Warm wishes to all and Happy Holidays
Sunday, September 30, 2012
As I walked the trails at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Estate during the Detroit & Oakland Audubon Society Conservation Symposium, I was captivated by this scene of a Weeping Willow reflecting off the water in a canal off of Lake St. Clair. I imagined myself as a youngster growing up on that fine estate playing in the woods and swimming in the lake on this magnificent property. I am thankful that the Ford Family has preserved the estate for generations of future visitors like myself and others.
I attended the Detroit & Oakland Audubon Societies Conservation Symposium on Saturday, September 29. The first activity of the day was a sunrise bird walk on the estate grounds. We found numerous migrating birds
Monday, July 9, 2012
Being a subscriber to the University of Michigan Bird Listers is a great resource for local rare bird sightings. A birder friend found this Short-billed Dowitcher at our local park and posted it to the e-mail service. I grabbed my gear and off I went to find this shorebird and add it to my life list of birds. With the extreme dry weather we are experiencing, the normally wet pond at Long Park was drying up exposing new mud flats for the migrating shorebirds to probe for food.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Severe weather often brings a colorful glow to the evening sky. The sky was alive with color and pattern as a cold front swept out ninety degree temperatures and produced a double rainbow and a magnificent western sky aglow with spectacular color and pattern.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I encountered this male Sandhill Crane while out walking the trails at Kensington Metropark. I watched him as he preened and occasionally nibbled at insects on the ground. What was very surprising when he closed his eyes and took a brief nap while I sat and watched from a few feet away. Here he is catching a few Zzzzs, as I calmly took his photo.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I had the birding experience of a lifetime when a female Kirtland's Warbler made an appearance at the Biggest Week in American Birding at Magee Marsh in Oak Harbor, Ohio. A group of Mennonite birders found her in the willows along Estuary Trail at Magee Marsh. A friend of mine sent out a message, via Twitter, of their discovery and the bird chase was on. Hundreds of birders at the Magee Marsh exited the boardwalk and made a mile long dash to the location of the warbler.
Myself, and two birder friends walked over a mile to find this bird of a lifetime.
I was fortunate be able to get into a spot where I could capture a few open shots of her as she dashed around in the thick understory of the willows.
I have never been in such awe of the patience and kindness of fellow birders who took the time to show all of the birders where to find her in the deep cover of the marsh.
Thank you to my new and old friends who shared in this exciting birding experience at Magee Marsh.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Spring has arrived at Magee Marsh and I am there to find the warblers. We had a very nice outing on Saturday, where we found the Black & White, Black-throated Green, Yellow-rumped & Hooded Warbler. We also found a Northern Mockingbird, Hermit Thrush, White-eyed Vireo, White-throated Sparrow and gorgeous female Eastern Towhee.
The wind was howling off Lake Erie and we needed our winter coats to stay warm.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
With migration underway, I make it a habit of scanning the lake every morning to see if any new waterfowl have arrived overnight. I had spotted a single Pied-billed Grebe on the distant shore and was preparing to look at it through my spotting scope. I double checked the location of the grebe through my binoculars when suddenly a large black bird flew into view coming straight for my house from the other side of the lake. I quickly set the scope down, grabbed the binoculars and confirmed it was a Bald Eagle flying over the lake. A birder's thrill if there ever was one, at least for this birder.
I don't know why I do this, but I screamed out BALD EAGLE, maybe because I really enjoy seeing these birds and my husband happened to be home at the time. I guess I also wanted him to know what I had found and not to be concerned when I raced out the front door with my camera in hand. We have been married 27 years, so he knows when I go racing for the door with my camera in hand there is no time for an explanation, only for a photo of whatever has sparked my frenzied departure out the door.
I had enough time to get several shots as the Bald Eagle circled the area for several minutes at low altitude no doubt looking for fish to catch. The eagle continued on its flight over to Long Lake and out of my view, and I thought I wasn't going to be able to go birding this morning. I birded from the front lawn and seeing one of my personal favorites, the Bald Eagle.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
One of the special qualities of Kensington Metropark is the ability to find different birds along the trail or in the waters of the park. I turned the corner of Wildwing Lake trail and encountered an adult male Sandhill Crane walking the trail in the front of me.
I have gotten to the know these cranes after many years of observing them at Kensington, so I was not afraid of the bird. He was minding his own business looking for something to eat on the trail. He kept poking at the soil looking for bugs or other sources of food.
His mate is most likely nesting in a nearby wetland, as he is out feeding and will resume his incubation duties to give his mate a respite and time to go feed. The colts are usually born in early to mid May, so until them I will watch for singular Sandhill Cranes out feeding while the mate is sitting on the eggs.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I was standing right next to this Sandhill as it was grooming its feathers. What was so remarkable beyond being next to this bird, was the sound of the feathers as they were being preened by the bird, it sounded just like satin. If you have ever heard a satin dress or moire fabric rubbed together, it sounded just like that. It was a beautiful sound I will always associate with this grooming Sandhill Crane. Absolutely, one of the most enchanting experiences of my life listening to this Sandhill make music with its feathers. Janet Hug - Taken at Kensington Metropark, Milford, Michigan.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Contently roosting from a nest box attached to a large tree at the E L Johnson Nature Center in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. When I first took a look at the nest boxes in the hope of finding a Wood Duck, I saw something small and orange sticking it's head out of the nest box. I thought, what is a Tabby Cat doing in a nest box, when I got closer I discovered an Eastern Screech-Owl (red morph) at the entrance hole to the nest box. What a thrill to see a red morph of this species.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I watched as this rare Trumpeter Swan led its mate and three offspring to the other side of Stony Creek Lake in Shelby Twp., Michigan. I hid behind trees and woody thicket as they paddled by me, offering me a fantastic opportunity to photograph them without them noticing me.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
On this cold and blustery February afternoon, I decided to follow up on local birder reports of Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins flocking to the feeders at the Stony Creek Metropark nature center. Being the curious birder that I am, I decided to check it out for myself.
The nature center has an open and airy viewing room with comfortable chairs and large windows overlooking the mature forest and a flowing creek bisecting the landscape. A very nice birdfeeding area was adjacent to the nature center building offering thistle and all-purpose birdseed in separate feeders. I watched for several minutes as the resident backyard feeder birds made a brief dash at the feeders. I watched the Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers all coming in for a sampling at the birdfeeders. I was delighted with what I was seeing on this gray day, however, I wanted to see those rare nomadic visitors of winter - the Pine Siskin and Common Redpolls.
I did not wait long for the first House Finch to appear and then one by one a few Pine Siskins made an appearance at the feeders. I kept looking as the Siskins and Goldfinches fed together at the thistle feeders. I kept watching and hoping for the Common Redpolls to show up and they came in by the twos and threes to the feeders. As I watched, more Redpolls started jousting for feeding perches at the feeders and the birdfeeding party was in full force with Siskins, Goldfinches and Redpolls all taking turns pushing each other off the perches of the thistle feeder. This frenzy of feeding activity lasted 30 minutes, and, as if on cue, they all flew off into the forest leaving the American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Chickadees and Titmice to the space at the feeders. Happy to have seen the birds I had come to see, I returned to my car in a quest to see the Trumpeter Swans reported at the Southdale Picnic area, not far from the nature center.