Thursday, 31 March 2016

Introductory Post

I’ve been toying with the idea for a few years now, but I’ve decided to dive in and start a bit of a nature blog. One of my main reasons for hesitating thus far is that while I am primarily a birder and much of my time in the field is devoted to birds, I am currently still limited to a pocket point-and-shoot camera that is unable to shoot a bird unless it’s right in front of me. Not super useful for a birding blog!

However, between field positions and my own personal travels I tend to accumulate a large number of non-avian photos of various herps, critters, plants and landscapes I come across. So, I’m hoping that by using some of those photos to fill in the gaps and brighten things up a bit, I’ll be able to use this blog to share some of my finds, stories and adventures with whoever would like to listen.

First a little about myself. I am currently just about finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, and have been an Ontario naturalist all my life. While birding has been my main focus since I was around 7 years old, I have always been keen on learning more about whatever plants, critters, and creatures I come across, and have been broadening my scope across herps, mammals, bugs, plants, and others over the years. I’ve been lucky enough the last 4 summers to get to explore some pretty incredible places through summer field positions. These have including a summer in SE Manitoba working with Golden-winged Warblers, 2 seasons travelling the length and breadth of Manitoba counting birds for the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, and this past season surveying birds and plants throughout Nevada’s Great Basin and Mojave Deserts as a part of the Nevada Bird Count.

I am returning to Nevada this summer for my second season on the project, so my first series of post will likely recount my sightings down there. However, I have loads of photos from my previous field seasons, so I hope to get around to getting a series of posts up for those seasons sometime in the future as well.

So thanks for reading, and if I don’t get anything up before then look forward to hearing about my first tour down in the desert oasis of Warm Springs in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime here are a few shots from around Warm Springs last year:

Warm Springs Natural Area

Silver Cholla near our camp on the mesa

Beavertail Cactus in the wash below camp

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake also in the wash below camp