Random Trumpeter Swan

Oh man am I missing hawk banding this fall!  I just felt a pang on Saturday and now after reading my buddy Amber's blog about a very cool peregrine recapture, I'm ready to sit in a dark box nestled on the edge of the northern woods facing a fallow farm field and Lake Superior and seeing my hawking buddies. Last night as Non Birding Bill and I were headed out to dinner to re-establish our pair bond (a tradition for when either of us comes home from a trip out of town), we passed the Buzza Building on Lake Street in Uptown and noticed a peregrine perched on top--raptor migration is hot and heavy!

a trumeter

I'm still sorting through all of my shorebird photos from the Midwest Birding Symposium and also have quite a few trumpeter swan photos.  Which reminds me, I start a project next week for work that both excites and terrifies me.  I'm going to count waterfowl along the upper Mississippi River this fall...from a small plane swooping overhead.  I have issues with flying (yeah, I know, I fly a lot).  On big planes, I fall right to sleep during take off, now matter how much coffee or espresso I have before I board.  Once the plane is airborne, I'm fine.  I'm even fine during landing, it's take off that seems to do it...and helicopters where the front windshield is a bubble and when you look down at your feet, you see the ground far below you.

I think I'm going to be fine in this small plane.  I think my issues with big planes is a feeling of a lack of control and not being able to watch the pilot's actions to make sure I know what they are up to.  But I have never been one to let fear block a cool opportunity.  So, I will count ducks and hopefully conquer my fear of flying this fall as I count ducks on Mondays.

And, can I say a big thank you to eBird for the articles here and here on tips for counting large flocks of birds.  It's been very handy, as have my flash cards  of duck backs.