This will be my last post (I think) about my weekend of Birding by Ear at the Wilds. I cannot say enough good things about this place. If you live in Ohio, or if you are ever passing through, please consider visiting the Wilds. You certainly will not regret it. The staff there are great and are passionate about the land and animals there. I guarantee you will learn a lot if you go.
A Carolina Wren built her nest in this little bucket that was inside the dining/meeting yurt at the education camp.
While 90% of the weekend was spent concentrating on birds, there were plenty of other things to see while we were there. All kinds of wildflowers abound (including invasive species like Autumn Olive, Multiflora Rose and Phragmites). I got photos of a handful of them.
Our trip leaders for the weekend, Jim McCormac and Al Parker, were absolute fountains of knowledge, not just about birds, but also in regards to just about any other natural thing we saw around us. Someone spotted this snapping turtle alongside the road, and the bus had to be stopped to it could be
During the last hour or so of our weekend at the Wilds, the birding kind of went downhill and it turned into a natural history free-for-all where we started looking at anything that moved. It was at this point that I realized how "good" Jim had been at containing himself during the rest of the weekend. You see, even though Jim's really good with the bird thing, he's really a botanist... who also happens to like dragonflies and butterflies and moths and frogs and... you get the picture. He's self-proclaimed ADD when he's outside, and jumps from one thing to the next rapidly. I'm not complaining, mind you... it's just hard to keep up sometimes!
Okay, this is where things start getting really fuzzy for me. Birds and flowers I'm pretty good with, butterflies and other insects... not so much. I have some ID guides, but I'm only just getting into these things, so don't quote me on any of these IDs.
This is a Bluet of some sort, of that much I am sure. I remember the term Bluet being tossed about and I was confused, because I didn't see any Bluet flowers around. Then I realized it must be the damselfly on the leaf. This might be a Familiar Bluet.
I didn't have the lens I usually use for close-up work on my camera, so I had to make do with my longer zoom lens. This made getting the kind of close-ups I would prefer not really possible. But you get the idea.
And finally, I leave you with yours truly, pictured with "my" Grasshopper Sparrow.
Photo courtesy Jim McCormac