A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Friday, May 20, 2011
Swainson's Thrush; Early May Migration through Northern llinois
A Swainson's Thrush, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, Rockford, IL; 5/1/2011.
While hiking through Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve on May 1, I saw three different types of Thrushes. Two I have seen before (Wood and Hermit) but the 3rd type was a Lifer for me (#286) - the Swainson's Thrush. These guys look an awful like their cousins, Hermit Thrushes, but the characteristic which identified it for me was its buff-colored spectacles and eye-ring. The Hermit's eye ring is white and their tail is more reddish. Swainson's Thrushes make northern Illinois a stopover as they travel through to their summer grounds of Canada, Alaska, northern Wisconsin and Michigan, the northeast states, as well as the Rockies and the northern Pacific coastal states.
Hello, I have always been interested in birds, undoubtedly influenced by my mother and grandmother. As a young boy I remember paging through my parents' bird books. Both my Mom and Grandma would identify birds by both their songs and their looks. I enjoy nature and being out in it as often as I am able. Being a teacher helps - as I have much of the summer to do just that. I have done some nature and wildlife photography, but until a few years ago I never thought about photographing birds thinking that it would be too difficult - too small and too flighty. After a few thousand photos, my girlfriend suggested that I open a blog sharing some of the pictures that I have taken and hopefully will be taking in the future.
During the 3 years that have been writing this blog, I have graduated from my first camera, a Sony Digital, to my 2nd, a Canon Rebel T1i, to finally my 3rd and current camera - Canon EOS7D. I started with the standard 18-55mm lens, which I soon found was totally impractical. I then purchased a Canon 55-250mm which I used for quite some time, until I bought a Sigma 150-500mm.and finally sold that one and replaced it with a Sigma 150-600mm, my current birding lens.