An adult Sandhill Crane watches out for his family as they forage in the wetlands at Kensington Metropark, Milford, Michigan.
I have watched this pair of cranes for the past four years and have come to know them and their habits. They have in turn allowed me to get close to them for unique photo opportunities.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
A simple meadow on the side of a busy road can hold many of nature's treasures. Nature will surprise you with a sweet song coming from within one of these meadows. Being the curious birdwatcher that I am, I went in search of the singer of that song. I listened a few minutes, and found a Savannah Sparrow perched atop one of the few tall stalks of grass in this hard scrabble barren field. The "library meadow", as I call it, was blooming with daisies and alive with grassland sparrows announcing ownership of their patch of breeding territory. I listened to the sweet summer song of the sparrows as I enjoyed the visual delight of the gentle swaying blooms of the daisies. The little moments such as this make living in Michigan a nature lover's paradise.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The young Baltimore Orioles enjoyed the water from the sprinkler as it soaked their feathers and cooled them off.
We are in the midst of a summer heat wave in Michigan and the shrubs, trees and grass needed a good sprinkling, so I got out the sprinkler and turned on the water. Within a few minutes, I had the backyard birds arriving to take advantage of the cool spray of water enveloping the thick shrub cover in my backyard.
This is a Baltimore Oriole fledgling that is learning to shower within the shrubs as the water from the sprinkler soaks the greenery. This youngster along with his/her two brood mates learned to shower within the shrubs on this hot steamy day in July. Mom also joined in the action, teaching them to take advantage of the shrub cover and a good first bath of their young lives.
The shadowy look on the photo is the actual water spraying in the air. It is diffused by the camera lens aperture.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
All because of an e-bird alert via e-mail, was I able to track down this Pectoral Sandpiper, get a gorgeous photo and add another check on my birding life list. A fellow local birder posted on e-bird that he had spotted six Pectoral Sandpipers at Robert H Long Park in Commerce Twp., Michigan. I happen to live within 15 minutes of this park, so I grabbed my gear and headed over to find this group of sandpipers wading on the mudflats on Berry Lake.
I found another species of Sandpiper on the mudflats along with many Ring-billed gulls, Mute Swans and Killdeer. I need to get a confirmation of that ID. I have a feeling it is a Least Sandpiper.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The Novi Wetlands is a nice quiet spot to go birding because you never know what will be at the vast wetlands. I have seen an American Kestrel, Green-winged Teals, Canadian Geese, shorebirds and very early returning Tree Swallows. On this particular day, I went looking for Marsh Wrens and Sedge Wrens. Not finding those two birds, I was very surprised to see a buck in the middle of the day feeding on lily pads & flowers. He foraged for 10 minutes going from one flower to the next, munching to his heart's content. The Mute Swan was not bothered a bit. I watched him for 10 minutes as he would pause and look at me and then continue his feeding. I kept as still as possible not making any sudden moves to scare him into the cattails.
The buck continued his feeding activity and quietly moved into the cattails while I enjoyed a few quiet moments watching the rare buck in the middle of the day.
A doe White-tailed Deer didn't take long to spot me on her territory. I paused and watched her while she sniffed the air and watched my every move. I took a few photos, paused and watched her, before decided to head for the cover of the woods.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
While searching for a possible Sedge Wren at the Novi Wetlands, without success, a Red-tailed Hawk flew overhead to scan the field and marsh for a possible meal.
The Tree Swallows went on alert and took to the sky to warn other birds in the area of the predator in the sky. The other birds went deep into the cover of shrubs and trees while the swallows kept an eye on the the big Red-tailed buteo of the sky.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A Green Heron lurks in the treetops and cries out a haunting call over Berry Lake in Commerce Twp., MI. The lighting was very low, but the profile made for an interesting application for a B&W nature photo.