Saturday, February 27, 2010

Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, Coopers Hawk and a few other Winter holdouts...

Lifer! Horned Lark and others...
Horned Lark hanging out with a Lapland Longspur - Thanks Paul & the Ojibway group for the great afternoon!

I went with a birding group today that is hosted by the Ojibway park naturalists. This week's destination was Holiday Beach.  Even though the weather and light outside was cloudy and cold, it turned out to be a pretty good walk.

As we left the park, the group leader suggested we stop by a farmers field where a farmer had a feeder. Many Horned larks were hanging out, and even a Lapland Longspur!


At Holiday Beach, I was greeted by the group of four birders who pointed out a raptor in the distance ... An adult Bald Eagle. They joked that we may as well go home now. As we entered the park we saw three woodpeckers: A skylarking Downy, a Red Bellied and Norther Flicker Perched in distant trees. We had several distant run ins with the Northern Flicker.  At one point, Paul, our group leader Pished a Cardinal, Brown Creeper and White Breasted Nuthatch into our views. 


 We noticed flotillas of Canada Geese on the water. The photo below shows Fermi in the background.

Soon before we left, a second pishing session attracted a Golden Crowned Kinglet, a White Throated Sparrow and some Black Capped Chickadees. Finally, as we left, a Yellow Rumped Warbler saw us off as we were leaving. A typical winter turnout with a nice mix of birds! The Horned Lark was a lifer. The Lapland Longspur and Coopers Hawk are technically not lifers, but they are better photos then my original ones. Sharp-Shinned and Coopers Hawks are very similar in appearance so I have had a definite ID on a Coopers until today. The photo above is probably a female coopers hawk, because it was huge!

Happy Birding!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lifer! Red Breasted Nuthatch...

I've been dying to see a Red Breasted Nuthatch. My  life list additions have dried up a little since September (with the exception of the winter ducks I've been photographing). So as I left to my mothers' house for breakfast, I figured I would grab the SLR and 500mm lens.

As I gazed out her window upon arrival, I noticed a tiny bird, almost the size of a kinglet facing away from me. So, I went to a differnent room in the house to get a side view. I first noticed it was a nuthatch, then, the stripe... An RBN!!!

I have honestly looked all winter for this bird in various parks and habitats... and to find it during a routine family breakfast at my mothers house was awesome!

I wish it was not on a feeder, in a more natural setting, but a lifer is a lifer!

A few more birds crossed my path today. There was great light out... Blue Jays, Cardinals a canonical Dark Eyed Junico.
I'm not sure but during a walk at Malden park I noticed a sparrow singing its heart out... is it a swampy? ID please. Im not really into sparrow or gull identification yet... Also a female downy woodpecker was almost following me as I walked at Malden... weird eh?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Detroit River Ducks

Today was  a gorgeous, sunny mild winter day. I left work today thinking I might drive up to Rondeau to look for a Pileated..., Then maybe to Wheatley to look for a Red Breasted Nuthatch, then maybe Point Pelee to look for a Carolina Wren (All three birds are NOT on my life list yet...shame).

But... pessimism set in and I figured I would get my birding fix by visiting some riverside parks in Windsor.

I dropped into the Lakeview Marina parking lot and tried to suprise a new duck species... and it worked. I got a really close shot of a common merganser, The photographs above are actually my first decent shots of this bird. Thus, a  new species on my life list!


St Alexander Park afforded me some distant views of a male common goldeneye.  The ducks were far from the edge of the water. This is a cropped photo taken at 500mm on a cropped (1.6) Canon ASP-C sensor.


Mallard ducks near lakeshore marina.  These are so common, I sometimes do not bother to stop and photograph them. This was a nice shot even though the green head of the male is not really showing.

 Some of my lifers for 2010 include:

Eastern Bluebird (Jan 7th)
Hooded Merganser (Dec-Jan )
Common Goldeneye Jan 2010
Bufflehead Jan 2010
Common Merganser (Today Feb 19, 2010)
Lesser Scaup
Ring-Necked Duck (Jan 2010)

Birds I`m really trying to find are:
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Pileated Woodpecker
Red Headed Woodpecker
Carolina Wren

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Typical Ojibway Turnout...

It was a gorgeous February day in Windsor today, so I talked my wife into going for a walk at Ojibway Park. I did a quick walk into the wildgrass preserve hoping to see an Eastern Bluebird, but nothing was there.  I went for a walk behind the Ojibway Nature center and saw the usual carolinean group of overwintering birds.

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker afforded me a few great photos in great light...

Several Tufted Titmice were hanging out as well.

Along with a Tree Sparrow & a female Cardinal.

Black capped chickadee's were all around as well... I can't wait for May!!!
I would love to see a Caronlina Wren.... I have not yet added this bird to my life list. There are so many other birds I'm dying to see. I seem to just not see some birds. I've only seen one owl in my life for example, and it was sticking its head outside of a nest box. I have to sharpen my senses!!! I can't wait for May!!!


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