Early Morning Ducks – safe in the marsh

The North Marsh at Lk. St. Clair Metropark held some Northern Shovelers, Gadwall and a Green-winged Teal at dawn…. Bumped into Allen Chartier who was doing a bird survey… When he pulled up in his car and got out the flock took off, circled and came back to the same spot, so I was able to snap some photos in flight….  Also had a Northern Harrier at the DNR pointe as well as a flock of Snow Buntings… I was unable to view the flock of buntings for Lapland Longspurs as it was still quite dark….  off to work I went…..

Northern Shovelers

Northern Shovelers and friends in flight…

Northern Shoveler coming in for a landing

Green-winged Teal sitting by himself out in the marsh

 

 

 

Northern Shrike and Bohemian Waxwing…… Northern Macomb County

I decided to hit the road at sunrise before work and cover some of the country roads north of my house…. I turned on Omo off of 26 mile rd, just as the sun was rising, and within 3/4 of a mile I found a Northern Shrike sitting on top of a tree on the Wetzel State Park side of the rd…. It was still fairly dark, but there was no denying its silhouette…. I snapped a couple of photos as the sun was beginning to highlight the bird…. It flew closer to me near the road, and I used my car as a blind and snapped some photos out the driver side window….  I also found a Northern Shrike on Coon Creek Rd, near Armada…..  I checked out the housing area Southeast of Armada… Tom Heatley and Alan Ryff had found a Bohemian Waxwing there hanging with a group of Cedars…. I managed to relocate the flock and find the Bohemian (Hollweg and Franklin dr)…. I couldn’t photograph the bird because it was in someone’s backyard and I was already getting looks from the neighbors… Sure enough, the Police were called and the officer pulled up and asked me what I was doing…. I went into a lengthy discussion about the Waxwings and the drought in Northern Canada that produced a poor berry crop and how they were coming into the Northern USA this year in very good numbers…. etc….   He finally figured that a burglar couldn’t make up this much crap…. smiled and told me to have a nice day…. 🙂

Northern Shrike at dawn

Northern Shrike photographed out my car window

Northern Shrike photographed out my car window

 

Brandenburg Park, New Baltimore – Gulls

On a tip from Tom Heatley, I headed to Brandenburg Park off of Jefferson in New Baltimore to look for Gulls…. I found two groups of them in the am…  One group held two Iceland Gulls (231) and a 1st Year Lesser Black-backed Gull….  Tom also saw a Glaucous Gull and a Thayers the day before….  I will be keeping an eye on this location this winter…. very good spot!!

Lk. St. Clair Metropark

I birded with Tom Heatley and Kevin Rysiewski today at Lk. St. Clair Metropark…  I arrived at the park first, just as the sun was rising… Our resident Merlin was sitting in a tree on the edge of the parking lot munching on something… I snuck up on him with my car and got out and continued to stalk him so I could get a couple of pictures…. I know it sounds like a lot of effort, because truth be told, its very approachable…. LOL!!   Birding was slow… There were a good number of Buffleheads on the lake… also a good number of duck hunters…. I saw a few Lesser Scaup… not a whole lot to report… The woods were slow… We managed to see a flock of waxwings… this is in the same area that Bohemian Waxwings were seen just a few days ago… This was a flock that was high over our heads, but they looked like the smaller Cedar than the larger Bohemian… We saw one Cedar Waxwing sitting in the berry trees near the Nature Center… Tree Sparrows were near the pointe… I heard some Brown Creepers…. We spied one Coopers Hawk that was chasing something and landed on the rocks along the shore… I snuck up on it and could only see part of its body thru the brush…. the light was showing its red iris really well….

Tom and I headed toward some of the County Rds to look for Rough-legged Hawks… we both need this one for our county list for the year… No luck… we must have seen a dozen Red-tails and 3 American Kestrels….

Coopers Hawk

I am sneaking up on the Merlin

Merlin Feeding

Merlin with breakfast

Chilling out after finishing breakfast