A month left to go

This is always an interesting time of year for me in terms of birding. I am sad that 2014 is coming to an end and yet I look forward to birding in 2015. I still hope to find a couple more county birds for the year, but time is running out and I am working a ton of hours and traveling for work. Hopefully I will run into some Common Redpolls, Crossbills or a Long-eared Owl..  This has been a great year so far and I broke my personal Macomb County Record for the year which was previously 233. I am at 236 right now. Of course it has been a blast watching Tom Hince smash the county big year record. Yesterday I spent some time in the afternoon driving a few country roads looking for anything that looked interesting. I was dressed in scrubs and not ready for walking trails in the cold, but I saw about a dozen Red-tailed Hawks, one Coopers Hawk and about 1000 Tree Sparrows… Even photographed a Tufted Titmouse out my car window…

Greater Black-backed Gull

Greater Black-backed Gull

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Greater Black-backed Gull

Greater Black-backed Gull

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

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