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Uncategorized | The Occasional Naturalist

American Avocet

When I first started birdwatching, this is the bird I wanted to see. I love water and naturally enjoy searching for waterfowl, shorebirds, and birds that inhabit marshes.  This bird, the American Avocet always fascinated me.  The American Avocet is a rare vagrant to Wisconsin where I live. It sometimes shows up briefly along Lake […]

Experiencing Life’s Fragility

Pepperwood Preserve Scenic View

While spending the weekend in northern CA, I was able to spy my first Acorn Woodpecker which were very prevalent where I was in the Hidden Valley Lake area.  I also had an opportunity to visit for a few hours the Pepperwood Preserve which isn’t like a park or a […]

A Privilege and a Responsibility

Elk in Velvet

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend four days in Yellowstone National Park. I went with a friend of mine to do some hiking, some fishing and some wildlife photography. I hadn’t been to Yellowstone since my teens. However, my friend loves Yellowstone passionately and probably goes there 1-2 times […]

Two Days In Mexico

I had an opportunity to get down to Mexico for a brief 2 day jaunt for work.  I was hoping I would be able to do a little birding during my time down there.  Unfortunately, I was able to do just that a “little” birding.  I picked up a few new species but not nearly […]

Working on A Little Big Year

I turned 50 this year.  I set a goal on January 1st that I’ve only been half-heatedly working on to see 500 different birds this year.  So far, I’ve been making progress, but haven’t dove into it with gusto.  Well today, I just realized, thanks to this rather drab Yellow-rumped warbler, I just hit 125 […]

Colorado Grasslands

Went out to Denver on business and was able to stop at a grassland birding spot near the Denver Airport before leaving.  Picked up a few life list species and was able to increase my year count to 47.  The new specifies I was able to find were:  Ferruginous Hawk, Western Meadowlark, Horned Lark, and […]

5000 vs. 500

I’m following the quest of Noah Strycker to see 5000 birds in a year with great interest.  It would be quite a feat.  Even if he doesn’t succeed, the adventure is going to be fantastic.  For me, I set a goal of seeing 500 in 2015.  That’s going to be hard enough with a full-time […]

Sandpipers – #337, 338, 339

These were from August 2013, but finally going through some old pictures.  Was out looking for this White-rumped Sandpiper and found my first Pectoral Sandpiper as well.

White-rumped Sandpiper










Pectoral Sandpiper











Short-billed Dowitcher


#332 – Red-throated Loon

Excited to see this regular but elusive visitor to Milwaukee’s winter shores.

Red-throated Loon in Milwaukee’s Harbor


Puerto Vallerta #329 – 331

Traveling makes it easy to pick up a few birds.  This trip should of been great for birding, but didn’t work out so well as my camera was in for warranty repairs.  Did borrow a friend’s camera for a few hours and picked up these birds.

Great Black-Hawk

Orange-fronted Parakeet

Blue-footed Booby


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