Saturday, April 28, 2012

Well??? We're waiting...

I have to admit, I didn't think it would be this hard to get quality pics in April, but lots of North winds have had me scuffling.

We had some decent looks at Yellow-throated Warbler at Kesling, definitely the best shots I've obtained of them, but still room for improvement.
There were good winds last night and I did have a Blackburnian Warbler over the driveway, unfortunately it was misting/light rain so I didn't pull the camera out.  I had close to 10 warbler species today but low light made it tough for shooting.

Earlier in the week some Blue-winged teal were hanging out in a local retention pond.  This was the first time I've seen blue-wings do anything beside swim around.  The males did some displaying, rocking their heads back and forth and giving a hoarse Daffy Duck like quack.  The males would fly at each other at times even though they were all paired up with females.

This is Celendine poppy, a fairly showy native that I've found in only 2 places in the county (there's surely more).  All the "celendine" around my house is the introduced stuff, much less impressive than thte real thing:
Since posting a 4-leaved trillium worked so well for me last time (see Sandpiper, Upland), here's another one:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

a Brown admiral

Score one for Tim's mom who found this bird in a roadside ditch earlier in the week. I heard about the bird the next morning when I arrived at Tiscornia and turned around immediately. ("What could I miss on a north wind..." fatal last words if I've ever uttered them. Fortunately the answer was "nothing."). Sure enough, the bird was standing next to the shoulder of a busy marshy intersection out in the sticks.
A bird near and dear to some Michigan birder's, uh, hearts.
A loud truck flushed the bird off the shoulder back into the underbrush, but within a few minutes it walked out, and proceeded to walk right past the car.
The next one isn't the greatest pic, but I couldn't help but be impressed by the almost reptilian claws.
The bird proceeded to snag a few fish out of the ditch, some marsh-bullhead looking minnow thing and then rested. The bird was in deep shadow and I had to do a good bit of post processing including color adjustments that I've never attempted before to get this pic even to where it is.
Last year we found a bittern that stuck around for a few days for people to see at Lincoln Twp Beach, this bird was gone by that afternoon though.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What the 4 leaved trillium brought.

Tiscornia yesterday turned out to be a dud and I checked Riverview park across from Hannah's pre-school while waiting to pick her up. Imagine my surprise then when I put bins on a bird that I expected to be a mourning dove that turned out to be an Upland Sandpiper. This was, along with essentially extirpated Ruffed Grouse, one of my 2 biggest nemesis birds for the county.
They're somewhat oddly proportioned, the neck seems grotesquely thin at times.
The bird made frequent checks of the sky for prairie falcons or who knows what. It seemed to be implying that I don't check the sky enough for hawks.
Here's the only series where you can see the orange tail somewhat.
The tail was also noticeably long in the profile view. It called once while sitting atop one of the parking logs.
Of course seeing this bird yesterday meant that I couldn't get out this morning which meant I missed another 3 birds at Tiscornia (10 so far in the last month or so) that would have been equally good (or better) additions to a year list.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

nesting before the storm

It feels like I've been royally neglecting the blog; the northerly flow of wind on most of my birding days has led to some quiet mornings at Tiscornia. The flood of passerines hasn't even begun, but some of our locals are already nesting. This Carolina Wren in my yard made repeated trips to their nest in one of our eaves. They've tried nesting there before and have been flooded out, we'll see how they make out this year. I think the female is on eggs as I heard no babies when the male would return with prey items (here a moth with the wings beaten off).

The beach has been so quiet I was reduced to taking grackle photos the other day. I told myself I was just building up file photos for when the "tailed" grackle appears; I don't know if I believed myself.

Here's a White Trout Lily, I don't find them very often on this side of the state.
Finally, we all know what a 4 leaved clover brings, we'll see what 4 leaved Trillium will bring with SE winds (at last) forecast for the morning...