Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lake Erie Metro Park - 11/24/2009

Since I haven't been out looking since my lst post I decided to call it a day at work and head out to LEMP to see if the Redpolls that had been reported earlier were still there. I took the path that lead down to the boat launch along the lake side (because that was where they were seen) and didn't find any. The water in the distance was filled with Mute Swans and ducks. I came across a couple of White-throat Sparrows flying from branch to branch along the lake eating the berries that were on the snow covered ground. Three American Goldfinch were picking away at the seeds in the cones on the tree opposite the walkway and just up ahead before you reach the launch was a Carolina Wren chirping away while going from one nook and cranny to another.

The waters near the launch had Mute Swans, Buffleheads, Mallards, Golden Eyes, Mergansers and an American Coot. A young Bald Eagle made an apprearance and caught his dinner and then flew off to the other end of the path. I tried to get a picture but just as he made an appearance someone came up to ask me a question and not to be rude I stopped to answer her. I met up with the young Eagle again but when he took off from the branches above a large tree as I turned to snap the shot I turned only to have a tree block my shot.

Saturday morning I decided to head again especially since the sun was out. First stop was Pte Mouillee HQ to see if anything was going on out there. With the lake frozen there wasn't much happening. Now over to LEMP where I learned there are two families of nesting Horned Owls. I haven't been able to find the one but did find the other. After finding the owls nest I continued my walk around the trail and came across a very cooperative Hermit Thrush who actually let me take quite a few shots of it. Deciding to turn back around and return in the direction I started I stopped one more time to take a look and see if I could get a better view of the owl. I wished I had brought my scope on this walk - but it's hard enough walking with a camera and a 500mm lens on the snow on this trail and after taking a fall on the other trail the day before - I didn't want to take the chance. Heading out I heard the chirping of the Carolina Wren who also was very cooperative and I took several shots of it as well.
After being out for about 4 hours I decided to make one more stop before going home and that was at Elizabeth Park where I got a shot of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. As I was leaving - just at the exit there were eight deer grazing on a bundle of hay/alfafa that was in the fenced off area just before you exit the park. The day was cold and very rewarding - til my next post.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 11 2009

Here we are in the finish of the second week of the new year and this is my second time out. Having a head cold hasn't helped but I had to leave the house this afternoon or I would have gone nuts. Took a drive down to Pte Mouillee HQ to see if there was any activity there - since the roads haven't been plowed I didn't want to stop and get stuck so I just drove thru. Went over to Lake Erie Metro Park the Hawks were in the trees, unfortunately they were too far to photograph but you could see them. The trees were full of Robins and White-throat Sparrows with a few Cardinals peeping around. Since the paths to the nature trail and down to the boat launch and around don't get shoveled I stayed to the outside of the trails.

I went back over to Campau Road before heading home - wouldn't you know it they plowed the road I should have waited a little longer. There wasn't much on the lake about a dozen Mute Swans, a Bufflehead and three Common Golden eyes. The lake is pretty frozen and you have to wonder how those ducks and swans and geese can stand it, then you look at a few sights and you realize all don't make it. Where there's beauty there's sadness as well - it all equals out.

Time to call it a day - til my next post.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year - Day Two - 1/2/09

Unlike my friend Jerry my first photo for 2009 happened to be a Pigeon, the bird was sitting on a wire and because it was big and I really couldn't see I snapped a shot. My next shot however would definitely be a keeper. While travelling down Jefferson just as you go through the light at King Road I spotted a Hawk, I turned around and parked in the turn lane with flashers going and managed to catch this photo of a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Next stop would be Sterling State Park where there was no activity that I could see, so I moved on to Pte. Mouillee (Roberts Rd) where I caught up with Jerry. There we chit chatted for a while and then continued what we were doing. With nothing there I went on to Campau Road. The waters were full of Seagulls and Mute Swans and four other little characters 2 Common Golden Eyes (males) and one female and a Bufflehead. Tried to digiscope these guys but the wind picked up and it made it a little difficult to focus in. None the less a good sight.

My next stop would be Lake Erie Metro Park where right after you pass through the gate was an American Kestrel perched on a tree. I pilled over and again put on my flashers and just snapped away, for a moment I thought I was going to lose him because he flew down to the ground and to my surprise returned to the tree only on a top branch. Nothing else was spotted so I decided to head on home.
While going home I decided it wouldn't hurt to make just one more stop so I headed on over to the River at Southfield and Jefferson, there the waters were full of Common Mergansers, Mallards and a couple of Common Golden Eyes.

Well that was my adventure for the first outing of the New Year - til my next post.