A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Sunday, June 17, 2012
"Free Beer!" Alder Flycatcher - another Mid May Arrival to Northern Illinois.
An Alder Flycatcher, Horicon Marsh NWR, WI; 5/13/2012.
Free Beer!? Where is this "free beer?" Well, it was in the small grove of trees next to the water by the floating boardwalk on the northern boundary of the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Now that I gave away the spot, please do not go foraging in this south central region of Wisconsin in the hopes you'll find some of this beverage that Wisconsin is well-known for brewing. The "free beer" that I am talking about is the song that the Alder Flycatcher (Above) calls out. It sounds like someone yelling "free beer." So when I was walking on the short trail through this stand of trees and heard all the "free beer" calls, I was happy, not because I like beer, but because, first of all, I recognized it being the Alder Flycatcher (from my bird song recordings), and then secondly, it was a Lifer for me (# 394 at the time. I finally broke 400 last weekend).
Another Alder Flycatcher, Horicon Marsh NWR, WI; 5/13/2012.
These Flycatchers were all over this grove of trees - but mostly in the top branches. It still took some patient waiting before a few of them showed themselves at a lower level so I could get some decent photos (Above). These Alder Flycatchers might be staying here for the summer as Horicon Marsh is at its most southern edge of its summer range. More than likely, they were passing through to their more common summer residences in North Central Wisconsin and further north into Canada, stretching East into Michigan and the Northeastern States. In Canada they can be found from coast to coast.
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.