Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wet, Cold & Eventful - 09/25/2010

Headed up north on Friday to get in an extra day of fishing for what would be our last time fishing on the Ausable for the season. The smaller of my two cats (Peanut) went up with us – she wasn’t feeling well and she had an allergic reaction to her vaccination that she got on Thursday. The weather was cold, windy and wet – I can say that I did not get in any fishing as planned but my boyfriend did. For me I spent the weekend (except for when I sat in the truck while he went wading) in my blind watching the birds fly in and out like planes at the airport.

One after another the birds perched themselves on the branches where the feeders were waiting their turns to get seed. Black-capped chickadees flew in three/four at a time chasing this one off and losing a turn. White-breasted Nuthatches were doing the same. Red-breasted Nuthatches were going to the feeder off to the side where no other bird was going except for a few chickadees. The Blue Jays joined in sometimes two – sometimes four at a time looking for the corn that I left on the bench to keep the squirrels away from the feeders.

Other birds that came in to store up were the Downy Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker, A Red-bellied Woodpecker, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker made another appearance and the Pileated Woodpecker soared in from out of no where.

There were other birds in the area as well – some kept to the tree tops and only came down so far. Some also were very much back-lighted and I just couldn’t focus in to tell what they were. On Saturday there were three White-throated Sparrows scurrying around on the ground under the trees – it wasn’t until they hopped up to a branch that I was able to get a shot. On Sunday while the Pileated was on the tree to my left, chickadees, nuthatches, and a few Tufted Titmouse were on the tree in front of me an Hermit Thrush made an appearance to the right of me. So many to choose from, not enough hands or cameras to take advantage of this over-whelming opportunity.

Now I will say that although the squirrels can be entertaining (and believe me there were quite a few) there was one little Yellow-rump Warbler that was interesting to watch. In all the books that I have gone through when looking for birds there are those that will go to feeders and those that won’t. This little Warbler would start at the top of the trees and work its way down til it was within inches of the feeder and then take off. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just waiting for me to turn my back so it could see what the others were getting out of this screened cage with seed. Was it worth the plunge? I know it came close to trying the pancake/peanut butter mixture in the hold of this stump and then changed its mind. Guess I will never know.

That was the end of my weekend - til my next post...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Little Bird Fest - Sept. 10, 2010

Friday - today is my brother Steven's birthday and my sister Nancy and I decided to take him out for lunch, but before doing that I decided that if I go out about 7 and return around 10 I'll have enough time to get ready and meet everyone. I headed out to Roberts Road (Reaume Rd to Roberts) to see if anything was just sitting in the trees or on the poles. There usually is - the only problem is that the light is in back of them and today wasn't any different. Perched on a power line there is an American Kestrel and on the post a little ways away is a Hawk (too far to tell what kind) - on the other side of the road a row of Starlings.

I traveled down to the end of Roberts Road and park there for about a half hour just watching the birds fly in and out of the fragmites. As I leave the parking lot movement catches my eye and the fun begins. I saw and hopefuly captured a decent photo of the following bird: Pine Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Common Yellow-throat, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, a Nothern Flicker that was doing their best to get the attention of another Flicker (and succeeded), Blackpoll Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler and a couple of Baltimore Orioles. (female & immature).
I watched the Flicker for some time pruning herself, acting coy, looking to see if she caught the eye of a male that was close by and I didn't see until he took a couple of leaps towards her. The American Redstart was the last bird I saw on this outing, as quick as he popped his little head out of the branches that's how fast he was gone.

As I started to head home this Red-tail Hawk posed very patiently as I pulled my vehicle off to the side of the rode. After a few shots he took off, as I watched him fly away I noticed that there was another sitting on another pole just behind me.
On Saturday I decided to go down to Roberts Road again but unfortunately not a bird could be found. Do you think with all the shooting that is going on now due to hunting this and/or hunting that the birds go someplace else where it's safer and less noisey?? I did go to LEMP where a Detroit unit of the Audubon was there looking at birds through their binoculars shouting "Black and White Warbler", "Blue-headed Vireo", "Golden Eagle" no Robin. When I caught up with them they were looking up and there perched on a top branch of a tree sat a Hummingbird. After snapping a few shots I decided that it was time to head home. All in all not a bad weekend. Til my next post.