The next day I was at Estero Llano when I saw a young woman whip out her iPhone, slap it onto her scope and photograph a Harris's Hawk in a matter of seconds. I immediately went to her. "Hey, cool! How did ya do that?" She was kind enough to show me an attachment from Kowa that slips onto the iPhone. Actually, it replaces any rubber or plastic cover you may have added to your phone. When you're planning to do some digiscoping, you screw a metal piece onto the new phone cover. That slips over the eye piece of the scope. That's it. you're ready to take digiscoped pictures with your iPhone. The total cost, including shipping, is under $50. So let me see ... $2000 .... $50 .... No brainer!
As to the birding, well, that was a lot of fun! We got the Red-necked Grebe fairly quickly and then spent some time checking out the other ducks and shorebirds in the area. There were plenty of Northern Shovelers, some Ruddy Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers. Several Killdeer and a Least Sandpiper patrolled the edges while Red-winged Blackbirds and Cedar Waxwings darted around the far shore. We even had an American Pipit fly over us. Fortunately, Rex has better ears than I, so he got he on to it quickly. It was a county tick, so once again I was the beneficiary of the better birding skills of others. Before we left, I couldn't resist trying my new toy on the Loggerhead Shrike perched on top of a nearby tree.
|Sora at St. Marks|
Shorebirds were numerous with lots of Dunlin and Least Sandpipers. We also saw some Marbled Godwits, Western Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Snipes and a Black-bellied Plover. There were also more Sora than I've ever seen in one day. At left is the best shot I could get of a Sora, and below, left is photo of a Sora with a Snipe just behind it.
On the south end of SB 1 we found the geese we wanted. There were several Snow Geese and at least two Ross's Geese. Unfortunately, we didn't see any Canada Geese, but a Red-breasted Merganser joined the group just to add some variation and interest. We also found a male Vermilion Flycatcher (below, right). That's a bird that can take your breath away. He was nice enough to pose for me, so I had to oblige, didn't I?
Eventually, we stumbled back to the car to head back to Gainesville. But before we could pull out of the parking lot we had to pause to let an otter cross the road. No picture, but it's a cool memory. In the end we had about 80 species on the day. I picked up three county ticks in Leon and one in Wakulla, Of course the Grebe was a lifer, so that's a state bird as well. And of course, I enjoyed iScoping. Hey is that a new word? Maybe I ought to copyright it?
|Sora and Wilson's Snipe|