Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snowy Owls - Harrison Twp

After reading the reports on-line yesterday that two Snowy Owls were seen in Harrison Twp yesterday, I braved the rain and headed that way this morning... It did not take long to find them... I saw the two together across the Marina near Rays and the DNR station on the point... They were heading toward North River Rd... I headed that way and found one of the owls perched on an apartment roof near Selfridge Air force Base Golf Course entrance.... It was fairly approachable and I was able to get a couple of pics before the rain picked up to heavy to sit out there with my Camera..... to enlarge...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ruddy Ducks

This morning at daybreak there were about 3 Dozen Ruddy Ducks at Stoney Creek Metropark near the Mt. Vernon Picnic area.... I always forget how small these little guys are... Even the coots looked big compared to them... Large amounts of Canada Geese were present.... Scoped the lake for Loons and Grebes and none were present.....

Males were out aways from shore.. heavily cropped

Port Huron - Lighthouse Park and Lakeside Park

After reports surfaced of all three Scoter species and the little Gull in Port Huron I decided to take a trip to the river... I was working in Port Huron yesterday, so when my day ended I headed over to the water... I ran into a a fellow birder Jeremy that I met for the first time and we scoped the water off of the short of Lakeside Park... There is a Large group of Gulls there, although I did not locate the Little Gull... a few White-winged Scoters were scoped off of shore. There were some Common Mergansers and Bufflehead around... Large rafts of Long-tailed Ducks can be seen from the shore of Lighthouse Park...  While standing there scoping the ducks a huge flock 150+ of Snow Buntings came a shore and moved along the beach right in front of me... Very cool...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stoney Creek... First Goldeneyes of the year..

Took a run around the lake today... First Goldeneyes of the year.... about 2 dozen of them on the lake... also a large flock of Hooded Mergansers near the north damn.... There was a large movement of Robins today... I would estimate at least 200 of them moving thru the park.... Noticeably absent were the Canada Geese...Not one to be seen in the park... There was also half a dozen bufflehead near the North Damn....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Feeders up and running at full capacity... Suprise!!! Hawks are coming around...

Immature Red-tailed Hawk has been sitting behind my feeders for about a week... I am not sure why since they dont normally chase after birds and I have no squirrels... I do have a ton of mice in the field and they are attracted to the fallen seed in my feeder station... who knows...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sandhill Crane - Stoney Creek

Two Sandhill Crane have been hanging at Stoney Creek for the last couple of days... I saw them on Wed night and they got spooked by a guy walking his dog and took off toward the golf course... Early morning today they were at Mt. Vernon Picnic Area near the canoe rental.... Very vocal.....

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

its getting Windy... if you dont believe me, ask this guy!!

Red-tailed Hawk near my subdivision today... he had his wings out and was facing into the wind... I stopped and shot a photo of him out my passenger side window....

Stoney Creek - Bald Eagle

Quick run to stoney creek. Bald Eagle across from Baypoint beach.. Watching over a flock of coots... 2 Common Loons on the lake. Canvasbacks and a couple of Ring-necked Ducks near south dam. 8 green winged teals at eastpointe beach. Snow Buntings +20 near road by Winter Cove.
Imm Bald Eagle

Monday, November 7, 2011

Merlin - Almost drove right by you!!

Took a run this morning to Metrobeach Metropark in Harrison Twp.. I was hoping to find the Northern Shrike that was seen a day earlier... I saw Tom Heatly at the North Marsh and he informed me that I had just missed the Shrike... Arrhgghh!!  I grabbed the camera and went looking for it with no luck... I decided to head over to the Day Sail and see what was on the water... As I drove along the road in front of the Nature Center, near the Restrooms, I glanced up into the tree and saw a bird sitting there... I slammed on my brakes as I nearly passed it and grabbed my binoculars... I thought it was a kestrel at first until I put my glass on it.... Low and behold it was a Merlin.... It sat on the branch and was preening itself... I took a couple of pics from the middle of the road until I figured out I was going to get a ticket... I slowly drove past it and parked... I managed to sneak around in front of the hawk and snapped a couple of pics before it headed toward the golf course.... Sweet!!  it made up for missing the Shrike... I worked in Port Huron today and headed over to the river to see what was  floating... Besides the many Bonaparte Gulls, I found a couple decent size flocks of Long-tailed Ducks North of the bridge...


Merlin (we were in a stare down contest)

I won

Shot from my car window in center of road
Bonaparte Gull

Long-tailed Duck (severely out of range for my lens)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pied-billed Grebe.... what was that?

Kinda of an uneventful day birding.... Took a run over to Stoney Creek Metropark... Didn't see much on the lake... A bunch of coots and a big flock of Canada Geese at Eastwood beach.... Some smaller geese, but I didn't feel comfortable calling any of them Cackling Goose.... While scoping the Geese, a pair of Pied-billed Grebes came close to shore and each one started flapping there wings rapidly... one at a time... then they swam away... Not sure what that was about but it was interesting to watch..... Feeders in my yard were going crazy today... Mostly Goldfinches, House Finches and Juncos.... Saw a few Tree Sparrows, but none ventured into the feeders...

Pied-billed Grebes

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Red-necked Grebe

I saw the reported Red-necked Grebe at Metrobeach today off of the day sail.... you will need a scope to see it well.... It dives frequently so patience is a must.... very cool bird!!  Too far for pictures.... :(

Snow Buntings - early arrival to Macomb County.... Oh oh, hope this isn't a sign of a bad winter!!

Looking for Ducks and the reported Sandhill Cranes at Stoney Creek Metropark today when I came upon 5 little Snow Buntings in the Mt. Vernon Picnic Area.... I could barely get out of the car with the camera when they took off flying toward the Winter Grove Picnic Area. only managed this one quick shot.... This is the earliest that I have seen them near my home in Macomb County in the fall, although I saw them in Northern Michigan a couple of weeks ago.... A pair of Horned Grebes were diving on the lake as well as a few Hooded Mergansers... Lots of Geese around..

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stopped by Metro Beach this am right after sunrise

On my way to Wyandotte this AM I stopped at Metrobeach to scope the north marsh and check out the day sail.... a ton of coots in the North Marsh as well as N. Shoveler, 2 Wood Ducks, 3 Black Ducks, 4 Gadwalls and a couple of Mallards..   a huge flock of Bonaparte Gulls were at the day sail.... approx 40 birds could be seen off shore.....

Bird Feeders

The birds feeders are up and running... The Bushy pile of cottonwood trees and other assorted branches is rebuilt behind the feeder to provide some cover from the diving hawks.... Last year was quite entertaining as an immature Sharp-shinned hawk dive bombed the feeders in Nov and Dec, while the Coopers took over for the rest of the winter..... Hoping to get more than one Redpoll and one Pine Sisken this year....   I have been hearing and seeing an occasional Cardinal behind the house... Not much in the way of woods back there, but the cottonwoods along the drainage dish grew another 8ft since last year and they have been visiting. I would love to see some new color....