Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Starry Starry Night on Cooley Lake

As nightfall concluded Gary & Kathleen's day of departure, the Christmas lights from across the lake illuminated the pristine snowy landscape. Gary & Kathleen were able to get out of Dodge before the roads became treacherous for RV driving.

Gary & Kathleen's Discovery Tour

We bid a fond farewell to our dear friends Gary & Kathleen, as they depart on their tour of America and Mexico. Best Friends in Utah, will be the recipients of their kind hearts and skill with rehabilitating animals. We will miss their friendship, but they are needed out West, and we wish them our very best on their journey.

We will leave the light on for them at the campground, and the free 20 amp hook-up is ready and waiting. Like we said, camping available with magnificent view of Cooley Lake, space for one very large RV, and free electricity and water. One bonus, there is always food, beer and wine in the camp store free for the asking.

See You In The Spring!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two More Birds to Add to My Life List

On Sunday afternoon, with temps in the 40s, I decided to brave the cold winds of November, and visit Robert Long Park in Commerce Twp., MI.
I have been hearing of great birds to be seen at this gem of a nature park right in my town. I took the short drive, and was not disappointed in my mission to add birds to my life list.

Using my Nikon binoculars, I was able to identify a Northern Shoveler and an American Wigeon.
What a personal thrill to see birds that one has never encountered before in the area lakes. Also present were Hooded Mergansers, Buffleheads, Mute Swans, Mallards, Ring Neck Ducks, a Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfishers, Killdeer, Downy Woodpeckers and hundreds of Herring Gulls.

A great day to walk in the woods, add birds to your life list and spent the day with nature's creatures.

There's a New Bird In Town

The magnificent Cooper's Hawk has dropped by for a brief visit, and possibly a meal. On this occasion, this bird was not successful in his hunt, but a few days later I went outside to refill the feeders, and found the tell tale signs of a successful hunt. There was a neat circular pile of plucked Mourning Dove feathers. I felt an immediate sense of sadness for the dove, but also know that the Cooper has to eat too.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Just Dropping By For A Quick Meal.

This tiny female Red Breasted Nuthatch was teasing me with her presence at my birdfeeder. The birdfeeder is placed just outside my kitchen window, and in her curiosity, kept staring at me as she was gathering seeds in her bill. This little moment went on for about 10 minutes. Not to waste an opportunity for a photo of a posing bird, I captured a few photos of this little dynamo as she went about her daily business of cacheing seeds.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pine Siskins Have Arrived - A Life species for me.

A flock of 8 Pine Siskins arrived in my backyard this morning. The flock found my thistle feeder just minutes after I refilled it with seed.

I have been reading about sightings of Pine Siskins in southeast Michigan. I have never seen them in my backyard.

They were joined by one of my resident male American Goldfinches in his winter plumage.

I have never seen a Pine Siskin before, so this is a very special event for this thrilled birder. This is a bird I can add to my life list. A "life list" is a recorded list of birds a birdwatcher has seen in the wild.

To mark this event, I stepped out onto the backyard deck to take this photo, and was allowed to get within 20 ft. of the feeder. After their feed, the Pine Siskins flew deep into the pine tree. I listened to their unique call and will remember it for future reference when I am out in the pines in search of the elusive Pine Siskin. What a thrill for this birder!