Stories of my adventures....

.3 Miles. One Year.

Instead of a "Photo Big Year" centered around birds, my newest quest is to photograph all forms of life that call my favorite area home. This area- south side of Evergreen Lake encompassing 6 Mile Creek- is where I spend so much time.  It is .3 miles from Shady Hollow to Redtail Trail. I have seen so much there that I have decided to try to document it over the next year. I may question myself as things pick up in warmer weather, but my mind works in strange ways. I will keep a list going on here with occasional updates. I will probably post most of my images in an album on Facebook.

Geez. Here I go.....

Bird Shot January Summary

I ended the month of January with 57 different species photographed. It's been a very mild winter with almost no snow. I need snow in order to have a better chance at certain birds. I have photographed 3 birds already this year that I was unable to get in my previous attempt in 2014- Hairy Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl and Snowy Owl. It's nice to see owls at any time- it's even better when you have your camera along. I'm hoping that February is as fruitful. 

2017 Photo Big Year

Starting on January 1st, 2017, I will begin my Photo Big Year- I will see how many species I can photograph over a years time. You can follow my progress here and by clicking the link at the top of the page. 

How to get a lifer.....

Look up. You never know what you'll see.

I was photographing swallows with a friend on a quiet Sunday morning recently when the sun went behind some clouds. My friend says " you can come back out now Mr. Sun." As I often do, I looked up to see when the cloud would pass and we would again be in good light. When I looked up, I saw something soaring way up among the clouds. I raised my camera to get a better view. The first thing I noticed was it's tail. I shouted out "It's a @$#&!*# Swallow-tailed Kite" as I shot some pictures for proof. I reported this rare bird via ebird. I have since found out that this is the first recorded sighting of this bird in McLean county. 

Mentioned on a podcast....

I enjoy podcasts. Birding. Comedy. Photography. All of these topics interest me. When played through my earbuds, they make a work day go a bit quicker. I recently asked a question to a podcaster that I listen to. He was kind enough to answer it as well as promote my website.

Here it is.....around the 9:00 minute mark.....


While most birders depend upon plumage for bird identification, occasionally you run across an abnormally "marked" bird. Leucism can partially or fully effect an individual. It is simply a genetic defect that causes a lack of pigmentation. I discovered this male Northern Cardinal last year at Evergreen Lake. He still resides in the same area and has seemingly found a mate. I call him "Paleface" and check in on him regularly.

 Paleface 3/16

Paleface 3/16

Audubon Bird Walk 8/30/15

I was the appointed leader for the Sunday morning bird walk at Ewing Park. We had a fairly small group in attendance but, despite the persistent fog, we managed to come out in the end with 33 species. We had great looks at a Canada Warbler right as we entered the park. This was my lifer view as this bird has eluded me for years. A few of us got an awesome view of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and then we all got to hear it vocalize. This too was a first for me. Black and White Warblers were the birds of the day- they far outnumbered any other species there. It's getting quite warm so migration may be on hold for a bit. I hope to see them again soon.