Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Decided to do a proper fall route and hit up Woodland Park in the morning of the 8th. I have a rule that I never seem to follow: if the Parking lot area is busy, stay there. Well the Parking lot area was busy, so I thought it would be even better back farther into the park. It wasn't. I had Tennessee, Nashville, FOY Bay-breasted, Black-and-white and Common Yellowthroat within the first few minutes. Beyond that I snagged and Ovenbird, and a FOY Swainson's Thrush. The water level was horribly low back near the footbridge, with barely a trickle of water going under it. I thought I had an outside shot at 40 birds there, but it dried up as quick as the water seemed to. A Great Egret was a new one for me there though.
After 2 hours there I hit up the airport, where it seemed like could be some decent shorebird spotting. Just Killdeer. Not really much else there. I then made the trek to Homer in hopes that it still might pay off. A Least and Semipalmated Sandpiper were joined by a Lesser Yellowlegs as the non-Killdeer shorebirds there. The Least was still very rufous, and the Semipalmated was very drab grey. The mirage played havoc with the photos, and I tried to make it into a Sanderling as dull as it was, but it was way too close in size to the Least. 189 Canada Geese showed there are still gathering in some decent sized numbers now. The extremely skittish Bald Eagle was there along the edge of the North-western lagoon.
I received an alert on my phone that the KP index was increased and to check for Aurora. I tried the app, and several sites and never got a good feel of it we should, or should not, be able to see the Northern lights. I drove out to P DR S between 19.5 and 21 Mile Road to see what I could see. Shortly after dark a FOY Eastern Screech-Owl gave its trilly call, and I heard several more birds flying overhead while I was out there. I didn't see any Northern Lights, and the gigantic Moon that rose didn't help I'm sure. I tallied 4 satellites, 1 shooting star, and 1 very weird "something". Very slow moving object, slower than the other satellites I had seen, moved from the NE heading slightly South and to the West. There was a very brief flash in front of it, like a shooting star, but quicker, and then the object disappeared. I assume it was a satellite that just lost the reflection from the Sun. Although it was heading towards the Sun.
I played around with my camera and 18-55mm Kit lens and managed to snag a few shots of the sky, and Milky Way. So add to the Amazon Wish List a wider angle, faster lens now and some time on the calendar when the Moon is not out. You can see a satellite in the last picture, compare it to the planes moving through the third one.
Here are a few other photos taken recently while looking for Moths, which I will get gathered together on a page(s) at some point.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)