Monday, February 27, 2012

An amazing video...


We came across a video we thought you might enjoy--like them or not, this is an impressive display of nature at its finest. Take a look!

A mystery of nature:

No one knows why they do it. Yet each fall, thousands of starlings dance in the twilight above England and Scotland. The birds gather in shape-shifting flocks called murmurations, having migrated in the millions from Russia and Scandinavia to escape winter’s frigid bite.
Scientists aren’t sure how they do it, either. The starlings' murmurations are manifestations of swarm intelligence, which in
different contexts is practised by schools of fish, swarms of bees and colonies of ants. As far as I am aware, even complex algorithmic models haven’t yet explained the starlings’ aerobatics, which rely on the tiny birds' quicksilver reaction time of under 100 milliseconds to avoid aerial collisions—and predators—in the giant flock.

Two young ladies were out for a late afternoon canoe ride and fortunately one of them remembered to bring her video camera. What they saw was a wonderful murmuration display, caught in the short video whose URL is below. Watch the variation of colour and intensity of the patterns that the birds make in close proximity to one other.



http://vimeo.com/31158841

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Interesting Write-up about a New Digiscoping Adapter

Meopta to Introduce New Digiscoping Adapter for iPhones

John Riutta | November 21, 2011 | 2 Comments
Each time I have seen a bird watcher or naturalist trying to hold an iPhone up to the eyepiece of a spotting scope in hopes of steadying it sufficiently to capture the image they desire, I have said to myself “I wonder which spotting scope company will be the first to produce an iPhone digiscoping adapter?” Now I have finally received my answer: Meopta.
According to the company’s press release, the MeoPix iScoping Adapter’s “proprietary technology guarantees a secure fit [and] precise alignment” of any iPhone 4 or 4s model, enabling it to “interface with any binocular or spotting scope eyepiece.” Needless to state, such cross-brand compatibility in combination with the near ubiquity of the iPhone will likely effect considerable excitement among digiscopers and offer those not yet involved in this type of photography a very easy entry into it.
Presently in patent pending status and with the full approval of Apple, the formal introduction of the MeoPix will be made at the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas and the 2012 IWA Show in Nuremberg, Germany.
While The Well-read Naturalist has not yet had the opportunity to examine a working model of the MeoPix iScoping Adapter, rest assured that as soon as one arrives and has been put through its proverbial paces, a full report with a selection of the recorded images and videos, will be published here.
Feel free to check out the link and follow the comments at: http://www.wellreadnaturalist.com/2011/11/meopta-to-introduce-new-digiscoping-adapter-for-iphones/

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Birder's Thoughts on the New Improvements to the Refuge

We always enjoy hearing about your visits to the Stillwater Refuge. 

We think the following thoughts recently shared with us from an avid birder concerning changes to the area may be of particular interest to you for your next visit:

Hi birders....A quick note to indicate that I decided to do a tour of Stillwater NWR today, having heard and seen reports that its water supply was up this year. Indeed it is.....but equally impressive are the improvements made by Mike Goddard and his staff over the past several years to make the place more user (birder/casual viewer) friendly.

The big improvements occur at the south end of the complex, where one enters the refuge and encounters the "Auto Tour" entrance. The old maintenance shops have been removed, a nice big parking lot with kiosk/maps/info is there, along with an impressive viewing stand looking south into the marshes. Toilet facilities are also present.

The "Auto Tour" road proceeds north and makes a loop around Upper Foxtail Lake which gets the viewer fairly close to water at the upper end of the tour road. It is the quickest and easiest access to water at Stillwater, and many of the usual and expected birds can be seen along that short trip. There is also a new walking trail (Tule) off Hunter Road, just north of the intersection where Hunter Road turns north from the refuge entrance road.

For the more hardy among us, there is lots more water...widely distributed...further north along Hunter Road/Navy Cabin Road/Center Road. North Road has little to offer, has a soft roadbed in places and probably takes more time than it's worth to traverse. The water in the north end of the Stillwater complex is a bit harder to access, for the most part, requires a scope and a bit of hiking to get the most of it.

Road conditions are good, vegetation is as green and lush as I've seen it in many years, and there are birds to be seen as well. While I spent most of my time driving/viewing conditions from the car, what birding I did was productive of the usual and expected species. Travelers are reminded that to do a "complete" tour of the refuge requires considerable time, and adequate fuel. (I drove 220 miles round trip/ door to door/ from Reno.)

Again, my congratulations to Mike Goddard and his staff at Stillwater for doing a really nice job making Stillwater a much more desirable location to visit/bird than perhaps was the case in the past.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Deadline Extended for 2nd Annual Wetlands and Wings: Youth Waterfowl Workshop & Hunt

New Deadline for Applications is September 5, 2011!
Come participate in this fun opportunity designed to introduce youth to the outdoors while experiencing an American tradition. Wetlands and Wings will take place on Friday September 30 (from 4pm – 8pm) and Saturday October 1 (from 3:30am – 12noon) at the





Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge in Fallon, NV.

This event is open to youth ages 10-15 with a valid NV hunter education certificate.
If you have a desire to learn the sport and art of waterfowl hunting, this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.

The event is FREE, but attendance both days is required.

Each participant will receive gear from major hunting suppliers such as: Final Approach, Rig’em Right Waterfowl, Bill Saunders Calls & Gear, Natural Gear Camo, and more!

Note: Transportation to and lodging in Fallon is NOT included; if selected, participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. Additional forms and waivers will be required prior to the event.

What is provided:  transportation from Fallon to/from the refuge; Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast and lunch, snacks and water; a hunting guide and expert instruction prior to and during the hunt; decoys, shot shells, waterfowl i.d. book, and educational materials.   

For more information call: 775/423-5128 ext. 228, or 775/423-1636
To submit your application, you can either copy the following information into a file, fill it out, and send it to ; copy, print, and complete the information listed below; or request a form to print by e-mailing ) and return it by September 5 to:
Wetlands and Wings
1000 Auction Road
Fallon, NV 89406
 
Successful applicants will be notified mid to late September, 2011.
 
Information required:
Name: ____________________________________________________________
Parent or Legal Guardian’s name: _________________________________________
Mailing address: ________________________________________________________
Home phone number: _______________  

Cell phone number: ____________________
E-mail: ______________________________________________
 
1.) What is your date of birth (month/year)? __________________________________________
2.) Have you hunted before? ______________________________________________________
If yes, what type of hunting have you done? __________________________________________
3.) Do you have family or friends who hunt? _________________________________________
4.) Have you ever attended a sponsored event before? __________________________________
5.) Do you have a hunter safety certificate? __________________________________________
If yes, when and where did you receive it? ___________________________________________
If no, when will you take the course? _______________________________________________
6.) Do you have transportation to and from Fallon? ____________________________________

7.) What, if any, hunting gear (gun, clothing, equipment, etc.) do you own? 
________________________________________________________________________


Sunday, May 29, 2011

One Great Festival

We'd like to thank you all for coming to the Spring Wings Festival 2011. We'll be posting pics from the weekend shortly. Come back to check them out, or go to http://www.springwings.org/.
Thanks for making this year a success!
If you have any concerns or comments, please send them to .

Friday, November 26, 2010

American Avocets

From birds

Friday, November 19, 2010

Egret

From birds

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stillwater Refuge Overlook

From overlook

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bird Watchers

From Bird Festival

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stillwater Refuge Overlook

From overlook