Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Weekend for 2008 - 12/30/08

Normally I would be up north for New Years Eve but this time we went up early. We hadn't been up since Thanksgiving Weekend so we didn't know we would find 19" of snow in the driveway. The weather was a mixture of everything from rain to snow to high winds but unusually comfortable as far as temperatures go. Every weekend that I'm up north I get the usual visitors to photograph and this weekend was no different but early Sunday morning
I had a new visitor just strolling through the woods coming towards my blind - a Ruffed Grouse. As he approached I began snapping away (not sure if I was even getting him or if the lighting was okay) then suddenly he flew up into a tree, I tried to snap a few while he was up the tree and then decided to wait for him to come down, I snapped a few more when he came down and then he flew off. I would have tried to follow but the depth of the snow made it difficult to really track. The rest of the morningI just watched and snapped until 12:30 and then we decided to go get something to eat.

When we got back from eating I noticed that my finch feeder was finally getting some use - there were at least 10 Gold Finches on the feeder and another 6 in the tree behind the house. There were male and female and even though their colors a dull in the winter they are still very pretty. There was one other visitor that I had this weekend thast I haven't seen before or if I have never really noticed - a Pine Siskin. Very defined markings with the yellow streaking in his wings.

Monday morning would bring better lighting and my chance to get my photo of the Brown Creeper. While waiting for my chance he finally landed on the tree in front of my blind, he was kind of stunned by the commotion that was going on at the blind, not sure myself what happened I was so engrossed by getting this little guys photo that I didn't realize that a Black-capped Chickadee flew right into my blind and then out - only to perch himself on a branch just outside the blind. I heard the wings flapping and a lot of chirping but I never took my eye off the creeper - I was afraid I'd miss my chance.
This was my last weekend for the year 2008 - can't wait to see what the New Year brings. Til my next post have a Safe and Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Elizabeth Park - Dec 20, 2008

Around 9:30 this morning I decided to go out and see what I could find. First I drove out to Sterling State Park hoping to see maybe one of the 150 Bald Eagles that were counted the week before. Drove all the way to where the entrance to the camp grounds are and then turned around and turned into the first cleaned road I found. I sat in my vehicle because it sure was cold. I wasn't disappointed a Bald Eagle did fly over but was just a little too far for a clear enough photo to post.

After the State Park I headed on down the road and stopped in at Pte Mouillee HQ to check out the scenery. Lake Erie is frozen, except in some areas - this is where the Sea Gulls are hanging out along with some American Coots and a Common Golden Eye. Nothing else flying around except for a few Black-capped Chickadees, a White-throated Sparrow, a House Sparrow and a female Cardinal. Further down the road are some Doves and a few Juncos, other than that very quiet.
Next stop Lake Erie Metro Park to see what can be seen and the only thing there are two deer grazing in the snow. I did take a drive down to the boat launch and along the water walls where the houses are is where you'll find the American Coots, Canadian Geese and Mallards. Closer to the boat launch Mute Swans. Next stop: Elizabeth Park.

When I got to Elizabeth Park I decided to park and check out all the geese in the stream there, who knows maybe my goose from last year would be there. With camera in hand I trudged through the knee deep snow. By the time I got to the stream the geese got a little excited and "honk - honk" they all took off in flight. While standing and watching this take-off ther was a lot more activity going on in the trees behind me. The trees were full of European Starlings and these four wonderfully colored Cedar Waxwings.
It started off as two and the longer I stayed there to take pictures a third showed up and then a fourth. When they flew off to my right I turned to follow them when something else caught my eye flying low, a Red-tailed Hawk. As I stopped to see where he landed I could hear this crying like sound, looking around all I could see was a tiny black-squirrel but no hawk. Suddenly he was off again and I watched just a little closer to see where he would land. I walked in the snow as steady as I could but it was a little difficult with it being half way to my knees. He did sit long enough for me to grab a few photos and then he was off again only to land a short distance to my left. Again I walked slowly to see if he would allow a few more pictures and he did then he was off again. He made one more stop in the trees before he went across the street to roost (not sure where) in a tree where another Hawk took off after his arrival.

After watching the other hawk take off I watched to see where she may have headed and all she did was fly over the trees that set to the back looking for food I would imagine. I made my way back to my vehicle, drove slowly through the park to see if there was anything else to catch a shot of and then headed home. Til me next post.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend - 11/28/2008

Any weekend that you can walk away from - with a picture - of anything is a good weekend. The day after Thanksgiving we headed up north - temperatures were in the 30's and there was 3" of snow on the ground. I will have two days to just sit in my blind, take in the scenery and get a few photos (approximately 1500). The first time I ever sat in my blind (before it became modified and more permanent) I would set out corn, more bird feeders and suet holders than were probably necessary. There were weekends that I would sit out there and there would be nothing. Saturday morning I walked out to my blind about 8:30 a.m. - set my camera bag down and just took in the view, before I could get my camera out of the bag a young deer passed thru from my left. Not wanting to scare it off I just sat and watched, wishing the whole time I had taken my camera out of the case. Suddenly something spooked it and it was gone.
After the deer disappeared I got my camera all ready and sat with anticipation of what I might see. About twenty minutes after the first deer passed thru - a second one calmly passed thru. Since I didn't get a picture of the first I can't tell you if it was the same one or a different one. It won't be until I show the photo to a co-worker who will point out that this is a Button Buck and not a doe.

After the deer disappeared my feeder (about 25 feet from me) was attacked by the usual visitors: White-breasted Nuthatches (who I am certain alert all the birds that there is food), Red-breasted Nuthatches (who are normally chased away by the white-breasted nuthatches), Black-capped Chickadees (who will share with everyone), an abundance of Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers. After a couple of hours of the usual the Tufted Titmouse make their appearance. Now while I'm sitting here watching them all fly in and fly out I start thinking about the Brown Creeper which I saw for the first time a couple of visits ago. The creeper is a year around bird and is very hard to see at times, he has the capability of clinging to a tree, spread his wings and blend in so well that you have to really look hard for it. If it wasn't for the white underside of it I would have never spotted it the first time as I did this time. Today though it has a little more movement and I try really hard to capture a decent photo of this little guy.

Sunday was a relatively quiet day - I kept hoping that the Pileated Woodpecker would appear but I didn't get that lucky that day. Before we packed up to go home a pair of Golden Finches appeared. Due to the overcast and the time I did manage to get a few decent shots before we left. So on this note I will say - til my next post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Stroke of Luck - 11_23_08

This morning I took my little ride over to Campau Road and then to Lake Erie Metro Park. Driving through the park I scan the trees from top to bottom - with window open to listen. I drive all the way to the end and then turn around praying: "Just let me get one lucky shot of a hawk." As I approached the stop sign instead of looking both ways I catch sight of a Northern Goshawk sitting on a branch (eye level) across the street. I pulled my vehicle over to grab some shots, creeping forward little by little til I am directly across from him. I decided to pull my vehicle just a little closer so I crossed the line towards him, unfortunately being two car widths away was just a little too close for this guy and he's off.

Heading on down the road making my way over to the Marshland Museum I pass my friend Jerry stopping for a while we chat about what we've seen and then we're off, Jerry goes his way and I go mine. When I get to the Museum I make a pass through the parking lot along the outside of the Nature Tail - all is quiet. Not sure which end I want to start at I decide to start at the end where the Eagle House is just a I cross over the boardwalk I am greeted by a deer. She stands and stares at me then walks calmly away - right behind her comes another and then another. They both stop and also stare, after they move on another follows quickly only to stop when she is in the thicket.

At this point I have decided not to continue and go across the way instead and walk the path down to the boat launch and around. While walking along the path near the lake I hear a constant "chip chip chip chip", almost as if a there were a chipmunk running around complaining. I see it jumping through the trees and try very hard to get a picture. Between it's movement and the branches from the foilage around I finally get a chance to identify my little friend - a Carolina Wren. Some of the shots taken were shadowed due to the fact that the sun was behind it and the only really good shot that I got has a high spot and glared. None the less a decent shot of the Wren.

I finished my little walk around and headed back to my vehicle. Anxious to see how my pictures came out I decided to head on home. Til my next post.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Always Go With Your Hunch - 11/22/08

This morning I decided to go out to Lake Erie Metro Park again to see if I could spot the Hawks and possibly get a shot. While there I did take a walk along the Nature Trail - which did turn out to be a trifle uneventful. I did spot the Hawk however and of course he was very uncooperative again, even when I tried to digiscope him - he just didn't want his picture taken.

Heading home down Jefferson Avenue just as I passed Humbug Marsh I notice this bird sitting on a wire. My first guess is it's a pigeon or a dove but there's something about this bird that makes me think twice. Watching to make sure there are no cars coming I turn around and drive up the road a little and then turn around again. I pulled over and grabbed the camera to see if I can get a better view, sure enough my hunch was right - not a pigeon - not a dove - an American Kestrel. With no traffic again I drove across and turned around in the entrance and starting firing away. It posed for the longest time and finally he had enough.

My last stop on the way home is Elizabeth Park where I tried to get a picture of an American Kestrel flying overhead - just too high up. Not an abundant amount of pictures taken today but any day you can get just one that you haven't taken in a while is a good day. Til my next post.

Worth Taking The Chance - 11-21-08

The weather report said 19 degrees - partly cloudy and the high by 5:00 was only going to be 28. Knowing that the only thing I needed to do today was enter time I decided to take the day off and go over to Lake Erie Metro Park, entering everyone's time could wait til noon. Before going to LEMP I a stop off first at Campau Road. The only activity on the lake are the gulls and all they're doing is either sitting on the frozen water or diving where it's not. There are two Pied-bill Grebes, one where the boats launch and one to the south of the parking lot. There's also a female Bufflehead on that side, tried to get a photo but all I have with me is my Canon and 500mm lens - picture wasn't close enough to post. Next stop Lake Erie Metro Park.

When get to LEMP the first thing I ususally do is drive through the park to the marina only to scan the trees for Hawks and Eagles. There's nothing going but on my return there are two Red-tail Hawks sitting on a branch together. Since I don't have my tri-pod I can't digiscope these two so I back my vehicle up to the gate without disturbing them, not a smart idea but none the less an idea. I did take a few shots of the two before they decide to fly off. As I pull back onto the road I can see something large and white sitting in another tree. I tried to get as close as I could so I parked my vehicle and walked across the street trying to get some shots along the way. I guess I took too many steps at a point because he screamed at me turned his back and then flew off. Oh well I tried and there will be another time.
Off to the Marshland Museum where on the road side the deer are out and grazing - four ahead of me, two as I make the turn to the museum and then there were three that I came upon on my walk thru the trail. In the four hours that I was out I will have taken 1500 pictures of which alot will be deleted for one reason or another. My photos will consist of the cooperative to the not so cooperative. I saw a Gold-crowned Kinglet, White-throat Sparrow and a Black-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, House Finch (male & female), European Starlings, Rusty Blackbird, an American Tree Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Cardinals (male & female). I'd say a very productive day. Til my next post.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winter's In The Air - 11/08/08

While my friend Jerry is in Mexico enjoying temperatures in the 70's I am sitting near the boat launch over on Campau Road. The temperature for today is in low 40's with a 30% chance of rain. I can tell you it is cold, cloudy and windy. Near the boat launch stands a pine tree where the Tree Sparrows are gathering to shield themselves from the winds. Every now and then five or more leave the tree - fly a short distance and then return. The chirping is loud enough to think that there just might be at least a hundred of those little guys in there, but I really don't think there are.

The trees have shed their leaves and all that remains are the empty nest where life once lived. As I drive down the road (with the window down hoping to hear a sound and possibly a sign that there is still life out there) I round the corner to watch the movement in the bushes. Finally one stops long enough for me to catch a glimpse and a shot, a Yellow-rumped Warbler. He gathers his berry and he disappears from sight. The little creeks that once were filled with water, fishes, painted turtles, and ducks are at the moment dried up. As I continue down the road I can hear a Chickadee singing.

It's beginning to drizzle and I want to make one more stop at Lake Erie Metro Park and take a ride just along the outside of the Nature Trail. There's a female Cardinal just chippin away in the trees (I'm sure there's a male somewhere I can hear him) but for now she is all I hear and can see. There are three Downy Woodpeckers flying through the trees (one male and two female), I tried to get a photo but due to the cloudiness, shutter was slow and photos came out a little blurry. There's a Palm Sparrow jumping from branch to branch and then to the ground but I can't get a photo of him either.

The drizzle picked up a little and I am off to get some work done at home. I wanted to kick myself later in the day, the sun did come out and I couldn't get away to try and get the photos that I missed. This weekend I will head up north , sit in my blind and watch and listen I never know what I'm going to see. Maybe the little Brown Creeper will appear again and I'll be able to get a better photo. That's about it for now - so til my next post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weather Permitted - Mio - Nov 2, 2008

The weather in Mio this weekend was great. Saturday was warm and very clear. We unloaded the truck and after getting the kits all settled in I went out to fill the feeders and suet holders. First to take care of the ones close to the house, then off to my blind at the back end of the property. As I get the feeder filled with seed and the first suet holder filled I can hear the Nuthatch calling out as if to say "Come on guys, foods on". The last feeder I fill is the suet plugs in the dead tree about 30' from the blind.

It's about 4:00 when I find out what birds will be visiting me this weekend. First it's the White-breasted Nuthatch that shows, followed by the Black-capped Chickadee and now by the Tufted Titmouse. A Downy Woodpecker has made it's presence known and so does the Hairy.

I decided to go back and get my tripod to put in my blind so I'll be ready in the morning and won't have to carry so much out. As I walk to my blind I here the flapping of something big, landing on a tree in front of me is the Pileated Woodpecker. She stays attached to the tree for awhile and then she's off. Now I know Sunday has to be a good day.

Sunday morning (~8:00) I grab my bag and coffee and head out to my blind, there I will sit for the next 4 hours. The morning will bring the usual: White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpecker and something new to my area a Brown Creeper. While scoping out the area and making sure all is set up right I see something crawling around the tree, not sure what it is and not sure what I see I take aim and digiscope this little guy to find out later if I really got something. Thank God it wasn't my imagination.
When all is quiet I went out to the back path to sprinkle a little corn on the trail hoping that it will attract a deer for me to photograph but what it did do was kept the squirrels busy - that meant they weren't in my feeders. The corn and the bird seed dropped on the ground by the birds also brought the Turkeys (8 to be exact - 7 grown and 1 youngen).
On my way walking back to my blind - just as I stepped in I looked out the window and there she was the Pileated Woodpecker. Slowly I grabbed my Canon w/500mm lens and shot away. I had hoped to get a movie of this bird but as usual her timing was just right and my was off. I set up my tripod so I could get ready to digiscope a movie, stepped into my blind to get my small Nikon and wouldn't you know it there she flew in. Once this bird has landed you pretty much want to stay right where you are because they don't hang around too long after movement. Oh well there's always next time up.
Well that was my weekend, time to start packing up and getting on the road. Til my next post.

Weather - Good Reason To Get Away - Nov. 5, 2008

The weather report this morning said today wasn't going to be as nice as yesterday (71) but it was going to be up there (70). When I got to work this morning I found myself writing an email that said if all went well and with the weather being 70 I was out of there by 10:30. Okay so it was 11:00 but I was out of there, went home to grab my cameras and head out to Pte Mouillee - Campau Road. The only birds I found out on Campau Road were Robins so I decided to head over to Lake Erie Metro Park. The walk around the Nature Trail gave me a picutre of an American Tree Sparrow and a nice walk so I decided to make a run over to U of M Dearborn Campus and walk the Nature Trail there.

As you walk the trail and it takes along the lake you come to an open field (Jensen's Meadow) from here there are some little paths that will lead you to a number of spots on Henry Ford's property. As I approached the meadow there was a lot of tick - tick - tick along the bushes, there were about six Dark-eyed Junco flying through the thickets and one flew over head and landed on the grass. I managed to get a few shots of the little guy before he flew off. Not far from him was the entrance to a little path that will take you to the Lily Pond on the Mansion grounds as I approached the opening I could here a dihlip in the trees. I approached the trees very cautiously to see if I could find the bird making the noise. When I finally find him I snapped away - it's not until I get home that I found out that I had a picture of a Carolina Wren.

I continued to walk around the lake where there is a lot of sounds I just don't know what they all are yet. I heard a Cardinal and the Nuthatch but didn't see them til I was about to leave the trails. On the North end of the Lake are Mr & Mrs Mallard and a Painted Turtle taking advantage of the sun. As I said I can here the sounds at that point you stop and wait for movement. As I reach the end of the trail four Red-bellied Woodpeckers are playing in the taller bushes in front of me. Above me where I stoppped to take the photo is a nest that one of the females flew up to. I continued my walk which took me right to the feeders where there is a lot of activity.

Well it's was soon close to 4:00 and I wanted to make one more stop at the mansion to see if there might be anything there. I didn't take a long walk just around to see if the falls were running. On the way back to my vehicle I can here little see -see sounds. I scoped the tree out very closely and suddenly there she is - a little thing - and of course the leaves on the tree seem to be larger than she is. She's at the very top jumping from branch to branch never in a good spot to take a picture - but I can wait sooner or later she has to give in. Finally I get my shot, actually I got a couple - a Golden-crowned Kinglet, definitely worth the wait and now it's time to go home. Til my next post.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weather Permitted - 10/25/2008

In spite that the weekend was calling for rain I decided to take Friday off anyway and do a little birding. My first stop was Pte Mouille - Campau Road watch the sunrise and just watch the skies. After a while I decided to head over to Lake Erie Metro Park but before leaving Campau Road I managed to get a few pictures of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-capped Chickadee, Yellow rumped Warbler and a young Black-crowned Night heron.

When I got to Lake Erie Metro Park I drove towards the Marina where I stopped to look out over the water. Noticing a wave out a ways I looked through my scope to see what it was. The wave was being caused by what appeared to be hundreds of American Coots just diving in and out frantically. After a while I decided to drive over to the Marshland Museum and take a walk through the Nature Trail. As I circled the parking lot I heard a lot of chatter and saw a lot of motion. Parking my vehicle I grab my camera and approached the trees very cautiously. I walked in to the trail from the side that the Eagles house was - this short little trek would allow me to capture photos of a Hermit Thrush, White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Hairy Woodpecker, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Would have taken more photos but my card read full and I didn't bring another.

Saturday morning - headed out for my Latte and then over to Campau Road. Nothing really happening there. It was a nice surprise to see Jerry Jourdan pull up - he actually rescued me from a very nice person who was passing on the "good word." Jerry and I set up our scopes to do a little viewing and I hoped to get a few pictures with the Nikon P5100 that I recently got for digiscoping. First subject a Blue Heron and then walked in a Black-crowned Night Heron. With nothing else to shoot at and the wind really gusting we went over to Lake Erie Metro Park.

As we headed for the entrance of the Nature Trail we were greeted by the White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers and (as Jerry has already posted) a young Balitmore Oriole. The trees were hoppin with birds, while walking through we heard a Carolina Wren. The list of birds that I photographed in our visit: Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush (sorry Jerry), Red-bellied Woodpecker and a Dark-eyed Junco.

After our little trek Jerry had to leave and I decided to walk the trail that takes you down to the boat launch and then along the lake and out towards the Wave Pool. Nothing to shoot but it was a nice walk. Heading back to my vehicle I decided to try once more for a photo of the White-throated Sparrow but had no luck.
I must confess before I end this - I went back into the Nature Trail from the side where the Eagles house is - that's when I was able to get the photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker. I also went back over to Campau Road (after all I was in the neighborhood) and there I got a picture of a female Wood duck. She was a very good subject - she just sat there so I snapped away. You don't always get such a willing subject. Til my next post.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Great Day - Oct 12, 2008

The sun made it's appearance over Lake Erie at 7:38 - (the photo showing is at 7:40) what a beautiful sight. The duck hunters weren't as numerous as the day before from Campau Road, but you could hear them over at Pte Mouillee. The Pied-billed Grebes swam near the landing and the Cormorants stayed out by the Northern Causeway with the Gulls. After about an hour of sitting I decided to travel on down the road and see if there was any activity. I walked up and down for awhile and decided that much wasn't going on so it was time to move on. I had made a decision the day before that if the opportunity arose that I would take a walk around the Nature Trail across from the Marshland Museum in Lake Erie Metro Park.

Birds were flying in and out and all around so maybe this would be a good day. The first bird I came upon was the Brown Cowbird several of them flew in and out of the trees along with the Yellow-rumped Warblers. There was so much talking amongst the birds and flittering that you really didn't know where to look or what to listen for and since I haven't learned the sounds yet I kind of did both. If I heard something I listened, looked, found and then shot. While walking this trail there was one bird that kept flying overhead and I was very curious to see what it was by the end of the trail I will learn that it was a young Cedar Waxwing.
A bird moving in the tree to the left of me caught my eye, trying to be very still so not to startle it and make it leave I managed to raise my camera and snap off at least 36 shots of a White throat Sparrow. To the right of me came the tap tap tap of a Hairy Woodpecker who hung around long enought for me to grab at least 12 shots of him. Moving just a little further up the trail I found my young Cedar Waxwing, and although he/she was quite up there I did get a few shot of it. It is at this time that my memory card is registering full and I have gone around the trail twice. If you have never walked this trail it goes in a figure eight and somehow I forgot to stay to the right.

Finally out of the trail I loaded up my camera and decided to make one last stop. On the way over to Campau Road I noticed that Humbug Marsh was open today so I decided to make one quick trip. There's been quite a few transformations there and I traveled the new trails (wasn't sure if you could still take the old one). On this little jaunt I got a photo of a Hermit Thrush, a Palm Warbler and a Cedar Waxwing (also very high up in a tree).

Before I end this I want to say that I added the Wildlife Refuge to my links, check out their calendar every now and then. For instance on Saturday 10/18 is an Open House from 9 - 4 (walk the grounds on your own) and on November 8th (Jerry you'll like this one) Evening Owl Prowl at 7 p.m. Til my next post.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Few Surprises - Oct 11th

My weekend started on Friday when I woke up and decided not to go to work. There was a meeting that morning so with camera and bike in tow I picked up refreshments, dropped them off and headed out to Campau Road. Although I missed the sunrise, it was quiet and that was what I seemed to need more than anything. After awhile I decided to move down the road and after grabbing a few pics of the Yellow-rumped Warblers decided to head over to Lake Erie Metro Park and ride my bike (with camera of course). There was a lot of chattering in the trees and bushes and the only picture I managed was a Gray Catbird and the Greyhounds that someone was training over in the picnic area by the Wave pool.

Plans for going up north Saturday morning had changed so I packed up and headed out to Campau Road once again. As I turned down the road I heard alot of boom boom boom, unaware that it was opening day for duck hunting I traveled the road anyways. The sunrise was beautiful as ususal, and in the fog that rose above the water just along edges of the little islands you could see the silhouettes of the hunters. After watching and waiting for the sun to get to a good height I traveled down Campau Road and watching all of the movement from tree to tree I decided to pull over and walk the road. The Yellow-rumped Warblers were moving from one side of the road to the other while the dear! dear!dear! diddy-dear diddy-dear ji-jiddy-jee-ji-jiddy-jee sounds of a Rudy-crowned Kinglet could be heard in the trees behind me. As I turned to watch the branches bob up and down a Ruby-crowned Kinglet sat on a branch not three feet from me, since she was so cooperative I couldn't help but take advntage of the moment. As I turned my back to her to get some shots of the Yellow-rumped Warbler I heard a russle over my left shoulder, sitting on the wire not ten feet above my left shoulder was a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

When all was quiet I decided to make a stop at Lake Erie Metro Park to see if there was anything exciting out there. I walked down the little boardwalk towards the boat launch. A Kingfisher landed on the railing of the first little stretch where a little creek runs under, across the street there were five Wood Ducks that I managed to get a few shots of. The walk around the path was quiet and serene and now it was time for me to go home. Unfortunately errands were calling my name, so til my next post.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crisp Morning - Good Birding 10/4

Saturday morning I decided to grab my gear and head up to Pte Mouillee SGA, catch the sunrise and hopefully maybe get a few good photos. The weather was nippy - definitely needed a coat and gloves if you were going to stand by the lake. Upon my arrival the sunrise silhouetted a Blue Heron in the tall reeds with the Seagulls flying everywhere and diving for breakfast as the ducks and geese sang their songs in the background. I sat for the longest time watching nature and the guys coming to launch their boats to do a little catching of their own.

After awhile I decided to head down Campau road; there's always a lot of activity and watching is just half the fun. This road so far hasn't to let me down, it's where I got my first photos of a Bald Eagle, an Indigo Bunting, a Cedar Waxwing and recently a Black-billed Cuckoo. The sun is to my back and the birds are flying from the right to the left which is perfect. The bushes are full of white, red and purple berries and Yellow-rumped Warblers. I brought my Canon Rebel with me which has a 500mm zoom lens which is great to point and shoot and these guys are very cooperative. Being so cooperative I decided to digiscope a few with my Nikon CoolPic P5100. While viewing them with the scope another birds movement got my attention - a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Unfortunately he moved around so much that I couldn't digiscope a photo and he dissappeared before I could grab my Canon. Although there's no picture it was nice to see.

As I walked down the road a familiar vehicle came around the corner, it was Jerry Jourdan. If you've ever had the opportunity to meet Jerry you would know that he is an encyclopedia of knowledge. He not only knows digiscoping - he knows his birds.

Continuing to walk down the road and listen carefuly to the sounds around me I hear the "dear! dear! dear! diddy-dear diddy-dear ji-diddy-jee ji-jiddy-jee" of a female Ruby-crowned Kinglet. As I watch the branches move he suddenly appears, with Canon ready I point and shoot all the while telling myself "this isn't a good idea, the suns not in the right spot." After taking the pics of the warbler I realized that time has gotten away from me again and I better get going home. Before I get to the end of the road I have taken pictures of female Blue Jay, a European Starling and a Bald Eagle soaring over one of the ponds. What a great morning. Til my next post.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Last Weekends of September

Fall is upon us and the last weekends of September on the Ausable are the best. The last weekends of September basicly bring out fly fishermen wading near the shore or in the middle of the narrowest sections of the River. Canoers are few so the roudies are gone. I saw an Osprey for the first time on the Ausable, he flew low, and close to the water then landed on a tree across from us. He didn't stay long but he was a sight to see. Further down the river we'll interupt a Hawk fishing for dinner and watch a Blue Heron standing on a branch watching his swim back and forth before he decides to fly off somewhere else that will put him just a little lower to the catch. As we go further down another Osprey will be spotted sitting high up on a tree top when he flies off you can see that this one definitely had his dinner.

The next morning I packed up my camera and grabbed my tripod and headed out to the back of our property and sit in my blind. All of the suet cages are filled, the suet plugs are in the dead tree where I have drilled holes to accomodate the plugs and the single bird feeder is filled. The squirrels test to see how close they can get before I let my presence known and the little chipmunk (whose home is just outside of my blind) also sits and waits.

Slowly the birds start to come around, a single White-breasted Nuthatch is the first on the scene and then a Black-capped Chickadee follows. At first you think these are the only kinds of birds you're going to see and then suddenly a surprise will happen. My very last weekend not only brought me the usual: White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadees, Downy and Hairy Woodpecker, oh yes and the Blue Jay - but this weekend I also had Tufted Titmouses and a Yellow Rumped Warbler. Always good to see something new in the area.

I did hear the Pileated Woodpecker but never saw him or her, so there's always something to look forward to. We had eight Turkeys under the bird feeder behind the house on Sunday and later that afternoon there was a mom and baby walking through the woods. So until my next outing and posting - bye for now.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Month in Review - August, 2008

When I started to type this it really was August and time just got away. Now here we are the end of September and Autumn has began I still haven't typed anything. I've watched alot of shorebirds during the month of August and some (even though they have different names) still look the same to me. I have taken photos of the Lesser Yellowleg and the Greater Yellowleg, Short-billed Dowitchers and Semi-Palmated Sandpiper and Plover. But I think the most thrilling for me was when I got my first pic of the Black-necked Stilt and the short clip of the babies (in August). When there was nothing to photograph the Dragonflies and Butterflies were great subjects.

Last Thursday (9/18) I drove out to Pt Mouillee SGA to catch the sunrise, during my little visit and while trying to figure out what was wrong with one of the cameras - I heard a splash, I managed to grab my Canon and photgraph an Eagle fly off with breakfast. Hoping that it would make another trip I kept my eyes peeled and sure enough here it came for a second meal. Amazing how they can see from way up there and like a plane coming in for a landing, circle, landing gear down and touch down. I watched as it flew off with a fish in it's talons to one of the nearby tree tops. Althought the photos of this catch are more of a silhouette the drama was still there.

This past weekend I missed the Hawkfest and would have liked to have seen it however, I chose to go up north. Normally I don't take a camera with me on the canoe but today I brought my CoolPic S210. Just as we had lifted the chain out of the water my better half asked me what was flying towards us, in the ten years that I have been on the Ausable I have never seen an Osprey there and sure enough here came one up the river. It flew rather low and landed in a tree across from us near the edge of the river. I raised my S210 and snapped a few photos even though I knew that they wouldn't come out clear. None the less the pic does show the bird and that would have to do for the moment.

That's my story for the month - til my next posting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Black-billed Cuckoo - August 17, 2008

Sorry for the late posting - still trying to label the shorebirds that I have taken. Went out to Pte. Moo where I ran into Mary and her niece. Checking out a few spots we headed out to Cell 3 where we found Jerry Jourdan digiscoping the shorebirds. Still learning what and when and where I can digiscope I set up my equipment and began photographing some of the shorebirds that were there. Jerry was kind enough to point out the different shorebirds out to me. After awhile a group from the Audubon came through and I decided to head over to Campau Road before heading home.

Campau Road is actually a nice little side track, you can drive slowly through and just listen - sometimes you can get lucky as I did. I had already traveled down the road to the gates where the HeadQuarters is and decided after checking out the little moor (that's what I call it) I made my way back down the road. Just before I got to the turn something flew across the hood of my vehicle, stopping ever so slowly I searched for the bird. With camera ready and as I spotted it I began snapping away. Turns out what I photogaphed was a Black-billed Cuckoo.

That was it for my day - til my next post.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Scattered Showers and In The 60's - 8/10

Cloudy - Scattered Showers and in the 60's - what a great weekend to be up north. Well we packed up the kittens and camera gear and headed up to Mio. Traffic going up was nothing less than herrific. Seems like everywhere you drive now in Michigan there's an alternate route leading you to somewhere. Saturday was dismal and rainy so when it stopped drizzling we decided to take in a little fishing and hope for a better day on Sunday.

Sunday wasn't any better. Scattered drizzle all morning and cloudy skies didn't stop me from trying to figure out what exactly I am doing wrong when I digiscope. Since all the other weekends when it was sunny there really haven't been any birds this past weekend was just the opposite. In the woods there were birds flying everywhere - so I had tall trees, no bright light and a lot of birds.

Determined to find out what I've been doing wrong I tested both of my cameras changing settings to try this and try that. In spite of the not having bright sun light I would say that I did considerably well with my photos (check them out).

My digiscoping equipment consists of the following: NIKON Fieldscope S50 ED; NIKON CoolPix S210; FUJI FinePix F50SE and two home made adptors that attach to the camers and scope. My subjects consisted of the Black-capped Chickadee; Blue Jays; a Downy and Hairy Woodpecker; Rose-breasted Grosbeak - male and immature males and females; a Red-breasted Nuthatch and a White-breasted Nuthatch. After packing up and getting ready to leave as I stepped out the back door there were three American Gold Finches on the feeder, one male and two female. It was a good weekend . Til my next post.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An Adoption Announcement - 07/29/08

The Smallest Things Can Fill The The Biggest Holes In Our Heart
These two sleeping beauties are Bailey and Peanut
Bailey and Peanut are just two from a litter of five
They were born on Saturday - May 10, 2008
They were adopted on Sunday - July 27, 2008
Everyone is doing just fine.

(If you find yourself looking for a pet and really don't know where to start try they cover animal shelters as well as P.A.W.S. and others.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Visiting The Island - July 8th

Working at BASF sometimes does have its perks, one of them being able to visit Fighting Island.

Fighting Island is a 6km² (1,500 acre - 1200 above water) island located in the Detroit River just offshore from LaSalle Ontario. Owned by BASF Corporation, Fighting Island has been recognized by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity as a success story as the island is being revitalized to become a Wildlife Reserve in the midst of a heavy industrial geographic area. BASF Corporation has actively promoted this project since the mid-1970s. Today approximately 80% of the island is covered with vegetation. There are a number of species of birds and animals that have taken refuge on the island. The shorelines are monitored for signs of erosion.
A Bald Eagle is one of the many birds that you see on Fighting Island. This mama eagle wasn't too thrilled with me standing in a just plowed field not far from her nest but as she circled - screaching all the way I managed to get one good shot out of several. There was a young eagle not too far from the area and he did make his presence known - but as fast as he swooped in - he swooped right out again - no time for a photo. I'll get another opportunity in August and hopefully I'll have a better day. Til my next outing.

To learn more about the Island go to

or Google Fighting Island.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Beautiful Night 7/09/08

Decided to take advantage of the beautiful evening we had Wednesday night. Went over to Pte Mouillee and decided to ride up the center causeway. Dragonflies and damselflies flying about, a Monarch has got my attention but doesn't give an inch to allow me to take a photo or two. There are two black snakes sunning on the gravel - they look like old tires. There's a couple of ducks on the left of me and the birds are all in the reeds - all is quiet. I traveled through checking out both sides and seeing nothing. When I get to the cross sections of Lead Unit, Vermet and Long Pond I set my scope to scan the areas surrounding. The Egrets are plenty with a few Blue Herons here and there. American Coots here and there and everywhere along with some Capian Terns, Common Terns and Black Terns. In the Lead Unit I can see the Osprey and her two babies on the perch and the multitude of ducks swimming around. Noticing the sun is just about to go down I decided to head over to Campau Road to see if I can get a photo of the Indigo Bunting that I know hangs out there.
As I travel down Campau Road I scan the area for anything that will move. Birds are flying here and there as the Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows sit on the telephone lines. I turn the corner and keep scanning the area. As I reach the gates I decide to turn around and head back down the road. I decided to park my car at the corner of Campau Rd and Pte Mouillee, set up my tripod and scope and waited. Like clockwork I suddenly hear the singing of the Indigo Bunting, now this becomes a waiting game to see when and where she will appear. Sudden up from the bushes in front of me she rises and lands on the support wires of the pole. I focus in, get my Coolpix ready and attach it to the scope. Unfortunately my tripod was not being cooperative, I needed to balance the tripod head and the scope with one hand and fire off shots without loosing it. Out of about 24 shots that I could get before she split I managed to get at least two good ones. Hung around a little longer to see if she would return but by that time the sun had set and it was time to go home. So til my next post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Very Quiet Weekend In Mio

Headed up to Mio for the Fourth of July weekend. I really was hoping for some interesting shots this weekend but all weekends can't turn out the way we plan or hope for. Friday started out with the vocal sounds of the Great Crested Flycatcher and kin. It really was nice seeing them still flying in and out of the bird house. The next bird on the scene was a Rose Breasted Grosbeak male, shortly followed by an immature female. That was pretty much the bird sightings for the day. Later went fishing in the Ausable where across the river were ten female Hooded Merganser frollicking in the water and then later sitting on a log close by. The sunset o the river was beautiful but unfortunately the mosquitoes were hungry and made enjoying the view a little impossble.
Saturday morning the Flycatchers were no where to be seen, in fact all of the birds were no where to be seen. A single White breasted Nuthatch sought out seed from the feeder and then disappeared. Took a ride over to the Kirkland Warbler Wildlife Refuge and drove around some of the trails. Saw the Kirland Warbler flying but of course when they landed they didn't land where you could get a photo or two. So for the time being (until next year when they do the guided tours again) I will have to settle for seeing them in flight - who knows maybe I'll get lucky. Later took the canoe down the Ausable River to do some fishing and of course there were birds everywhere and I with no camera.
Sunday brought a single Black-capped Chickadee and that was pretty much it for the day. If it wasn't for the butterflies and the chipmunks I probably wouldn't have taken a shot of anything. I had a couple of cooperative subjects and I did take full advantage of them. The two most cooperative subjects were a Red-spotted Purple and a Little Wood Satyr (to the right).

Well that was my weekend, although rather uneventful - it was a quiet and beautiful weekend none the less. Til my next post.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

In Memory of Nutmeg - 1992-2008

Today - June 20th I had to make a decision that has left me empty and broken hearted. Today I put my companion of 16 years to her rest. Nutmeg came to me when she was 8 weeks old. She was a little ball of orange fur whose tail was so long that when she laid down she could wrap her tail around her and still touch her butt with the tip. She would sleep along side me with my arm wrapped around her for the 16 years of her life. Her purring at night was relaxing and seem to make problems lighten so I could fall asleep. She definitely had a calming affect. She was with me through a divorce, a move into a new house. She comforted me when my mom passed away and then my dad. She has always greeted me at the door when I came home and yelled at me when her litter box needed cleaning. Nutmeg was diagnosed with Diabetes last January and needed two shots a day. She started out at one unit twice a day but in the last six months she's needed 15 units twice a day. In the past couple of months she developed problems with having a bowel movement and needed to have enimas within a month apart and an anal extraction in between. There were options to consider but to see her go through all of this just didn't seem fair and there were no promises that this would cure the problem. So with all my love and a broken heart I made the decision to put her to rest. She is now in a better place and no more discomfort. She will be missed more than anyone can ever imagine.I will always love you Nutmeg.With all my heart, Mommy

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In Search of the Black-necked Stilt - July 2

Decided to take a run up to Pte Mouillee before the big weekend and before I head up north. Thought I'd give it a shot to see if I could see the Black-necked Stilts that I was lucky to get a photo of on the 15th of June. Weather isn't looking good and there is a chance of rain but as long as it was clear for a while I thought I'd give it a look. I took the path from Sigler Road and traveled between the Vermet unit and Long Pond, thought I'd have a better chance of seeing the stilts if they were indeed out there. In Long Pond there were quite a few of Green-winged Teals and in the Vermet Unit just behind there was a Common Snipe. In the distance of the Vermet Unit there are at least 2 dozen Caspian Terns and about a half dozen Black Terns, along with Cormorants and American Coots and a number of various ducks (sorry couldn't make them out). Weather started to kick in so I decided to ride back to my vehicle and call it a day. If tomorrow is any better may I'll give it one last shot. Til my next post.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday Morning Outing - June 22, 2008

Got a late start this morning but I did get out. Packed up bike, cameras, tripod and scope and made my way to Pte Mouillee. Before getting to Sigler Road where I start my bike ride I decided to check out Campau Road, for me it seems that when I take this ride I always see something for the first time and today was no different. While driving down the road there's a bird in the highest part of the tree - curious I stop and park the vehicle and grab my Canon and step out. I raise my camera and point it to the top of the tree only to find that it's a Cedar Waxwing. This is a first for me. I have seen pictures but have never seen one. Happy with at least this one photo I headed on to Sigler Road. On my way now I find two Blue Winged Teals swimming and eating in Bloody Run along with two Mallards. Had difficulty digiscoping today - too much glare - no good eye sight - but I tried. As I head down the path I ran into Todd Palgut who mentioned that he had seen a Black Necked Stilt but lost it when the stilt crouched down. Informed me that Mary Trombley was up ahead and heading for Cell 3. Wished each other luck and I was on the path again.

As I reached the Vermet Unit there was Mary scoping the Osprey in the Lead Unit. The Black Terns were flying over the Vermet so we stopped to see if I could grab a couple of shots. There wasn't much at Cell 3 when we got there. I did manage to get a few shots of a Viceroy and a Red Admiral, which Mary helped identify. We headed back down the center path where we then parted. Mary had to leave and I decided to hang out a while to see if I could get a few more pictures of the Black Terns.

I decided to take back the path between Vermet and Long Pond just in case there was anything of interest out there. I decided to continue around the Northern Causeway. There I fond Pied-billed Grebes nesting along with a few American Coots and a few more Moorhens. Along that path I managed to get a photo of a Clouded or Common Sulfur and a cluster of Cabbage Whites pretending to be flowers in the gravel. To the left of me there were a couple of Great Scaups and a couple of Redheads. In the open field I got a photo of a male Baltimore Oriole. At this point it was about 12:30 and I decided to head home.

After loading up my vehicle I decided to make one last run down Campau Road. That's was my day - sorry it wasn't more exciting but I really went out just to get away. Til my next post.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pte. Mouillee - June 15th

Took a ride out to Pte. Mouillee this morning around 7:30. Temperature was decent and there was a slight breeze. I started out at Sigler Road and took the path between Bloody Run and Long Pond. The path is filled with Fish-flies and Dragon flies flying about. My first sighting was of two Black-necked Stilts. In the pond with them was a Great Egret and a Kildeer. As I made my way down the path checking both sides so I wouldn't miss anything were two Blue-winged Teals on the bank. The ponds are full of Geese and their young, there was even a family of Mute Swans on a small mound. Mama and babies were sleeping while dad stood watch.

I made my way through the Vermet Unit and the Lead unit where I set up my scope to watch the Osprey for awhile. Mom and dad were both standing watch over their family, near as I could tell there were two - possibly three. The ponds had quite a bit of water fowl, Mallards, American Coots, Cormorants, Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebe, along with a number of Blue Herons and Great Egrets. For being the only person out there it was rather noisy and peaceful.
I kept traveling til I reached Cell 3 where the Geese and the Gulls were resting along with the Common and Caspian Terns. There's a Willet wading in the water as well. Started to make my way to Cell 2 but the fish flies and dragon flies were just a bit too much so I decided to head back to my vehicle. As I make my way back to my right is a deer who watches me til I am a gtood distance away from him. I make another stop to view the Osprey one more time and then I'm on my way. I decided to take the path between Long Pond and the Vermet unit just in case there something new. As I make my way back to my vehicle I stop to take a picture of a Black Swallowtail that is fluttering through the tall grasses. I took several photos with my Canon but decided to try and digiscope a few as well with my Fuji Finepix. I will say it was difficult but managed a few good ones.
Well that's about it for now. Heading over to Campau Road before I go home. So til my next post.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Slow Weekend - June 7th

Well this was a slow weekend for me. Got a couple of pictures of a House Finch and American Goldfinch in my backyard. Saturday morning I was going to go out to Pte. Mouilee before heading into work but unfortunately my cat had some problems and I needed to stay home. I left work at 3:00 and went home to see how everything was going - hung around to feed Nutmeg and give her her shot. Since it was already 5:30 I decided to take a ride to Pte.Mouillee Campau Road to see if anything was happening. From there I went on to Lake Erie Metro Park and decided to walk the trail opposite of The Marshland Museum. There was a lot of chatter and all that I saw was a Cardinal, Eastern Kingbird and a Painted Turtle that was resting on the trail. The floaties in the air made it a little difficult to really enjoy any viewing so after about an hour I decided to head home.

Sunday morning we all woke up to the rain so I decided to wait it out and then head out. With bike in tow I headed out to Pte. Mouillee Sigler Road - after get all set to take the ride I decided that it was just to windy to chance and decided to head out to U of M Dearborn Campus and walk the Nature Trail. I walked into the trail from the EIC and walked around the Fairlane Lake. From there I decided to walk across Jensen's Meadow to the Fairlane Estate. As making the trek something blue caught my eye flying from one branch to another. I stopped and watched diligently every landing that was made, snapping a photo at every allowed focus. I learned later that this was an Indigo Bunting, a bird I have never seen before. As I reached the end of the meadow I focused my attention on a Black Swallowtail that was fluttering about in the Alpine Gardens and as he landed I managed to snap a few photos.

I walked across the meadow and headed for the Old Rose Garden; there I got photos of the Water Lilies. As I headed back to the Nature Trail an Indigo Bunting caught my attention again, unfortunately catching a good photo this time was impossible.

That's all for this post, til my next one.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hey Michigan! What's in Your Back Yard?? - Saline 6/5/08

It's not a bird but it's out there. How would you like to wake up one morning to find this in your back yard - under your bedroom window? Well, Tim Pincikowski's wife woke up this morning to find this Alligator Snapping Turtle. She sent this picture (and several others) to him this morning at work. According to The Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and Management: "This turtle sticks to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico and can be found in the north from Kansas, Illinois and Indiana, to the Gulf; including Florida and eastern Texas. It can weigh well over 200 pounds with a shell length of 31 inches and a head as large as 9.5 inches. This turtle is State Endangered in Indiana and Illinois. It can also be found in Iowa, and is considered imperiled in Missouri." I've seen Snapping Turtles but never one like this.

My "Thanx" to Tim for letting me post this picture on my blog. Til my next post.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Thank you

This past weekend I decided to pack my bike into my vehicle and really try to travel the trails of Pte. Mouillee. What started out as adventurous and exciting (at least for me) did not end well. The adventurous part was meeting up with my friend Jerry Jourdan and traveling the trails with him. Jerry frequents these trails and knows everything you really need to know. Somewhere in my travels from the Center Causeway and back and the trail that runs between Bloody Run and Long Pond I discovered I lost my camera (CoolPix S210). Not really knowing where I could have dropped it I continued my ride out and headed for my vehicle. When I got home I sent my friend Jerry an email letting him know that I found my way out and to let him know of the loss. The next day in Jerry's Blog he told of what he saw that they day and who he met up with - at the end of his tale he mentioned about the camera that I lost. Another birder (Mary) was out there riding and spotting as well and as she left for the day she noticed a note on the gates as you leave Sigler Road. Mary emailed Jerry this afternoon mentioning that she saw this note and remembered it saying something about a camera. The ride out to Pte.Mouillee after lunch proved to be very uplifting. The note on the gate read: "If you lost a camera here on the trails call (and they left a number). I am happy to say all is well and I have my camera back.

I just want to say "Thank You" to Jerry for writing an interesting blog that everybody reads, Mary for reading and emailing Jerry, and Ken and his wife for leaving the note. "Thank you"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just Playing Catch Up - May 28th

Let's see how I do on playing catch up. First let me apologize for the time lapse - I got a new lap top with a 17" wide screen so I could view my pictures at home better. Since my last post I haven't been to too many places. I walked the grounds of the Ford Estate last Friday (the 23rd) and then moved my way down to the Nature Trail. It's been a while since I've been on the Estate and forgot just how pretty this place really is. The falls behind the house are pretty and they give you a refreshing feeling and if you can remember it was rather warm that day so the breeze from the falls was welcomed.
I moved from the estate to the Nature Trail where I did get a picture of a Gray Catbird. (Sorry about the branch across its face I was just happy to get this.) The last time I was down the trail I got a photo of the May Apple with its single apple - this time though it had a blossom on it. The Painted Turtles are all sunning themselves on the logs and there's a Green Frog. There's an ugly (but large) Snapping Turtle on a box while a Painted Turtle is taking advatage of the sun. There's a couple of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks (male and female) going from branch to branch. When I got the end of the trail I walked behind the building of the Nature Trail and just sat on the curb to watch the birds. Amazing how one bird will let this one perch and eat but will chase another off. Well that's enough for this day can't wait til tomorrow.
For the Memorial Weekend I went up north with all the intentions of going to The Wildlife Refuge in Mio to see if I could capture a photo of the Kirkland Warbler; sadly my plans didn't go the way I wanted and I never got there. The trip wasn't a wash though a couple of weeks ago I told my significant other that we should clean this one particular bird house out because if the squirrel was still in there the Great Crested Flycatcher wouldn't have a place to make their nest. Much to my surprise he did clean it out when he went up. When we got up there Saturday there they were making their nest. I have never seen two birds work together or so closely as to accomplish this task. The woods were full of their very clear - strong and excited "quitta - queeto" "queep" and "KRREEP".

For the first time in the ten years going up north I saw a hummingbird. And quickly as it fluttered in - it fluttered away. Since this sighting (hopefully not too late) I hung my Hummingbird feeder in the apple tree. I spotted the Pileated Woodpecker on Sunday early afternoon and hoped that I could get a photo but she never came to my blind. Monday morning however, was different. She made her presence known. She seems to like this one tree near my blind - and to accommodate I have drilled holes approximately 1-1/4" and fill them with suet plugs which she seems to enjoy. Before we leave to go home I took a walk down one of the back paths in the approximate area that I saw the Pileated Woodpecker land on the ground. Looking up in the trees I found one with a rather large opening at the top. Maybe - just maybe this could be a nest - guess I'll just keep watching and keep you updated if I see anything or not. In the meantime here's a peek of the opening - what do you think?

Well this was my catch up. Until my next post.