Red-shouldered Hawk at LSCMP

There was a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk today at Pointe Rosa Marsh at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Macomb County.. The Dark and Light Morph Rough-legged Hawk were both perched in trees near the entrance to the park…

Red-Shouldered Hawk - Juvenile

Red-Shouldered Hawk – Juvenile

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawks at Lk St. Clair Metropark

I went by LSCMP after work today to see if I could get some decent photos of the Rough-Legged Hawks wintering in the North Marsh… I never did get the Dark Morph within good shooting distance, so any photos of that bird are heavily cropped, but the Light Phase were cooperative… There were also a couple of female Northern Harriers hunting over the marsh as well…. A Bald Eagle flew over the marsh and was chased by one of the Rough-legged… that was entertaining….

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph Hovering

Rough-legged Hawk Hovering

Rough-legged Hawk Dark Morph Hovering

Rough-legged Hawk Hovering

 

Its a Snow Bunting kind of year!

I went looking for Lapland Longspurs today north of 26 mi rd… I only found one at Russ Rd and Woodbeck… It was mixed in a large flock of Snow Buntings… I found 6 other Snow Bunting flocks today and multiple small flocks of Horned Larks…. Most Snow Buntings I have seen in the county before… I also had a Sharp-shinned Hawk zoom across Schoenherr in front of my car today…. very cool to see…. I am going to be checking my favorite feeders in the area this week for Pine Siskens… today when I stopped at a house on Wolcott Rd and 29 mile there were several Red-breasted Nuthatches putting on a show….

Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Happy New Year!!

I got up today at 0630 to go birding…. Wayne Hoch came by at 0730 and we headed to Port Huron… It was a warm 12 degrees out and the streets were empty… LOL… Only birders are crazy enough to be out that early after New Years Eve…   In Port Huron, the river was a sea of floating ice chunks… mini icebergs…. In between the ice were pockets of waterfowl… Mostly Red-breasted Mergansers and Long-tailed Ducks… Under the bridge we scope some rafts of ducks out in the channel and it was the same…. We headed to Lighthouse Park and scoped the River… at least 2000 Long-tailed Ducks were out in the river with a few Canvasbacks mixed in the bunch… In town along the river we found Common Goldeneyes and Bufflehead as well as some Canada Geese…

We headed to Northern Macomb County next… We dipped on find the Lapland Longspurs that I saw a few days ago, but we managed to find the Snowy Owl and a huge flock of Snow Buntings… A male Northern Harrier was hunting in one of the fields on 34 mile rd… There were multiple small flocks of Horned Larks in the area… We headed down OMO Rd off of Armada Ridge Rd and headed south… We encountered more Snow Buntings and a large flock of Cedar Waxwings…. At 28 mi and Teller we came upon our 3rd flock of Snow Buntings and it was very cool to actually see them perch in a tree for a bit…  We left there and headed toward Lk St. Clair Metropark… On the way we came across the 4th flock of Snow Buntings at 23 mile rd and Fairchild…

There is a rd between 21 mi and Hall rd on the east side of I-94… It is nothing but fields and a couple of small ponds…. Tom Heatley saw a light phase Rough-legged Hawk there a few days ago, so Wayne and I headed down the rd… We saw a Red-tailed Hawk but no Rough-legged….. WAIT!!  as we came to the end of the rd, on the border of Selfridge Air Force Base, we saw a Rough-legged Hawk hovering over the field…. Sweet…. I wanted to get closer so we zoomed across the 4 lane Rd and took a Michigan Left and as we pulled over and looked at the soaring hawk, I noticed a second Rough-Legged sitting on the fence inside the base…. We risked arrest and tryed to snap a few photos until it took off…

We headed to Lk. St. Clair Metropark next and met Tom Heatley… We were going to look for the resident Great Horned Owls that nest there every year… No such luck today… they will be on nest in a couple of months… Wayne and I said goodbye to Tom and we headed to the North Marsh, saw some Red-tailed Hawks and one Rough-legged. Tom had already seen two Light phase Rough-legged Hawks and one Dark Phase that day…. Wayne and I went down Venetian Rd and witnessed a Northern Harrier attack a Red-tailed Hawk… Very cool…. It was screaming at the Red-tail, who was standing his ground… Wayne got a nice photo posted below…

We moved on to the DNR station at the end of South River Rd and scoped Ruddy Ducks, Greater Scaups, Canvasbacks and Common Goldeneyes…. the highlight was finding our 4th Rough-legged Hawk of the day, sitting on the ice, feeding on a freshly killed prey….

On the way home we came across a big flock of American Robins flying across the Rd….. 42 species for the first day of January…. Not too bad…. A great way to start the year….

Northern Harrier attacking a Red-tailed Hawk... Photo courtesy of Wayne Hoch

Northern Harrier attacking a Red-tailed Hawk… Photo courtesy of Wayne Hoch

 

 

Video of Rough-legged Hawk hovering over the field as it hunts… video taken by Wayne Hoch