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In all the year I’ve been photographing birds around the farm I’ve never photographed Goldfinch fledglings. This year there were quite a few around at the end on the Summer. It seemed that the males were doing all of the feeding. This male was attacked by two fledglings demanding food.

I watched this fledgling for over an hour as he patiently waited to be fed. Every time a bird turned up at the feeder it would start fluttering its wings. I had to laugh when some Baltimore Orioles turned up and it wanted to be fed. Finally an adult goldfinch turned up and fed it.

 

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When I went out to pick tomatoes this summer I noticed that someone had been eating them. I couldn’t figure who like tomatoes but a couple of days later I spotted the culprits in the garden.

Just before the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds leave for the summer they love to feed on my Red Prince Weigela flowers. This year it has been a problem photographing them because one hummingbird has appointed herself to guard the flowers. It is only when the guard is off chasing someone that I can capture another bird feeding.

In a typical summer I take hundreds of photos of Eastern Bluebirds. This year this is my lone photo and it was taken just before they headed south. Normally I photograph them building their nests and feeding their young but this year I was out of town when this happened. I also typically put up a birdhouse next to the house where they can raise their second brood. Unfortunately they didn’t nest in the house this year so I was left with one photo.

Late in the summer when we have mornings with heavy dew I like to walk out into the Prairie and look for spider webs. Normally I have lots of them but this year I only found a few. This spider was eating breakfast when I found him.

For some unknown reason I wait until just before the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds leave for the summer before I take a few photos of them. On this particular day I watched them approach one of my feeders.

On our drive back from the Black Hills we stopped at Sioux Falls. One of our favorite places to visit in Sioux Falls is Falls Park. It had rained most of the night and there was a slight mist when we arrived at the park. Fortunately we had about an hour to look around before heading back to the car. We had just reached the car when the skies opened up.

I’ve driven through the Badlands many times but I’ve never taken any panoramas before so this trip I decided to take a few.

We had made two trips on the Wildlife Loop in Custer State park but still hadn’t seen many Buffalo. After a stop at Crazy Horse Monument we drove over to Silvan Lake in Custer State Park. It’s always nice at the lake.

We were thinking of driving to Custer for Dinner but then decided that since we were going to be driving out to the Wildlife Loop we should stop at the State Game Lodge for Dinner. It was a big hit. After Dinner we once again started searching for Buffalo.

We drove out on a dirt road and did find about 25 buffalo but they were too far away to photograph. We also found a lot of Prairie Dogs. There were a large group of them clustered around a single hole.

We drove back to the Wildlife Loop and hadn’t gone far when we encountered a family of Wild Turkeys. I think this is the first time I had seen Wild Turkeys in the park.

We also encountered the Begging Burrows.

As we drove around the park there were some ominous clouds in the sky. The weather was supposed to get nasty later in the evening.

Still no Buffalo but as we neared the end of the Wildlife Loop we hit the mother load. There were probably 400 Buffalo along the road and a long traffic Jam. It took us 45 minutes to get through the herd because the Buffalo were constantly wandering across the road. You don’t want to iterate them particularity during the fall rut. As some of them passed the car they gave us a dirty look.

Success at last. The next morning we drove out again and the large herd was still in the same area.