Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lake Erie Metro Park - April 25th

Been out to visit my usual spots during the week when time has allowed with nothing really to report. Today I headed out about 5:30 - sun still out with a slight breeze. As I head down Campau Road taking advantage of the beautiful evening I pass a log full of Painted Turtles. All is quiet at the lake there are Tree Swallows and Red-winged Blackbirds flying around and from tree to tree. There is a Great Egret fishing for his dinner and on a log is another. As I turn to leave there is a Barn Swallow sitting on a post - sitting ever so quietly I take advantage of firing off at least 24 or more shots of the little darling. The logs in the streams seem to be just filled with Painted Turtles drying off.

Before going home I decided to make a run through Lake Erie Metro Park where at the entrance I am greeted by a Red Tail Hawk that acutally is very cooperative and allows me take some photos of him. The deer always seem to gather a crowd as one tries to make its way acorss the street to meet up with the rest of the family. I travel on through the park where there really isn't much activity until I get ready to leave the park. Rabbits are out feeding as well. Just as I make my way to the left to take the road out something very large catches my eye in one of the trees. Because my eye sight isn't that great at night to pin point an object I pull over to the side of the road, put on my hazards and get my scope out of the car. This guy here really drew a crowd - car after car stopped to look at this Bald Eagle. What a magnificent sight. Til my next post.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wood Ducks - April 20th

Sunday morning and with day-light coming early now I head out to my usual spot around 6:30 this morning. I do this in hopes to beat the fishermen before they wake up the waters and the surrounding area - also in hopes of seeing the Eagles again. As I travel I find myself making my little spot checks to see if there is anything in any of the creeks/streams that I pass on my way. As I travel down Campau Rd. to the left is a man-made lake and swimming in it is a lonely Cormorant. Nothing in any of the other little outlets down the road. Before reaching the gates I look in the little moor to see if there is anything in there - in this moor there are a couple of duck houses and on the closest one to me I can see that there is something different about the house but I can't make out what exactly it is. I pull my vehicle up and over, park and pull out the scope and my FUJI Finepix - walking ever so slowly (so I don't upset what ever it is) I set up and take a gander. What I saw was two Wood Ducks. Grasping the moment I fired off about 24 shots. I tried to moving my scope to get in front of them but they didn't agree and they were off. I don't know what it is about this moor but after I have seen a couple of these ducks then suddenly there's like twelve. I've also seen an American Widgeon feeding here also.

Since the sun didn't want to cooperate with me this morning I decided to head home and et some chores done - if the sun comes out later and if time allows I'll be back. Just before exiting Campau Road I spot a Great Blue Heron staqnding on a log while three Mallards (2 male and 1 female) swim close by. That would have been that but then there was such a rucus that this was about all I got. Yep these guys were fighting over the dame and yes - she is in this brawl as well. Well that was pretty much my day and theirs - til my next post.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bald Eagle - April 20th

This post is a continuation of the day before. For the past month and a half I have had to put in some over-time due to construction going on in our building. In the past four weeks before heading in I take a quick run over to Pte. Mouillee just to see what's out there. All is quiet - nothing in the streams - so I take a ride all the way in beyond the gates. The lake is quiet - nothing on it except for a boat where I see no one on. Must be taking a nap. Finally three Mute Swans fly over and then a couple of - finally, something to actually take a picture of. While photographing the passing geese something caught my eye. Watching diligently I kept an eye on this large bird to see if I can get an idea of where he is going to land. As I make my way to leave it dawned on me that this bird had a white tail. What were my chances? As I approach the gate to leave - driving ever so slowly I look up and to my left - what a sight. This picture was taken quickly with my Canon Rebel with a 500mm lens.

Another vehicle that was at Pte. Mouillee stopped behind me and turned off his engine. After waiting a while he pulled to mention to me that there was another in the other tree. Having my scope set up finally I look to see if I can find the other. Not really seeing too clearly I managed to take a couple other photos and sure enough there were two. I did go back later that afternoon and she was perched in the same tree - determined to get a photo with my scope I first attempt to take a picture with my Canon but she doesn't stick around for that. Watching where she is going to land I pull up behind a tree (hoping she won't see me) get my scope out get it all set up - move to get her in focus and she is off and flying again. A dissapointment but at least I have the pictures that I took in the morning. There'll be another day.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not A Bad Weekend - April 19th

Although my destinations to photograph are kind of limited - I really didn't have a bad weekend. I am also at the moment a little limited as to which of my cameras I use. I own a Canon Rebel with a 500mm lens and I have a FUJI FinePix F50SE which I mount to a Nikon Fieldscope 50 ED with about a 3" piece of PVC pipe. I use my Canon for alot of shots only because I am still learning to get my settings on my subject(s) with my scope in enough time to actually get a photo. I'm getting there.

My descent weekend actually began Thursday night - I took a ride out to Allen Park to the new mall off of Southfield. I decided to take a ride around the buildings to see if the stream the starts (or ends) at each entrance really went all the way around the buildings. As I was walking back from looking over the edge of the field I spotted a bird on the top of one of the buildings - eye sight being what it is (could have been a pigeon) I picked up my camera to take a look the little guy but he flew off. Keeping my eye on him I noticed that he landed on a beam just under a step platform - I picked up my camera to see what exactly it was and to my surprise it was an American Kestrel. I took several hundred pictures of him with my Canon and then wanted to see just how cooperative he would be - I set up my scope. This picture was taken with the scope.

Friday afternoon I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and drove out to Pte. Mouillee - even if there was nothing out there to just sit and enjoy the sun and the nice weather was better than sitting in an office looking at a computer screen. There wasn't much to take a picture of - there were Tree Swallows and Common Terns performing their arial tricks, Red-wing Blackbirds and Robins flying around with an occasional Heron flying by. As I headed through the gates I noticed two mallards close to the shore and swimming with them a single Pied-Billed Grebe. I backed up very slowly and then preceded to get the scope out of my vehicle but as soon as I did that the Grebe was gone - however, sunbathing on a log that is in the little creek was a Painted Turtle. I quickly set my scope on him (because he was beginning to move) and he laid there long enough for me to fire off 12 shots and then he was gone. As I headed down the road I noticed that the fish were jumping out of the water - would have been a nice catch for someone (if you like carp).
Anyway - got to go - things to do - can't wait til tomorrow.