Blowing snow and big drifts

I put the Jeep to the test today and went birding in blowing snow with big drifts forming across the farm country…. I found a flock of 6 Northern Flickers and 1 White-throated sparrow at 28 and Teller Rd…. There is a natural spring in that location that never freezes and its a good spot to visit in the winter, because birds will come to drink and bath there… From there I moved to New Baltimore and checked out the creek behind Bad Brads Bbq… It was open and there were a pair of Bufflehead, 25 Mallards and a few Black Ducks… I also found a Belted Kingfisher and a Great Blue Heron in the same location…. On to the South River Rd DNR station….. It was blowing so hard and the drifts were huge, but I still made my way out to the point… Many Canvasbacks, Common Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, Red-breasted and Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks… Over by the parking lot there were some Redheads in the open water…. One light Morph Rough-legged Hawk was out on the ice…

Black Duck with Mallards

Black Duck with Mallards

Canvasbacks in flight

Canvasbacks in flight

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

Nice day for Birding…

I had a short day at work, so I went birding… Big surprise….   Started at Budd Park where I found two pair of Carolina Wrens…. This is the best place for them in Macomb County… Sometimes harsh winter affects the Carolina Wren population in Michigan, but this park seems to have them every year no matter how bad winter gets… Lots of thick brush, dead falls and vines to hide in….. They were very entertaining chasing them around the woods… Then off to LSCMP and the DNR point on South River Rd…. There is quite a bit of open water off of the point and large rafts of ducks can be found…. Scaups and Canvasbacks, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Common and Red-Breasted Mergansers, Ring-necked Ducks and Redhead and Mallards…. There also is a big raft of Ruddy Ducks there also…  At Lk St. Clair Metropark there was several Red-tailed hawks and the Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk. On the way out of the park I saw a Merlin zoom across 16 mile rd with dinner it had just caught and land in a tree…. I of course risked my life pulling over and snapping a quick picture…. It was very high in the tree and it was getting dark, so I took a few pics and safely got out of the way of traffic…. In the evening Kevin Rysiewski and I went looking for Owls.. We found 1 screech and 3 Great-Horned Owls at Stony Creek…

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Merlin

Merlin

Barred Owl and Pileated Woodpecker

Started the day as the sun was beginning to come up by calling in a Barred Owl at Stony Creek Metropark at Oakgrove picnic area… Then I headed over to Wolcott and lucked out and saw the Pileated Woodpecker while sitting in the car… I was going to chase it, but it was too cold and I was wearing scrubs since I was on the way to work…. (do not bird in scrubs in cold weather)…. Later on in the day I stopped by the Landfill on 28 mile Rd and found the White-crowned Sparrow reported by Tom Hince…. It is hanging out in the weedy are behind the fence near the road…. Lots of Red-tailed Hawks and Gulls at the Landfill…. I was looking for the Turkey Vulture but no luck today….

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Pileated woodpecker in flight

Pileated woodpecker in flight

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Gulls and Hawks – 28 mi Rd WM Landfill

Today I headed to the Landfill on 28mi Rd after work…. Kevin Rysiewski and Wayne Hoch were out there earlier and thought they had an Iceland Gull… Tom Hince had reported one at the same location yesterday… Just west of the Landfill I found a nice looking Ring-necked Pheasant feeding in a field… There were many Red-tailed Hawks and one Dark Morph Rough-legged Hawk at the Landfill as well… The Iceland Gull flew over me after about 15 minutes with a mouth full of garbage… The leading white edge on its wings and the smaller size and bill gave it away… I don’t usually see adults in winter in michigan, so this was a nice suprise…. There were Glaucous Gulls, Herring and Ring-billed Gulls by the 100s…. * Ebird reviewers did not accept this bird as an Iceland even though its size was quite small compared to most Glaucous Gulls seen at the same location*

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull

Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant

Icy roads… not fun

I took a trip out to 28 mi rd and frost area to see if the Gulls would be grounded with all the fog and rain… I was wrong.  they were up in the air all over the place… I did manage to see one Juvenile Greater Black-backed Gull and an Adult Glaucous Gull along with the hundreds of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls….

Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull

Interesting gull that I assumed was a Juvenile Herring Gull but the bill is light colored with a black tip...

Interesting gull that I assumed was a Juvenile Herring Gull but the bill is light colored with a black tip…

Gulls