Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh Baby! Baby! - 7/19/2009

For the past couple of weeks I have done most of my birding from my backyard. While doing this I have noticed a lot of noisey little birds (babies) chirping and throwing tantrums for mom's attention. With all the babies here I was hoping to see some littles up north. Thursday morning I and my better half headed up to St Ignace where it was cold and wet. My intentions were to go to Mackinac Island one day and hopefully Seney Wildlife Refuge on another. The weather definitely controlled where we went and Saturday being the better of the two Seney won and Mackinac Island lost.

Overcast and wind made it difficult to get some good shots but remembering what I saw was great. Yellow-rump Warblers were numerous and flying everywhere and landing in impossible spots to photograph. As we drove the the trail there was a Mallard with 5 ducklings and another one swimming close to the shore with 4 ducklings hiding in the grasses. Two Trumpeter Swans in the tall grasses to the right with 2 little ones staying close and a lone Trumpeter with 4 swimming and eating close to their mom. A young doe came out of the grasses and watched us, while taking pictures and talking to her she moved closer and closer to the truck while she ate. A little way down the road we came upon two speckled back fawns that ran for cover behind some bushes. The one ran for cover and I think the other just ran because its sibling ran. The one watched very intently as I got out of the truck and tried to maneuver my way down the road to get a clear shot of both of them - of course I couldn't. Mom wasn't too far up the road eating. There was also a Wood Duck swimming the pond with her 5 little ducklings.

The highlight of this trip was seeing a Loon with her baby on her back. I have seen pictures in magazines but have never actually seen this and I wasn't disappointed. There she was - baby on her back and another floating along side them - beautiful. I tried to get a good shot of this wonderful sight and with the help of my friend Jerry (for cleaning this one up for me) I can add it to this post. As we left the park I couldn't get that picture out of my head this one really did move me.

Back at the hotel I decided to take a look out over the lake to see if there was anything out there - swimming very calmly until I moved closer to the water was a Merganser and her 5 little darlings. As I moved closer to try and get a better shot coming from the grasses in a little pond close by came a lot of chirping. As I moved closer to see if I could find who was making all the noise I was stopped by a very upset female Red-winged Blackbird. I can assure you I did not linger, especially since she had dinner hanging out of her beak I knew someone had to be hungry.

Sunday morning came quickly and our long weekend was over. Traveling home we were still talking about the speckeld back fawns that we saw, the doe that we couldn't get over how close she kept moving towards us and the babies - especially the Loon with baby in tow and in float. My only hope next year is that I can pick a weekend that will give me more sun and less rain.

Til my next post.