Friday, May 29, 2009

Peregrine Falcon @ BASF - Wyandotte - 5/29/2009

About 30 ft from the entrance to the Chemical Engineering Bldg at BASF are a row of poles that go about 20 - 30 ft up, perched upon one of them on Wednesday morning was what a colleauge thought might be a hawk. By the time I got to the door to see the bird was gone. I had another chance to view this bird just a little after lunch - checking out a little closer we identified it to be a Peregrine Falcon. On the lines not far away from the falcon was a frantic and very boisterous Robin who was doing everything she could possibly think of to get the falcons attention away from where it was sitting. My conclusion was that possibly the Robin had a nest there or the Falcon caught mate or maybe did get one of her young or possibly all and was having a snack. Whatever the reason the Falcon wasn't giving an inch or giving up. The Robin did relunctantly leave and the Falcon after digging around in the top of the pole grab whatever last morsel there was, shook it and carried it off - maybe to its nest. At the end of the day I thought it wouldn't be back, but I was wrong.

The next morning as I left for work I decided to grab my camera (even though I thought he wouldn't be back). At lunchtime I had to leave my builiding to go to another and there the Falcon sat - pecking away at a much larger morsel - atop the same pole. This bird sat for at least 25 minutes and even though it was overcast and misty I fired off approxiamtely 170 pictures in hopes that one would be good.
Today is Friday and the Falcon hasn't been been seen today (so far) but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't be. Here's hoping he does come back. Til my next post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lake Erie Metro Park - 5/17/2009

With the weather being on the cool side and the sun shining brightly I decided to head over to Lake Erie Metro Park and walk the nature trail. The first bird that greeted me on my left was a Black and White Warbler and to my right I have no idea because the little guy just moved too quickly for me. In fact all the birds (except for a few) are moving very quickly. My hopes on this walk is to get a glimpse and hopefully a shot at some of the Warblers that migrated in our area last weekend.

I spotted a Chestnut-sided Warbler - who stayed pretty much behind the leaves so trying to focus in on his head as he moved around was my goal. A Black-throated Blue Warbler jumped from ground to branch - unfortunately when I thought I had a good shot a little unseen something got in the way and all I got was a blur.

I began my walk around 10:15 and ended it around 2:30, in this time I walked the Nature Trail and the path along the river - to the boat launch - and back to my vehicle. The photos I managed to get: Black and White Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler (not a good photo, but a photo), House Wren, Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler, Rose-breasted Groesbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler (very cooperative), Common Yellow Throat and an Eastern Wood Peewee. A very nice outing on a very nice day. Til my next post.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mio Weekend - 05/09/2009

With temperatures still in the low 50's it's quite evident that spring has not reached 200 miles north of us. Windy conditions knocked down quite a few of the tall trees on the property, they also seemed to keep the birds away. After filling all of the feeders and as soon as I saw the first Nuthatch I thought for sure others would follow, but no such thing. I was really excited to get up north this weekend only because it meant that the Great Crested Flycatcher would be setting up house again - but there was no sign of him either. Since there were no birds my better half and I decided to go fishing. The winds were strong and so was the current so after about an hour or so we called it quits and headed for home. On the way home a small bird darted across the hood of the truck, telling my better half to stop I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of the warbler in the tree - a Yellow-rumped Warbler. I was hoping for another warbler but I'll take this one.

Let me explain this road - this road is a dirt road that about 8 or 9 years back they set up a big cage to trap the cowbirds, on this road were planted Jack Pines and every time we travel down this road I always hope to see a Kirkland Warbler. We're not really far from the Jack Pines Wildlife Refuge where the Kirkland Warbler begins showing up around May. So when I see a bird flying in the area we stop and I watch and if the opportunity arises I take a photo and hope. So far - no luck.

When we got back to the house there sitting in the birdfeeder was a Rose-breasted Groesbeak who stayed around for a long while letting me take a photo of him everytime I walked around him. As I turned away from the Groesbeak I noticed leaves being tossed up from the ground, there doing all the tossing was a Hermit Thrush. For me this is the first time I have seen a Hermit Thrush up north.
Sunday morning was quiet as well. The sky was overcast and the sun wouldn't be out til afternoon so the only thing I could do was sit and wait. Except for a few Black-capped Chickadees, a Nuthatch here and there - there was really nothing out there. I did sit out in my blind for a couple of hours - no squirrel to keep me amused, no woodpeckers, no little chipmunks - just sound. Then appeared a couple of Tuft Titmouse and they were oh so cute. Nothing like watching a bird courting or catering to a mother-to-be. Back at the house the Hermit Thrush did show up again and I managed to get a few more photos of it. After lunch I went back out to my blind where a couple of Chipping Sparrows made an appearance - these guys were a first for me up north.

To view other pictures that were taken on my weekend up north go to my pBase gallery.
Nothing more to report - so til my next post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Warblers at U of M Dearborn - 05/01/09

With sunny skies haunting me all day after lunch I decided to head over to U of M Dearborn and check out the sights and sounds of the nature trail. Walking the trails and the grounds of Henry Ford Estate is a relaxing walk even if you don't see anything. Unfortunately, since I'm not sure of the sounds yet I really do need to see. On entering Orchard Trail to my right there are a couple of deer grazing and watching me very closely. The trees are full of sounds with sights too far away to get a photo. As I walk to the left after leaving the trail I walk through Hickory Meadow where I come upon Burroughs Grotto and the Ford's Summer Home (The Formal Rose Garden). Just to the left of the lily pond is a goose family - mom, dad and three goslings.

As I get closer to the house a field of daffodils and forget-me-nots are to my left. Walk across the field towards the river down the Alpine Garden path where the foret-me-nots decorate the stone path way. Head through Jensen's Meadow back towards the trails and continue my walk on White Oak trail. As I come around Fairlane Lake and walk down Lakeside Trail I spotted birds darting in and out of the growth. I paused to listen so I could get a better idea of where the bird(s) had landed in the branches that surround me.

First bird I got a picture of was a Yellow-rumped Warbler, let me tell you the only time I have seen this bird has been in the fall so seeing him in black and white and bright yellow was new to me. Beautiful! By this time the birds are really moving and I managed to get shots of a Black-throated Blue Warbler, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Palm Warbler and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. I did see a Black-throated Green Warbler but he was too deep in the thicket for me to get a good photo. There were two Belted Kingfishers flying over the lake but I couldn't see where they landed to get a photo. There's a Northern Flicker somewhere in the trees making himself heard but not seen.

After being out here for about three hours I decide to head for home not without stopping behind the EIC and watch the birds that come to the feeders. The feeders are visited by Goldfinches, House Finches, a Chipping Sparrow, House Sparrows, Cardinals, Rose-breasted Groesbeaks, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Downy Woodpecker and a Blue Jay or two.

For me I call a good day - "a day I get a photo of a bird that I haven't before" - but today I got four and saw another - this was a very good day. Til my next post.

A short note: went back to U of M on Sunday and got a photo of a Black and White Warbler and a very cooperative Northern Flicker.