Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Leucistic Songbird at Wetzel

I went birding at Wetzel State Park tonite with Kevin Rysiewski... There were a decent number of shorebirds in the various ponds... We had Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper and of course, Killdeer.... Plenty of Green Herons about....

Highlight of the evening was a Leucistic bird that we seen toward the end of the evening... The sun was beginning to set and the lighting was not good... I saw a bird fly across the path... I turned and looked at Kevin and said, "hey, a white bird just flew over the path".... Kevin probaly thought I was crazy... we continued walking when all of a sudden the white bird flew in front of us along the pond, sitting in the reeds and the bushes surrounding the pond.... I managed to get a few pics.... Quality is poor because it was dark and shaded, but looking at the tail and its bill, I am going with Bobolink.... Please feel free to leave your guess in the comments..... Very cool way to end a nice evening of birding.....click on photos to enlarge...

Imm. Herons.. Lk. St. Clair Metropark

Stopped by the park today looking for the Least Bitterns.... I seem to be the only one who had not photographed them this summer.... No luck on the Bitterns, but I did manage to see at least 3 Imm. Black-crowned Night Herons and many Green Herons.... click on photos to enlarge..
Imm Green Heron

Imm Black-crowned Night Heron

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shorebirds - Lk St. Clair Metropark

Took a quick run by Lk St. Clair Metropark today... Beach was active although nothing rare or unusual... I spotted one Caspian Tern sitting with the gulls on the beach... Semipalmated Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plover (5 of them), Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Killdeer, Pectoral Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs were all on the beach.... There was a group of Foresters Terns that were making flybys... I love the rusty color in the Juvenile birds...  click to enlarge photos..
Caspian Tern


Semipalmated Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs

Juvenile Foresters Tern

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hummingbirds.... Fascinating birds...

As I have written in previous posts, this is the first year that we have had Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the yard... We started off the year with a Male and a Female.... The Male became the dominent visitor in the yard and chased off the female.... So for awhile it was only him coming to the feeder.... he did not look well... his feathers looked worn and his behavior was odd.... he would not hover at the feeder... he would fly in and sit and stick his tounge out in the air and make this very weird sound.... One day he was gone... and the female returned.... She visited the feeder many times during the day.... Different than the male because she was very shy.... She was considerably larger and was a beautiful bird.... I assumed that she had a nest near by and I anxiously waited the arrival of her young to the yard.... One day, she showed up and she had another small "female" with her.... I assumed that this was her young... they hung together for about a week.... Then, she would not come as much, and the young one would come on its own..... Now for the last week a Male has shown up in the yard.... he takes turns coming to the feeder alternating visits with the young Hummingbird.... He is very sharp looking and although not as shy as Momma hummingbird, he is still weary of us as we stare out the window..... I managed to snap a few pics of both the young bird and the new Male today.... I think that the young one is a Male because I can see a streaked or spotted throat, but everything I have read says that its not certain until the following spring.....  I look forward to another month of watching them and I will be sad to see them go south....... click on photos to enlarge....
The Hummingbirds love to perch on the dead branches above the feeder

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looking for Baird's reported at Lk. St. Clair Metropark.... Dipped

I got a call from Kevin R that Brandon had found a Baird's Sandpiper at Lk. St. Clair Metropark... I was on my way home from work and headed that way.... I found the bird that was described to me and took a bunch of photos.... greenish legs and wings that did not extend beyond the tail.... bummer, It was a Juvenile Least Sandpiper... although a good looking bird.... I also watched a couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers for a minute before I took off..... Hopefully Kevin finds the bird tonite.... click to enlarge....
Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wetzel State Park.... Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies.....

Took a long walk out at Wetzel today... There is some good Shorebird habitat... just no shorebirds... hopefully soon... I didn't see much exciting in the world of birds... Just the usual GB Herons, Great Egrets, Pied-billed Grebes and a couple of Blue-winged Teal.... There were Field Sparrows, Willow Flycatchers, Common Yellowthroats and Marsh Wrens here and there.... I saw one Sharp-shinned Hawk flyover and a couple of Red-tailed Hawks soared by....  Butterflies were plentiful.... I didn't have my Macro Lens with me (my preferred lens for shooting insects) but I managed to grab a few pics with the zoom.... Dragonflies were also darting about... most of them were not sitting still enough for photos... but I managed a couple...  click to enlarge...
Giant Swallowtail

Halloween Pennant

way above my head.... I like that it was
Silhouetted against the sky

Eastern Tailed Blue

Common Yellowthroat

Blue Dasher

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pointe Mouillee -

I stopped by Pointe Mouillee after work today... I was in the area... It is only my third time there.... I figured I would walk out to cell 3 and see what was around.... There were a good number of Least Sandpipers... probably a couple of dozen... there were also a dozen or more Lesser Yellowlegs... I saw two Solitary Sandpipers..... Unexpected was the 6 Sanderlings that were working the Mudflat on the side of cell 3 near the lake...  I also had one Dowitcher.... I think it is a Long-billed based upon the length of bill, but the feathers on the back look more like a Short-billed...  So I am seeking additional opinions.... There were a good number of Caspian Terns around, several Osprey and one Bald Eagle.... All Swallow species were seen today and an unexpected Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the thickets near the parking lot.... There were Dragonflies everywhere!!!!! 

Forgive the poor quality of the Dowitcher photos.... It was a long way off and these are heavily cropped... click to enlarge...

Bonaparte's Gull and Sanderling

Least Sandpipers

Pied-billed Grebe covered in slime.... yuck

Halloween Pennant

I always thinks its weird to look out of the marsh and see the nuclear plant

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fall Migration is beginning.....

Reports are starting to come in that shorebirds are beginning to move into the area as they begin there journey south... Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs were both at the pond behind Walmart on Hall Rd in Clinton Twp.... I finally got over to Lk. St. Clair Metropark on Monday and saw a couple of Black-crowned Night Herons (213).  I checked the little ponds near Selfridge Air force base and they were empty, but I did manage to photograph a nice looking American Kestrel on the wire... Today I took a walk behind the house... I came upon a Spotted Sandpiper that was allowing me some good opportunities for close up shots... Just as I was about to take a picture, a young Sandpiper stood up next to his parent... I snapped a quick shot, and just then, the Adult took off and left the youngster, who freaked out and ran toward a ditch with a bunch of muck and plastic garbage... I could hear the adult off in the distance by the pond, but I was concerned for the little one because the area he was running to was a garbage pit.... So, I plucked up the little one and walked over to the pond where its parent was, and let it down and it quickly joined both of its parents.....  Then I got out of there.... Not the best situation, but I am glad it turned out ok.... I did get one little cell phone pic before I  put the little one down....   click photos to enlarge

American Kestrel

Spotted Sandpiper

Indigo Bunting

Monday, July 9, 2012

BirdWatching Magazine

Friday I got an email from BirdWatching Magazine... My photo I submitted of a Kirtland's Warbler got chosen as the photo of the week in their online version of the Magazine.... I was very geeked that my Photo was chosen... Especially when I saw all the wonderful photographs posted in the gallery...  very cool experience to say the least...


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tough Doves....

Over the past week we have had temperatures nearing a hundred degrees... We also have had a few thunderstorms which dumped a ton of rain on us.... One storm in particular was strong enough to take the little girls playhouse next door, and lift it up in the air and place it on our patio.... In pieces..  Yet, thru all of this, a pair of Mourning Doves raised two young in the gutter above our garage... It had to be like a river running under the nest.... The young doves are about to leave, and I must say, I have learned a new appreciation for these common birds.... click on photos to enlarge