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.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May 18th

This morning I decided to take my chances with whether it would rain or not. Before I hit my usual spots I decided to travel down Jefferson towards Roberts Road just for the heck of it. Just past Sigler Road on my left I spotted a Ring-necked Pheasant; since no one was on the road I pulled over to the right to see if I could grab a few shots. I've always had poor judgment when it comes to a good time to digiscope and today wasn't going to be any different. After I pulled off the road I spotted a Ring-necked Pheasant on my right, slowly I got out of myvehicle -took my scope out to set the view on my subject, set my CoolPix S210 and attached it to my scope so I could grab the moment. I will say he was very cooperative and I did get quite a few shots. I tried to get a shot of the one I had originally seen to begin with but he was least cooperative and flew off.

After getting my pheasant I decided t0 go to Pte. Mouillee where I got a few shots of this Baltimore Oriole. There are still a few Wood Ducks in that area and a couple of Mallards. Also spotted were Yellow Warblers, Eastern Kingbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Cardinals, Robins and the Tree and Barn Swallows were putting on their usual air show.

That's pretty much for my day. Til my next post.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

U of M - Dearborn May 10th

Well here I am again. Thought I'd take advantage of the sun again and went back to U of M Dearborn - Nature Trail. There is just so much activity out there - so many sounds that you want to try to see what it is that you're hearing. The first sight is a family of Robins with mom feeding her babies. Feeding from the feeder at the entrance is a Red-bellied Woodpecker. The river is full of Painted Turtles and a couple of Green Frogs. There's a very bright red Cardinal flying from tree to tree just landing on a branch long enough for you to see him and just as you get ready to snap a picture he moves.

There are a lot of flowers in bloom as I make why way down the paths. Trilliums, Wood Anemones and Jack in the Pulpit are just a few of the flowers covering the ground. There are a couple of butterflies fluttering about as well: The Cabbage White and as near as I can tell a possible Satyr. After walking down just about every path that I can find (well maybe I missed one) the last bird of my trek is a Northern Flicker. Well that's about it for this post. Til my next post.

Friday, May 9, 2008

U of M Dearborn - May 9th

This after noon I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and the sun and drove over to the University of Michigan to walk the nature trail. I've never been there (even when I worked there) so I decided to take my Canon Rebel and 500mm lens and go for a walk. There are several trails within the trail but I decided to stay on the outside rim. This walk took me about an hour and a half. As I begin my walk the first birds I see are a Starling and then a Robin. There are several bird feeders near the Nature Center where two Cardinals (male and female) are feeding. I don't know the songs of each bird - but it sounds pretty active. There's a little bird flying around and because I want to know what it is I keep watching it, he definitely has my attention. While trying to get a picture of my little interest I catch glimpse of this Red-bellied Woodpecker as he makes his way up the tree and then to another. I managed to get quite a few shots of this pretty boy.

Along the trail on my right is the water and taking advantage of the sun are the Painted Turtles. There are all kinds of little flowers (which I don't know the names of) and flowering trees; a few butterflies floating around too. As I reach the end of my walk I decided to go around the back of the Nature Center where the feeders are. There were two Chipmunks playing in the grass and a number of birds flying from branch to branch.

While taking in the sights and sounds the area starts getting quite active. In a short time I managed to get photos of a Chipping Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, Blue Jay, Brown-headed Cowbird, Hairy Woodpecker (if correct his beak is longer than the Downy's) and a White-Crowned Sparrow. The picture to the left had me a little intrigued. This guy would sit in the leaves and every now and then would make his way to the feeder but just wouldn't land. With a little patience he made his way to the feeder to my left and I was able to get several pictures of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Well that was my adventure for the afternoon, quite rewarding I will say. Have posted the pictures in the right column from today's shoot. So I hope you enjoy them. Til my next post.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pte. Mouillee - April 28th

Over the weekend I went up north to catch opening day of fishing on the Ausable River, of course I didn't get to fish until Sunday morning but that was okay. While up north I had to board my cat at the vet - Nutmeg is a diabetic and needs a shot twice a day and since my son moved out I have no one to give her those needed shots. Which now brings me to Monday and while I am waiting anxiously to go get her I make a run out to Pte Mouillee where I sit and obeserve for awhile. Before I head out to pick up Nutmeg I caught a glimpse of the Bald Eagles again. I managed to get a couple of shots before one leaves and managed to get another 3 -4 dozen shots of the other - moving closer and closer each time I took 12 shots.

Later that day after spending time with my cat I went out to Sigler Road where I watched the Tree Sparrows flying around. Off to the right of where I was standing was a lonely Spotted Sandpiper. I take a quick stop in on Campau Road where I have finally captured my photo of a Pied-billed Grebe. After my stop here I have one more stop and that's Lake Erie Metro Park where I got this picture of a Cormorant.

As I head home two large objects fly over my vehicle and land on the tracks. From the back view they look magnificent and then I get a side view. Yep! A Turkey Vulture. There weren't just two though - there were three. I tried to get a picture of all three of them as they landed on a power-line post but three yahoo's (I will refer to as Larry, Moe and Curly) walked out across the tracks (even after seeing I was trying to take a photo) and "bam" the vultures were gone. Well I did get a few good shots - so it wasn't a total wasted effort.

That's it til my next post.

(Note: Some of the birds or ducks mentioned are shown on the right in the side panel)