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"