On my way back from viewing Bald Eagles on Lake Erie, I stopped by a well known location in Superior Twp., MI., to search for Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks. To my sheer delight, I found a flock of Ring-necked Pheasants feeding from waste grain in a corn field. The pheasants were very restless as I watched them from my vehicle. I managed a few shots of them shooting through a thicket of branches and small trees. The photos are really poor, but I have the confirmation I need to add them to my e-Bird checklist. These birds are considered rare for the time of year and season.
I was able to confirm the presence of Lapland Longspurs and plenty of Horned Larks. I wasn't able to confirm the clouds of white birds flying above the fields, were in fact, Snow Buntings. This area was the host to several Short-eared Owls and Northern Harriers last winter.
I arrived late to the area, after 4 p.m., so I wasn't shooting in great light to begin with. I enjoyed the solitude of the winter landscape. As I left the area, a brilliant moon was peaking over the horizon and brightening my mood for the 30 mile drive back home.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013