This time last year, I was kind of freaking out because it was crazy warm and I was tapped to help out with some eagle nest surveys. The leaves were fast approaching and there was concern that we wouldn't be able to see into the nests from the plane, much less if there were eggs or chicks.
This year, March is living up to it's reputation as Minnesota's snowiest month. One weather man said, "You know, we're only 11 inches away from our tenth snowiest March...and we have enough snow events coming that we could actually make that record before the end of the month."
So, as I see my friends in the south rejoicing about returning field sparrows and towhees...I try to keep enjoying the winter finches that are remaining in and around the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Mr. Neil's feeders are still covered in common redpolls. I hear them sometimes fly over as I'm on my evening run around the Chain of Lakes and watch them devour seed at friends feeders. While I was digiscoping the above birds with my iPhone, I thought I would play around with the Vine app. This app lets you take 15 second videos that look and viola, you have a gif to share all over social media. I'm not sure how much I'll use it for birding, after all how many people need a 15 second loop of redpolls?
This was digiscoped with the Nikon V1. One of the advantages to the iPhone with the scope eyepiece is a wider field of view. But man, the photo quality with the Nikon V1 is fantastic. It occurred to me as I was digiscoping the redpolls that I didn't have a pine siskin yet for my Big Half Year Challenge.
There was a pair of siskins hanging around, but they stayed away from the flock of redpolls, preferring to gather seeds on the ground. So I got bird #63 for my challenge. The siskins may stick around, sometimes they nest around Mr. Neil's house, so I may get a chance for a better shot later on, but wanted to make sure I got at least one before they headed back north.
I also got a cardinal photo too. I'm so pleased with how this turned out, I may replace the cardinal photo that's already in the Big Half Year album...also, I like how I managed to frame the bird in such away that you can't tell there's three feet of snow on the ground. With the buds on the tree, it almost looks like spring.
Next week brings a crazy travel jag that starts in LA. I should get some crazy birds for the challenge a respite from the ice...which I just noticed has turned to snow that I'm getting this week.