A Surprise, But Not Really a Surprise
I have been tracking my wildlife photography efforts in a database for almost twenty-eight years. Included in those records are acceptable photos only, not the “duds” that I also shoot (and delete). By keeping track of what I have been photographing, including details such as when, where, and special notes, a person can eventually predict wildlife activity patterns. Sure, we have the Internet to tell us when things will be happening, but I can also predict local activity with a fair amount of accuracy. With each passing year, the accuracy of the database improves more a little more. More data = more accuracy!
I had a pretty good idea it was just a matter of time before I would see some avian arctic visitors (in addition to snowy owls). Today I am referring to horned larks and lapland longspurs. These small, sparrow-like birds prefer the worst winter conditions – open fields where the wind blows hard, sparse habitat, and cold temperatures. How either species survives is beyond my imagination.
This afternoon I came across a flock of lapland longspurs. I was not looking for them, but there they were! None allowed me a real close approach, but I was able to lessen the distance between me and them enough to shoot a few photos. In the second and fourth images you can see the crimson cape on the neck of the bird. This will become more vivid during breeding season.
When I passed by a wooded area I noticed a pair of whitetail deer watching me. They too were photographed.
Whitetail Deer in Timber: