Snow Goose – Stony Creek Metropark

I took a drive to Stony Creek Metropark at dawn…. It was about 0645 and it was still dark…. I stopped by Eastwood Beach, but it was too dark to see anything, so I figured that I would head around the lake toward Baypoint and see what was there when the sun came up… I only had a short time because I had to be to work by 830… As I headed around the lake and passed the North Dam, I could see a “white spot” in the middle of a flock of Canada Geese out in the lake….  I stopped and grabbed my Camera and walked out to the water… It was slowly getting light, but I had to have my camera at 1600 ISO just to get a shot… Sure enough one Snow Goose was sitting among the Geese…. It stayed there for a couple of minutes and took flight and was gone….

Excuse the noisy shots…. it was very dark..

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Port Huron – Coast Guard Station

Took an afternoon run out to Port Huron… I am still in pursuit of a Little Gull…. This bird still eludes me…. I parked at the end of Riverview Street… its between the Coast Guard marina and the Paper Mill…. Its a great spot to see the gulls in the river and looking toward the Marina where they are all congregating as of now…. There were several hundred Bonaparte’s Gulls, as well as Ring-billed and Herring… No little Gull was found… Kevin Rysiewski showed up and why we were scoping the water we had a flyover of a Rough-legged Hawk… My first of the fall.. We also had a visit from the Peregrine Falcon, who was hoping for a nice pigeon dinner from the flock circling the mill…. There were plenty of Red-breasted Merganser, White-winged Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks on the water…. I also had 3 Bufflehead offshore for the short time I was there…

Some of the Bonaparte's Gulls.... there were hundreds

Some of the Bonaparte’s Gulls…. there were hundreds

Herring Gull

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk

This was the spot for all the young Gulls to hang out

This was the spot for all the young Gulls to hang out

Fall day birding

I took part of the day off from work yesterday and headed to Port Huron…. with the winds from the NW, I was hoping for a rarity or two to show up…. I was dissappointed. Sure, there were White-winged Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks, but not much else…. The flock of Bonaparte’s Gulls near the Coast Guard Station  are still there and as hard as I tried to find a Little Gull in the group, there were none… I headed to Lakeside Park and had two Bald Eagles fly over the lake and one landed in the tree behind me… The Resident Merlin was sitting in the tree near the bathrooms. I headed to Wetzel, a good place to view migrating hawks in the fall, but only one resident Red-tailed Hawk seen…. there were a couple of big flocks of American Tree Sparrows and a very friendly Golden-crowned Kinglet that let me get close for some photos… I had one Winter Wren scolding me on the trail and there was a Tundra Swan on the pond with the Mute Swans and a flock of 14 Tundra Swans flew overhead….

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden crowned Kinglet

Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan

Nice morning birding…. Port Huron and the unexpected hawk on the drive home

Kevin Rysiewski and I headed to Port Huron this morning with hopes of seeing a Little Gull…. the King Eider was still present off of Lighthouse park as well as a good number of White-winged Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and a few Common Loons…. There were plenty of Bonaparte’s Gulls around, especially by the Coast Guard Station…. We had the fortune of spending time on the beach with Jerry Jourdan (who I finally got to meet) and Tom Gass, Patrick Jakel and Ben Lucking….  Kevin and I then headed to Lakeside Park…. not much to see but the resident Merlin perched in a tree near the beach…. We checked out the river on the way home but nothing new….

On the way home we checked out the dump on 28 mi and Frost Rd…. there were hundreds of gulls but they were all in flight…. as we headed down 28 mi Rd and crossed Gratiot, I noticed a hawk soaring over the road… I pulled over and with my binoculars immediately

The only decent shot of the Red-shouldered Hawk as it flew over my Jeep today

The only decent shot of the Red-shouldered Hawk as it flew over my Jeep today

saw the banding on the tail…. SWEET!!  Red-shouldered Hawk…. We chased it for a couple of miles down country roads to see if it would land or if we could get a decent photo…. I got a photo, its just not decent…. Oh, well…. I was glad to see one… FOY for me….