Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pt. Mouille - Campau Rd - April 11

A couple of weeks ago I started getting equipment to learn how to digiscope. With my coworker Jerry Jourdan (who by the way takes some beautiful pictures) is guiding me through this process. I have a Nikon Fieldscope 50m ED and a FUJI FinePicF50SE and to attach my camera to my scope I have a piece of PVC pipe - lined with a little velcro to keep the camera attached to the scope.

Today I decided to take advantage of the afternoon since the call was for storms tonight, Saturday and then snow on Sunday. So I took a ride out to Pt Mouille - Campau Road where the first creek that you come to was filled with Great Egrets. He was standing still and he was big enough for me to see not only through my scope but in my camera's viewfinder. So I began to snap away. Before I got a chance to set up my scope I noticed swimming towards him a Double-crested Cormorant so I snapped his photo with my Canon Rebel. As most subjects they don't stick around long and if they come back up it's usually not in the same area.

I traveled down the road some more to check out the other spots along the way. In the creek before the gates were two mallards (male and female) and a Double-crested Cormorant. Believe it had to be the same one because when he disappeared the first time I saw him - he never came back up (at least not in that area.). Of course he disappeared right away so there was no picture this time. While standing on the little bridge I noticed a Belted Kingfisher but he didn't stay in one spot long enough for a photo.

I packed up and moved to the lake where swimming by himself was a Pied Billed Grebe but he submerged as I drove by and where they come back up no one really knows. I stuck around for a while with scope set up and camera armed but this little guy just refused to make his presence known. As I drove out through the gates there he was swimming with the mallards - managed to get off a few shots.
The frogs in this area are quite loud but I haven't seen one yet. As I approached the little bridge again I pulled over and pulled out my scope and set it up. There's always something going on in that area. There's always Heron hanging around but today the fish were jumping out of the water. You probably don't believe me on that one and it happened so fast that I couldn't get a shot and didn't have my Canon readily on me. Spotted a Northern Flicker - couldn't get a photo he was on the ground in the growth instead of on the tree. I did manage to get a photo of the Belted Kingfisher (not a very good picture - but none the less a picture). Other than seeing them in a book this is the first time I've seen one up front.
Well my day has come to an end for now and I must do other things now. So until tomorrow (weather permitting) will make another entry.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Weekend - March 21st

Not sure how many of you had to work on Good Friday but since I didn't and all of my running for the day had been done by noon I ventured out into new territory. The first thing this morning I did was make my usual trek to Southfield and Jefferson where I got a wonderful picture of the sunrise. This afternoon I will tavel down Jefferson where I have decided to venture out to Lake Erie Metro Park.

As I entered the park I spotted a Hawk in a tree just a little too far for me to photograph. But as you drive through the park you will cross over a bridge where I got this picture of the Hooded Merganser. Other ducks in the water were Canvasbacks, Common Mergansers, Mallards and their mates.

The birds in the park were plentiful. The Red-winged Blackbird were singing away to each other and the robins were storming the ground for worms. The Kildeer were scurring here and there, the cardinals were bright in color and the House Sparrow were flying around as well.
After leaving the Metro Park I traveled on to Pt. Mouille and drove down Campau Road. There was a lot of bird activity and as you drive over the narrow bridges in the streams that lead out to the lake you will see all sorts of ducks, herons, geese and swans. Be careful as you drive through though you could startle a subject worth photographing.
That's it for this post want to release it so I can move on to the next one.
Til then - enjoy what you see and take note.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Elizabeth Park - March 13th

This is a short one today.

Have made several trips to Elizabeth Park this past week and it's definitely time for many of its visitors to take flight. Of course, my main interest is my tagged fella to see how he's doing and to see if he's still here. All of the geese that have visited are definitely starting to get a bit anxious. The date on this photo is March 12th, I didn't see him in the park anymore after this photo.

While visiting the park there is a lot of bird activity. Singing, chirping and courting. Yep I said courting. I snapped these photos of two House Finches definitely smitten with each other. Along with the House Finch I have seen the House Sparrow, Cardinals (male and Female), the Black Winged Blackbird, the Robins and a Downy Woodpecker.
The ducks (as always) are plentiful. Anyway this is the end of this post. Til next time

Friday, March 7, 2008

Elizabeth Park - February 10, 2008

According to the Wildlife Research and Development Section in Peterborough, Ontario: "Approximately 7000-8000 Canadian Geese are banded annually. This takes place in northern Ontario and James Bay to enable wildlife agencies to track movements, estimate survival, monitor harvest and plan for substainable populations of geese. The banding is supported by the states and provinces of the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway Councils and the federal governments of the US and Canada."

Recently on one of my visits to Elizabeth Park in Trenton I came upon one of these geese. Curious about his collar and not knowing who to contact I wrote to the Parks and Recreation Department in Trenton and told them of my siting.

My email reached approximately 5 pairs of eyes and the report although minimal was interesting.

My goose was banded as a young adult on July 28, 2000 at Akimiski Island, James Bay, Nunavut in the degree block of 5310 8120. The federal band number is 0948-06303. His neck collar is orange with the tag T8C1. He's old fella for agoose - approximately 9 years old.
Research has told me that there are different color of collars. My collared fella has an orange collar which means he travelled the Mississippi Flyway - so he traveled from Akimiski Island due south to the southeast corner of Michigan. Had it been blue it would have meant that he traveled the Atlantic Flyway.

I check on this guy every two weeks to see how he's doing and to see if he's still there. He is - getting along well with all the other geese that have decided to make a visit to Elizabeth Park.

Further research told me that there are different color of collars. My collared fella has an orange collar which means he travelled the Mississippi Flyway, had it been blue it would have meant that he traveled the Atlantic Flyway.

To learn more about birds and bird banding, see the web page at