I begin birding in earnest: Morraine Hills State Park, Volo Bog State Natural Area, Orland Grasslands, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, and Chicago Parks

We were called back to work on May 20th but I had previously scheduled vacation time so decided to keep it so I could visit more parks and practice with the Nikon P900 camera I had rented. It was recommended to me by my birding mentor, Scott Judd, because it has a wicked zoom. Nothing like what he has now graduated too but perfect for a beginning birder like myself. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Morraine Hills State Park and Volo Bog State Natural Area

My first stop was Morraine Hills and Velo Bog. My plan was to point my camera at anything with feathers and see what came out! Unfortunately the battery went dead on the good camera just before I spotted a Sandhill Crane. Lesson learned.

Orland Grasslands

Next I went to Orland Grasslands just west of Chicago. Lot’s of opportunities here to practice my camera skills. On my way back to the parking lot I was able to capture the often hard to spot black billed cuckoo. I, of course, had no idea what was just sitting on the branch of a tree in a distance. I almost skipped trying to get a photo, thinking it was probably just another song sparrow, which were everywhere.

Midewin National Tall Grass Prairie

Banita and I were fostering a greyhound so we decided to see how he did in a car ride so we headed out to Midewin Tall Grass for some hiking around. It was HOT that day and birding with dogs is a challenge but I was able to get some pictures.

Grant Park, Lincoln Park Visitors and Locals

As I didn’t get my camera until late May, I had missed most of the spring migration but I was able to capture a couple of warblers (they do not like to sit for photos) in Grant Park as well as our year round locals.

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