Midwest Birding Symposium Bound & Harrier

  Quick note, for those interested, the next Birds and Beers has been set for September 30 at the Black Forest.

As I catch up and sort photos from my latest European trip, I'm packing for my next trip to the Midwest Birding Symposium. I'm looking forward to catching up with friends and I'll also be presenting a workshop on digiscoping with a smartphone at 3:15pm on Friday. I'll be on hand with some adapters for people to try out if you want to give it a shot. You can also ask me about regular digiscoping as well.

raptors Speaking of digiscoping, I'm sorting through photos from my recent trip to Sweden and I can't believe this photo worked out. It's a marsh harrier (the upper bird) and a common buzzard. They were kind of taking shots at each other in the same thermal. It got this with  my Nikon V1 and Swarovski scope.

When I'm away from the Americas, I see marsh harriers everywhere I go. Their wings are a bit fatter than the North American northern harriers ( or hen harriers as they call them over in Europe). The buzzards are a lot like the North American red-tailed hawk...only minus the red-tail.  But they can have color morphs like our red-tails can.

harrier dive

As those two birds were circling higher and higher, something got the harrier's attention and it dove towards the ground. Boy, that would make for kind of cool tattoo.

harrier diving


As the harrier lowered the landing gear, I thought I might get to see it catch prey, but at this point it was seriously putting on the breaks and slowly lowered itself closer to Earth before flying off in a different direction entirely, perhaps to look for another thermal to carry it up to the sky again. It was a cool moment to watch and makes for a great souvenir from my trip to Sweden.