Not a lot of birds today; mostly House Finches. That means nothing good to pose for a picture. Doesn't make much of a difference, anyway - I'm missing my camera.
I remember when we took that road trip to Indiana. At the Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, IN, I saw tons of robins and starlings, and even a couple Barn Swallows! After we had gone back to the hotel, I saw no birds for the rest of the evening. The next morning, three of us went on a short hike around the perimeter before breakfast. We saw a couple House Sparrows, and robin or two and a dead frog in the pond. That day, we drove to the Indiana Dunes National Park, on the border of Lake Michigan. In the gift shop, I bought a national parks "passport" and an Audubon bird call. Later, on our family hike through the park's forest, we came to a stop at an elevated platform with big, mounted binoculars on the deck; a "bird observatory." On the platform, I saw two Yellow Warblers, one male and one female, two Belted Kingfishers, probably mates, one raptor of some sort, and a Blackburnian Warbler! I was so excited that I cried just a little (it's still a little embarassing to admit it). Afterwards, out of the forest and onto the beach, we saw just massive flocks of Ring-billed Gulls; that was the only species of gull on the beach, I think.
Mallard, adult female.
Next month, we traveled to The Abbey in Fontana, WI, right on Lake Geneva. I like where our room was: the second floor, meaning we had a deck, facing the lake! We saw a lot of Mallards there, along with a weird-looking black-and-white domestic version. I ever did get a picture of that one... While we were sightseeing in Lake Geneva (the city, not the actual lake), I saw a lot of Ring-billed Gulls, some House Sparrows, starlings, herons and robins. There were a couple other species, but I can't remember what they were.
We got juncos really early this year. I think the first ones were in mid-to-late October. And we've had a ton since then! Sometimes, the males look gray, and sometimes they're slate-black, hence the name "Slate-colored Junco." And the females look like sooty Oregon Juncos (which's a subspecies of the Dark-eyed), with brownish wings and a gray head. The Yellow-eyed Junco (not a subspecies) differs from the Dark-eyed in one way: A yellow eye. Other than that, almost nothing.
I like taking pictures of birds. It's especially fun when you're photographing a rarity or one in a funny position. It's even more fun when you have a camera, unlike me. My "dream camera" is the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS. I know how to use it because I know someone who has one. The main feature that I like is the image stabilization. A close second is the 30x optical zoo, for taking pictures of a bird really far away. Overall, it's a good camera.