Sunday, May 22, 2016

migration's end

For me at least.

This Canada Warbler was showing off along the trail at Floral yesterday, singing next to the trail

Mourning Warblers were singing trailside as well, however are a lot stingier with the views they allow...
 Of  course you can actually hear them, as opposed to their Connecticut relatives which went completely AWOL for me this spring.

There's a couple Wood Thrushes with nests next to the trail as well.

Summer Tanagers breed in Warren Dunes, this first spring male though is probably a migration straggler given that they don't usually set up territories along Floral.
 You can get a sense of a few greenish feathers still on the breast and belly.
 Even if the reddish wings weren't visible, the heavy longer bill would separate it from its Scarlet cousin; this female is from Kesling.

Lady's slippers are at their peak in Warren Dunes

Friday, May 20, 2016

Red, White, and ... black

Had a mini-theme with a bunch of red white and black birds back to back a few days ago.  I don't take as many pics of the common birds as I should, but this Red-bellied posed nicely.

I had a Red-headed Woodpecker a hundred yards farther down the trail, but it was also a lot farther away.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are super prominent now as they set up territories.
 The males will chase each other around in full song.

I'm cheating a little with the next photo, it's not from this year, but fits the theme.
I actually haven't had a ton of luck photographing migrants this spring, this Swainson's Thrush was an exception when it posed reasonably.

Magnolia remains the only one warbler that's been semi-cooperative as well.

Finally the most interesting pic from a rather forgettable Birdathon, a day-roosting nighthawk that one of the other groups spied perched about 30 feet above the trail.

Friday, May 13, 2016

McCown's Longspur???


Nope.  Just a leucistic robin
You'd better believe I hit the brakes though when this bird flashed into my vision at 50mph.  I had no idea what it was.  Ironically it's about a mile north of the partially leucistic tree swallow last fall at 3 Oaks.

Another black and orange bird was just about the most common warbler today, Blackburnian
Unfortunately most were heard-only treetop birds, this one at least came down to the mid-story.  Warblers have actually been really good lately, but they've almost universally been very high.  This Magnolia was one of the few exceptions...

A few other passerine dribs and drabs, we'll see how many are about in the predicted 20mph NW winds tomorrow for Birdathon...


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sedge Wren solo

I was walking at Chikaming a morning or so ago and had a Sedge Wren singing right next to the road.  I usually don't have a ton of luck with seeing singing Sedge Wrens, but I was able to track this one down fairly easily.

Some years Sedge Wren can be a very difficult bird in Berrien, it's been fairly wet this year, perhaps that's contributing to their presence in a few spots in the county.

The bird would frequently duck a couple times prior to repeating the song.  It was cooperative enough that I attempted to video the bird (apologies for the bane of recording sound in Berrien Co, I-94 traffic noise in the background).

Since a couple times this spring I've posted somewhat luke-warm photos and then had much better photo-ops of the species a few days later (like happened here), I ought to put up a pic of a Blue Grosbeak or Purple Gallinule and see if karma will continue.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sora shoot

Galien County Park has been getting a lot of attention this spring with Soras being far easier to see than they frequently are (with Virginia Rails sometimes coming into view and, for some people, bittern and moorhen as well).

I like the water drops running down the strand of drool on this one.

Here's a couple shots from a sunnier day.

This one was given the name Sara.  Personally I think Sara's a dude, but with Soras it can be hard to say...

I can't remember if Kip had Sedge Wrens at Galien, this one is at Sarett.

It would make sense for this Solitary Sandpiper to be in a marsh somewhere;I
 it's actually in a flooding in Warren Dunes.

Finally, a last bird on the swamp theme, a Swamp Sparrow (though actually at Tiscornia).

Saturday, April 30, 2016

So close

So close to that peak of migration.  There's birds around, birds everywhere, shots at vagrants and rarities ... but haven't quite connected yet.  There's been a few photo opportunities though.

We're still in that period where Yellow-rumps dominate the warbler scene.

This Swamp Sparrow was one of a few working the boardwalk while searching for Kentuckies.
 While photographing the Swampy, this Northern Waterthrush popped up, quite interested in the sound of the shutter.
 I once had a Scarlet Tanager fly in to a shutter click many years ago.

If it's late April then that means Smith's Longspur searches (which actually haven't been limited to late April)
 We're not the only ones who have been looking, this Harrier was working the same areas that have been scanned and scanned and scanned again.

I found my first White-eyed Vireo for my river bottom.
I heard the bird yesterday afternoon but it quieted quickly.  I went back down this morning and re-found it singing fairly actively.

Monday, April 25, 2016

One step forward

Well, last post focused mainly on flowers, this time we'll upgrade to some common insects!  Hey, there's many different flavors of awesomeness, only so much can be photographed.

There was a Short-eared Owl that went by Tiscornia this morning
 There were almost no waterbirds, but passerines were reverse migrating, highlighted by my first Indigo Bunting, Chimney Swift, and Palm Warbler of the year.

A walk around Floral did not turn up a Kentucky Warbler, though there may have been one or two or a hundred of these...

Insects are starting to appear, this Tiger Swallowtail was super fresh.

I assume this is a Common Baskettail, Green Darners have been out for at least a week, but this was my second ode of the year.

Buffalo Rd is still sadly lacking in the longspur department, but a little over 60 Golden-plovers are always fun.