Sunday birding… LSCMP

I took a quick run by LSCMP today… I bumped into Allen Chartier who was banding in the meadow loop… He had banded a Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush and a few other normal species for this time of year.. I walked the trails and the birding was slow.. I found a Winter Wren and came across some Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers mixed in with Black-capped Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches. In the North Marsh near the parking area there were Coots, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Gadwall, Ruddy Duck and Northern Shovelor…

Redhead

Redhead

Greater Scaup

Greater Scaup

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Everyday brings a new rarity… Pacific Loon

I am at work today and I see Tom Hince name show up on my phone… with anticipation and slightly scared I answer the phone. Tom says that he is at Stony Creek and “guess what I am looking at?”.. We have been talking about that lake and the month of November and that it would be perfect for a Pacific Loon to show up… and it does… I am at work of course and I am so bummed.  Luckily the bird stayed around and I headed to Stony after work and was able to locate it. I got to see it with several people… This is one tricky Loon… I would see it in my scope and then drive around the lake to get a better vantage point for a photo… it had already moved on and would be seen elsewhere… Oh well, maybe tomorrow…  At least I had the opportunity to practice shooting Gulls in flight and I saw a nice Bald Eagle fly over the lake…

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

gull in flight Herring ring billed eye ring billed

Northern Shrike – Macomb County

This morning, right after day break I traveled my usual route of Omo Rd and Werderman before heading to work. Today I came upon a Northern Shrike on Omo, north of 26 mi Rd. This is my second Shrike of the year and its only November. In 2012 I had 6 Northern Shrike sightings for the year…   Later on in the day while I was at work, I received messages that Tom Hince had found a Pomarine Yeager at Brandenburg Park in Chesterfield Twp… I was so bummed out that I could not leave… What a great bird!!

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

Lark Sparrow – Bradenburg Park, Chesterfield Twp

Well, Once again Tom Hince found a rare bird for the county. I am beginning to believe that he has a special implant in him that makes him a literal bird magnet. He found a Lark Sparrow this morning at Bradenburg Park. What a great find for the county. I was told that the bird hung out most of the day and may birders got a chance to see it.. Awesome Find!!  Thanks Tom!!! I owe you one. or two. or three….. Gosh I am in a lot of “bird debt”… LOL

Lark Sparrow Lark Sparrow

Western Sandpipers – Macomb County

I started off the day in Port Huron… I was hoping to get a better view of the Little Gulls, but no luck. I did see a Red-necked Grebe, White-winged and Black Scoters and about 60 Long-tailed Ducks. I headed to the location in Macomb County where I saw the Northern Shrike found by Tom and Kathi Hince. I couldn’t get photos of it yesterday and I was hoping for a second chance. I drove by a field where a flock of Killdeer flew when a Red-tailed Hawk flew over the field. I immediately noticed two peep sized sandpipers in the flock. the flock circled around the field and landed. I stopped and pulled out my scope. The first of the peep sized pipers had juvenile plumage. A long black thin bill is what I first noticed. Slight drooped at the tip and almost thinner looking at the tip. It was standing with the Killdeer and looked half its size. It had black legs. The head and neck looked grayish and the face looked pale. throat and breast were white with faint streaking on upper breast. what caught my attention was the rufous row of feathers in the upper scapulars while the lower scapulars were very gray in appearance. The second bird was some what dull grayish looking all over with white throat and breast with smudgy streaking on both sides of chest. This bird also had a long thin black bill that was slightly curved at the tip. When taking flight and moving around the field the birds had a very high pitched flight note. I called Tom Hince and told him I thought I had Western Sandpipers and would this be late in the year for them. Needless to say he headed my way and before he and Kathi could get there,  flushed when the hawk buzzed the field again and we could not relocate them. A really sweet find for the year for me and I was bummed I did not get to share it with anyone…  Across the field from the Sandpipers there were a pair of Northern Harriers that were quite entertaining…

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier pouncing on a mouse

Northern Harrier pouncing on a mouse

Northern Harriers

Northern Harriers

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

N Harrier preening

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier preening

Northern Harrier preening

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe