit of fishing!
This post shows a good representation of the fish species we caught.

One of my Bass caught on a metal silver spoon on Bastille Day.
"Bass Steel Day? Henry's joke"

Big Bullhead!

Green Sunfish

Bluegill - Sunfish
Big Northern Pike

small Pickerel-Northern Pike hybrid.

 Pumpkin Seed - Sunfish
Yet another Largemouth Bass.

Northern Pike

I'll do a post soon on the birds and other Wildlife we saw in Minnesota.