04 June 2021

Quick Colorado

On a whim, I decided to drive to southern Colorado in hopes of seeing the mega rare YELLOW GROSBEAK that showed up at feeders.  Normally found in western Mexico, this one in Colorado was a first for that state.  Anyway, once I *finally* arrived after the epic drive, the bird was there and most obliging:

The great feeder setup had a wealth of other things visiting such as this WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (these are a different subspecies from the ones we have out east):








29 May 2021

New Iowa state bird

Things have been low-key since migration has started to slow down.  One day I drove up to the extreme SE tip of Iowa to hopefully find the PRAIRIE WARBLER that has been on territory there.  It was quite an adventure but, in the end, I did manage to find it:

More expected, although not common, were a couple of KENTUCKY WARBLERS on territory there as well:

This butterfly, a common species of anglewing, is called a QUESTION MARK:

And over in the city of Keokuk, a SNOW GOOSE was still chilling, in the 90 degree heat, along the river:

Back in Hannibal, I've done some more exploring of various creeks and have found some really neat, lush, and scenic spots:

Although not rare, NARROW-LEAVED BLUE-EYED GRASS can be found around here lately as well (and they just beg to be photographed):

20 May 2021

Spring --> Summer?

Since I've been back from Arizona, I've been going out to some local areas once in a while.  In some ways, it feels more like summer than spring now.

WOOD THRUSHES are back and filling the woods with their excellent songs:

The ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS are back on their breeding grounds:

If you think this looks like a bumblebee, I wouldn't say you're wrong.  However, it's a bumblebee-mimic... it's actually a species of Robber Fly:

The last remnants of spring have been some late migrants... species that don't tend to pass through until later than all the others.  In that category is MOURNING WARBLER.  Although sneaky, this male popped up for a second:

If you know your plants, you know NOT to walk into this... it's a mix of Poison Ivy and Stinging Nettle:

I have to say though that the weather has been quite delightful.  Here's a warm evening stroll:

18 May 2021

Back to AZ

It had been more than a year since I had flown anywhere but I just returned from a quick tour in Arizona.  It was a strange feeling to be flying (and to be guiding) again after such a long break.

The Arizona tour was a short one so I don't have tons to share.

There's been a long-staying NORTHERN JACANA near Tucson so I swung by and took a look:

GRAY HAWK is another species I won't be seeing at home in Missouri:

We didn't see any rattlesnakes but did see this beautiful SONORAN WHIPSNAKE cross a road:

I saw a couple species I had never seen in Arizona such as this ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:

SCOTT'S ORIOLE at a feeder:

One of the highlights were some tame MONTEZUMA QUAIL:

Desert wash:

Dusk near Cave Creek:

Looking up from the South Fork of Cave Creek:

14 May 2021

Before travel

I just returned from a short tour in Arizona, my first serious travel in 14 months.  Before I left for that though, spring migration in Missouri had ramped up completely.

I drove an hour south to see this MOTTLED DUCK, a rarity for Missouri: 

On the same visit, this PECTORAL SANDPIPER posed briefly:

PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS were back in numbers and it was hard to lay off taking pictures of these bright, swamp-dwelling warblers:

Even the RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS were looking sharp:

A very common species around here in spring and summer is SUMMER TANAGER:

This SOLITARY SANDPIPER was still moving through on its way north:

The thrushes were becoming a lot of fun; here's a couple shots of GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH:

... and a SWAINSON'S THRUSH for comparison:

Lastly, the Mississippi River as seen from Riverview Park in Hannibal: