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Showing posts from July, 2007

Go Fly a Kite

The plot thickens... Back in early June, a Mississippi Kite was reported at the Brass Ring Golf Course in Hocking County. Then, two birds. These first reports of multiple birds were somewhat enigmatic, although I eventually got the original discoverer, Rick Perkins, on the phone and he confirmed seeing two birds together early on.
Then, for a good month and a half, one bird was widely seen by nearly all who ventured to see it, but reports of the second bird were virtually non-existent and unconfirmed. During that period, I spoke with golf course personnel who are on the course for hours daily, and often at or near the spots that the kite frequented. They reported only seeing one bird, at least that they could be sure of, and by this time these folks were intimately familiar with Mississippi Kites.

In the past week or so, the second bird surfaced. I got a call from the course superintendent, excitedly reporting both birds together in the favored tree. A number of birders who have recentl…

Artists and Authors event

On Saturday, August 4th of this very year, the legendary Black Swamp Bird Observatory will be hosting a new event that they've devised - the Artists and Authors Afternoon. Go here for details. And, it's free!

And they do have some real artists in the house. Kenn Kaufman will be there; we all know what jewels his various field guides are. Just got my insect guide - Kenn's newest - and it is sensational. I must remember to cart all my guides up to have Kenn sign them... Other fabulous writers, artists and photographers will be on hand, too, including such luminaries as Jen Brumfield, Ian Adams, Chip Gross, Jim Mollenkopf, Karen Menard, Marilyn Reeder, Larry Rosche, and Brian Zweibel. Since the program doesn't begin until 1 pm, there'll be plenty of time prior to scout around the vast marshes of western Lake Erie for shorebirds and other early fall migrants. Dragonflies should be great, too - last year around this time Rick Nirschl found Ohio's first Striped Saddle…

Costa Rica Revisited

For the past two years, the Ohio Ornithological Society has taken trips to Costa Rica. We'll be doing it again next January/February, and please feel free to contact our Executive Secretary, Jen Sauter at ybchat@insight.rr.com if you are interested.

Anyway, on the last trip we had photog-extraordinaire Michael Packer along, and he set some sort of record for photos snapped. Thousands, I suspect. Some are doozies, and if you want to jet down to a very tropical place via cyberspace, go right here to see Michael's handiwork.

Bugs Galore

We had lots of good experiences on the field trips during last weekend's Ohio Dragonfly Conference. And that's what really gets people interested in this stuff, or anything for that matter - good memories. Plenty of those were generated, thanks to a lot of very knowledgeable leaders, and weather that was totally flawless for bug-seeking. And please, if you're one of those hard-case entomologists who bristles at the colloquialism "bug", spare me. I know they're really "insects".

It don't get no better than this, if you're a dragon-seeker. Several of us were on our bellies photographing a very cooperative Orange Bluet, Enallgma signatum, when this Violet Dancer, Argia fumipennis subsp. violacea, decided to use Marlo Perdica's hand as a perch. Of course, the rest of us demanded that she freeze, so we could document the moment. The Violet Dancer was a beaut, too - nice purple male - but a bit hard for Marlo herself to photograph...While out o…

Purple Martin Extravaganza

You know 'em, ya love 'em, they're purple, and they're martins. That's right, our biggest swallow, the ones with the rich liquid gurgles that dwell in houses that we make for them, have an enormous fan club. So, if you've ever even looked cross-eyed at a martin, you'll want to attend the event that I will unabashedly plug below.

First, a few Purple Martin points of trivia. This is the only swallow named for a famed comedian, they are not actually purple, they eat many dragonflies, and with perhaps one exception, depend entirely on humanoids to provide their housing. All true, but the first - Steve is funny, but he doesn't rate being equated with this bird. Well, I guess the males are kinda purple...
I've always enjoyed martins. They often soar on high, their rich chortling carrying down to us commoners on the ground and alerting us to look upwards and wish we, too, could be Purple Martins. I particularly enjoy watching them at their martin houses. Th…

Ohio Dragonfly Conference

Wow! One hundred and forty dragonfly enthusiasts descended on Wooster, Ohio and vicinity for the inaugural Ohio Dragonfly Conference. As far as anyone knows, this is the largest such conference yet held in North America. A huge thanks to the Ohio Division of Wildlife for supporting the conference, and to the primary partner, Greater Mohican Audubon Society.

We had several sensational speakers; Bob Glotzhober, Larry Rosche, and Dave McShaffrey all gave great talks at yesterday's inside portion of the conference. We returned that evening for an excellent dinner, followed by keynote speaker Dr. Dennis Paulson. Dennis is certainly one of the world's leading authorities on the Odonata, and has traveled to nearly all corners of the globe in pursuit of dragons and damsels. He gave a very informative overview of the world's odonate fauna, generously illustrated with great photos. I also got to spend time in the field with Dennis, and greatly enjoyed the experience. He is a fantasti…