Stoney Creek East Lake Trails

Took a 2 1/2 mile walk today at Stoney…. Trying to burn off a little of the Thanksgiving meal….  It was windy and very cloudy and the woods were unusually quiet… I did see a Buteo flying over the lake bording the Osprey Trail… It was all dark underneath… I suspect that it was a Rough-legged Hawk, although it disappeared even before I could get glass on it….  I saw a Bald Eagle flying over the lake… Hooded Mergansers are still present in good numbers….  1 Great-blue Heron flew over…..

Foggy Morning

I took a run to Stoney Creek Metropark this morning to check out Eastwood Beach…. I have been hoping to see a Snow Goose this fall… I figured with the dense fog, the Geese would be on the lake waiting for it to clear…. I was correct… there were about 100 Canada Geese in the vicinity of Eastwood, but no Snow Goose or even a Cackling…. There was a large group of gulls on the beach…. mostly Ring-billed with a few Herring Gulls mixed in….. I saw two Common Goldeneye as the fog began to clear….  The flock of Hooded Mergansers were still present on the lake bordering the Osprey Trail….  When I got home I shot some pics of American Goldfinches and House Finches in my feeders….. I am hoping for something else in the feeders soon….

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Finch

Ring-billed Gull

 

 

 

Stoney Creek Metropark – Waterfowl

After work yesterday, I took a stroll over to Stoney Creek…. Hooded Mergansers have been there for about a week and I am hoping to get some close views for some photos… No luck so far…. they tend to hang out in the middle of the lake off of the Osprey Trail….. Common Mergansers have also arrived although I only saw a few females off of the Osprey Trails…. There is a huge flock of Gadwall in the lake and there buzzy like call can be heard 50 yards from the water….. I managed to sneak up on one dumb Imm Red-tailed Hawk and snap a few photos…. There was a huge flock of Gulls on the lake, but they were all Ring-billed Gulls….  I found a huge Beaver lodge on the lake near 28 Mi Rd and I saw a Weasel in the same area….  I also found a Pileated Woodpecker at Mt. Vernon and Dequindre area…. check out Ebird map for exact location…

Imm Red-tailed Hawk

Imm Red-tailed Hawk

Hooded Merganser

Pileated Woodpecker (Mt. Vernon Rd and Dequindre)

Beaver Lodge

 

Lk. St. Clair Metropark – White-winged Scoter

I just got back from a business trip… I was gone a week.. I got a text from Kevin Rysiewski while I was gone that he had seen a White-winged Scoter at Lk St. Clair Metropark…. I figured that by the time I got home it would be gone… I spoke with Kevin today and he told me it was still there this morning, so I headed out this afternoon to look for it… the lighting conditions were not good and the sun was directly in front of me, so I was left with noisy shots, but I managed to see the Scoter (230) as well as the Red-necked Grebe that has been hanging around…. On the beach there were a female and male Bufflehead sitting near the water…. I slowly moved closer and closer to the Bufflehead pair…. All of a sudden as I was looking thru the viewfinder of the camera, I noticed blood on the rear portion of the male…. He had been shot by one of the hunters….. He eventually flew into the water with his mate and swam away… Hopefully he will be ok…… A  Common Loon was also about 100 yards off of the beach…. 3 American Pipits flew overhead…..

Red-necked Grebe from about 50 yrds… severly cropped

Bufflehead – wound visible from Shotgun blast

White-winged Scoter with Red-necked Grebe in background

White-winged Scoter

 

Golden Eagles x 2 – Wetzel State Park

I got a call from Tom Heatley yesterday… He and Jim Fowler were looking at a Golden Eagle soaring over their heads near the North Side of Wetzel…. I of course hopped in my car and flew there… however I was a couple minutes too late and it was gone….. Bummer, that would have been a great bird…. Tom, Kevin and I have been birding and building our county lists for the year together…. We have been neck and neck throughout the whole year but now its like the ending of a good horse race…. coming around the bend, and Tom is pulling a head by a length!!  He deserves his birds!! Works harder for them than anyone I know……