:: Uganda 2017 ::
This is my gallery of a phenomenal 17 day trip to Uganda I was lucky enough to make with a group of friends from TN, led by one of the young phenoms in African birding, Crammy Wanyama. Tropical Birding put the trip together for us, and once again proved to be one of the best birding tour companies in the business. Besides myself, there was Kevin Calhoun, Chris and Shannon Sloan, Gary and Terrri Brunvoll, and Daniel and Kathy Jacobson.
In addition to birding, we did a day each of Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking which were both incredible experiences. My Mammal species count for the trip was 51, including 13 primates, and we did better than expected with birds; totals were slightly different between participants but my total tally on eBird was 538, with photos of 436!
We birded a lot in National Parks, with several visited during the trip: Lake Mburo, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, and Murchison Falls. Some of the other key places we visited were Mabamba Swamp (famous for Shoebill), Mabira Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mubwindi Swamp, Budongo Forest, and Butiaba Escarpment.
Weather was quite cooperative overall, with the exception of our Shoebill outing which was during a downpour the entire time. We saw Shoebills, most got decent shots but not quite the experience with this iconic bird we had hoped.
We did very well with Albertine Rift endemics, and east African specialties overall. A few are easier seen in Rwanda so we did leave a few holes, but not many.
:: Puerto Rico birding 2017 ::
Chris Sloan, Gary Brunvoll, Jeffrey Schaarschmidt and I spent 3 days and a brief morning birding Puerto Rico. We used the services of Julio Salgado https://www.puertoricobirdingtrips.com/, and saw all of the currently recognized Puerto Rican endemics, and all but one of the West Indies specialties possible there (Antillean Crested Hummingbird only miss).
Of course birding will be much different now after the devastating hurricane last year, but hopefully will fully rebound.
:: About me ::
Let me 1st say that I am not a photographer, and probably never will be! I am just a birder that takes a lot of photos of birds. Of course I try to get the best images I can, but I'm not bothered at all if the bird is distant, or if a branch cuts thru an otherwise nice shot. To me these are the shots that show how the bird would look in the field. I love the gorgeous, full-frame shots that others get. But, I likely won't spend the money necessary to get past the 400mm that I currently shoot at, at least not in the near future.
I initially started digiscoping, and most of the images on here before late 2008 were taken with that method, or with a large-zoom P & S. I currently still digiscope when conditions are right, with a Canon S95 (now a Sony RX-100 II)and my Kowa 883. I finally got a Canon 50D and 400/5.6L in 2008, and wish I had much sooner. I now usually shoot with a Canon 7D Mk II body, and also have an original 7D along with the 50D. In addition to the 400/5.6, I shoot the Canon 70-200/2.8L IS II and 17-55/2.8 lenses. Generally for birds though, it is the 7D MK II and 400/5.6 combo, with the others being used more for aviation and general photography.
I am married, and live in McKenzie, TN. I work for Owens Corning Fiberglass in Jackson, TN. My work lets me travel abroad occasionally,which helps with my birding a bit.
:: TN Northern Wheatear (Loudon Co) ::
This fantastic bird was first found on Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 in rural Loudon Co TN by Tony King. MANY have since seen the bird, a not unexpected first state record, and hopefully many more will be able to. Mark Greene and I made the 10 hour round-trip drive on Tuesday, the 15th, and there were already 20 vehicles there when we arrived.
Big thanks again to Tony King for finding the bird and getting word out, as well helping to get permission from the very gracious property owners to allow a horde of birders to come see this special visitor. Some locals such as Morton Massey and Ron Hoff (and others, no offense to anyone not named!) have been great about keeping people up to date on the daily status of the bird.
:: 2016 Trip North (MI,MN,ND,SD) ::
Two week trip which started in Detroit MI for us, and ended in Rapid City, SD. We birded across northern MN and thru the prairie potholes of ND. I was birding with a couple of buddies from TX, and we certainly had a great trip!
My main targets were Baird's Sparrow and Gray Partridge, along with photo of Mourning and Connecticut Warbler. We had an amazing selection of eastern boreal birds, praire birds, and western mountain birds. Fantastic trip all the way around, with practically no birding time lost to weather.
:: Texas 2016 (Upper Coast and Hill Country) ::
:: A Day with the Gulls ::
:: Black-tailed Gull (Carlyle Lake IL) ::