February 1, 2014 Lacassine NWR, Louisiana

Gadwalls in flight
Gadwalls in flight

Satellite System Fixed !

Finally, the great Winegard crisis of 2014 is successfully resolved! Well. it was sort of important to me, now I get to watch the Superbowl!

Turns out the ominous error message I got yesterday “ El Home Motor Failure “ did not mean the motor had failed, but that the elevation motor failed to find it’s home location, thus couldn’t begin it’s search sequence. My 4th call to tech help at Winegard this AM proved to be the charm, as I got a knowledgeable, friendly guy who guided me through the recalibration of the interface box that resulted in a fully functioning satellite system once again.

Overall, mostly because of this last tech rep, plus the fact that English was the first language of all the reps I dealt with, plus the fact that Winegard did promptly return all 4 calls I had to make to them, I would have to say that the company did a pretty good job of resolving my system failure. Three of the four reps I dealt with were courteous and helpful and, I suppose, the shipping error was probably just one of those things that happen sometimes, even to the best of companies, and their willingness to overnight the correct item was the right thing to do.

Gadwalls in flight
Gadwalls in flight

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

With that behind me, and with intermittant sun poking through the cloud cover, I decided to take off and revisit Lacassine NWR this afternoon. The fairly heavy cloud cover interrupted by brief moments of bright sun made exposure setting kind of tricky this afternoon, but I managed to get a few decent shots out of many taken.

Click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Black=bellied Whistling duck
Black=bellied Whistling duck

 

Black=bellied Whistling duck
Black=bellied Whistling duck
Black=bellied Whistling duck
Black=bellied Whistling duck

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came across a lone Black-bellied Whistling duck, a stunning bird when caught in flight, but, unfortunately, this one was content to just feed along the canal and wasn’t about to take off though I waited a long time for him to do so.

Moorhen
Big Foot

There are lots of these colorful moorhens around but this was the first one I found out of the water showcasing his truly weird oversized feet.

Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff

I spend the largest portion of the afternoon trying to get some decent flight shots of the numerous Gadwalls that were spread out all over the refuge. Unlike other ducks, Gadwalls don’t seem to flock up and I was only finding isolated pairs, and they were very, very skittish. As a result, I got a lot of nice sharp shots of Gadwall butts flying away and precious few useable shots, but here are some of the better ones.

Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff
Gadwall takeoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gadwalls takeoff
Gadwalls takeoff
Mallard pair takeoff
Mallard pair takeoff

A Mallard pair taking flight. Coming from up north and having lived on a lake in New Hampshire, I take mallards for granted as they are as common as pigeons back there, so I am surprised at how few Mallards I encounter on all the refuges down here in the south.

Yellow rumped warbler
Yellow rumped warbler

It took me a while to ID just who this little guy was as I am not accustomed to seeing warblers out on the surface of the water. The next shot looks more like where I would normally see one of these guys.

Yellow rumped warbler
Yellow rumped warbler

 

PossumPossum

And lastly, when this guy poked his head out of the reeds and started up the bank, for an instant I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I guess I am more accustomed to seeing these guys as roadkill, not with the ability to actually move.

 

 

 

 

 

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