Ducks in Flight

I took a quick run to the South River Rd DNR station today after work… it was sunny and it the late afternoon the sun is perfect for photographing birds in flight…. so I decided to get some practice.  I also bumped into Tom Hince who was scoping the open water at the point… there were at least 9 Red-necked Grebes and over a dozen or more Horned Grebes…

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

 

American Woodcock

Kevin Rysiewski and I went listening for American Woodcock last night and we were not dissappointed. We went on the hill behind Stony Creek Park Headquarters and looked down into the valley… We heard and seen at least 3 Woodcock doing there flight display while standing on the hill… We could hear them right over our heads… They usually start to call just as its getting dark enough that bushes look like bears… LOL… We stopped at the Osprey trail as the sun was beginning to fall in the sky and although there were no ducks on the pond, we did find a pair of Sandhill Cranes…

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Cackling Goose at Stony Creek Metropark

I got a call from Kevin Rysiewski last night while I was driving home from Cleveland… He had just found 14 Cackling Geese at Mt. Vernon Picnic Area… It was gonna be dark before I got back to Michigan, so I got up at dawn and headed there before work… Brian Mcgee had the same idea and we both arrived around the same time at dawn… The Cackling Geese were easily found in a large flock of Canada Geese… I grabbed some photos and headed off to work….   Later in the day I took a walk at Lk St. Clair Metropark and found a Coopers Hawk Making a nest near Huron Point… It was fun watching the Coopers fly to the ground and gather sticks to take up to the nest…  I spied a Horned Grebe off of the point…. 1000 or more ducks between LSCMP and the DNR Boat Launch…. Bring a scope and you never know what you will find… A Red-necked Grebe was still present at the DNR area…

Cackling Goose with Canada Goose on the right

Cackling Goose with Canada Goose on the right

Cackling Goose

Cackling Goose

Cackling Geese with Canada Goose in the front

Cackling Geese with Canada Goose in the front

Cooper's Hawk building Nest

Cooper’s Hawk building Nest

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Greater and Lesser Scaup

I got a chance to photograph Scaup in flight today… I saw a pair of Lesser Scaup near the shore at the South River Rd DNR Boat Launch… As I sat along the shore I saw many flocks of ducks flying back and forth and was lucky enough to photograph Lesser and Greater Scaup… They can be hard to tell while they are in the water, but in flight the white wing strip of the Greater extends into the primaries and with the Lesser it stops short…. Its a nice field sign…. I also saw plenty of Redhead, Hooded Mergansers, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers and Canvasback…

Greater Scaup - notice how the white wing strip extends into the primaries

Greater Scaup – notice how the white wing strip extends into the primaries

Lesser Scaup - the white wing strip stops short of the primaries

Lesser Scaup – the white wing strip stops short of the primaries

Redhead in flight

Redhead in flight

Red-necked Grebe still at Stony..

The Red-necked Grebe was still at Stony Creek Metropark today by the North Dam… There also were a couple of Sandhill Cranes in the same location.. I stopped by the DNR Boat Launch on South River Rd and there also was a Red-necked Grebe about 30 yards off of shore. I found the little Winter Wren that has been hanging at that location all winter… At Lk St. Clair Metropark there was a huge flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds and two Rusty Blackbirds… Still no Killdeers for me yet this year… they should be back with the first good warm front… same for Woodcock..

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Winter Wren

Winter Wren