Took a few minutes to hang out by the swan park in Monticello on March 4th. You could spend a full day there and keep having good photo ops over and over. Very fortunate to have one of the largest winter gatherings of trumpeter swans only about 15 minutes from our home.
March 10th I kept my string going in my quest to paddle some part of the Mississippi River for 12 consecutive months in 2012.
Check out the massive amount of giant and lesser Canada geese migrating north in the background. Was like that all day.
Eagle count with 33 total. Only 8 matures with the rest being juvies. Most mature pairs have been on the nests for 2-3 weeks at least so the kids are hanging out by the river. Only one nest on this stretch and it was occupied.
One of the local birds right in the city of Monticello.
I thought this was funny as this is the closest I have ever seen a goose to roosting. In addition to the 33 eagles, also saw 20 hawks, 6 wild turkeys and even a piliated woodpecker. Ducks are also moving north as I saw a large flock of goldeneyes. Spring is just around the corner for real.
Spring may be just around the corner, but it will be awhile before there are any good storms. In the mean time, there is always the cooling pond at the power plant on a cold morning to make your mind wander.
Pretty decent light pillar the morning of March 8th. There was supposed to be a massive coronal mass ejection from a solar flare hitting this day.
This is all I saw. Since I had work the next day and didn't feel like crawling in brain dead, I tapped out about midnight. Of course shortly thereafter everything went nuts and I missed it. But I was well rested the next day.
Since I have pretty much lost the chronological order of this entry, may as well keep going random. Here are my shots from March 11th. Cailyn and I made short loop by home to check some of the local hotspots.
Everyone looked pretty content.
Someone is having a bad feather day.
...and my old buddy from a nest near Maple Lake, MN. We have an understand as to what is an "acceptable" distance for me to approach. I stay back about 150 feet as anything closer and this guy will get protective if their nest has eggs. Once they hatch he is fine, but until then after what happened back in 2008 I prefer not to test his patience.
I got buzzed as he passed over me at full speed about 6 feet over my head. I got the message and never have tested his domain since.
So, we are enjoying some very abnormal temps as we head into middle March. The itch to get the chase season rolling builds with each passing day but not like usual. Something is different this year. Instead of going guns blazing right off the bat, I am considering laying in the grass early on. I am dealing with a little bit of burn out as with our weird winter, I don't feel like I've had the down time to let the SDS hit a fevered pitch. I made a promise to myself to try to be more helpful to newer chasers and less critical. Being less critical is easy since all I have to do is keep my mouth shut and my fingers off the keyboard. Trying to be more available as an educator or mentor is the hard part. I hate the idea of being "obligated" to be a source of information. I have chased by myself for myself for so long it's all I know and I'm happy with it. Chase days are not a social event to me. I'm all business until I decide I am done. Inquires on chase days of "what do you think?" or "what is your target and why?" are going to be responded to with "what do you think?" or "what is your target and why?" The best chasers are 100% self-sufficient. How do your learn? BY DOING and osmosis. The minute you start relying on someone else (SPC, chaser forums, other chasers, etc) to think for you or causes you to second guess your own decisions, you are out of the game. With the technology and information available to everyone nowadays, there really isn't any excuse for not having some limited success right away to act as a building block. /rant off.