Monday, September 24, 2018

Warblers in the Yard 9/22/2018

   On Saturday I had a couple waves of warblers drop out of the sky to the oak and maple canopy of my yard.  The first group consisted of roughly 30 birds that included
Wilson's Warbler

Northern Parula

Black-throated Green Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Tennessee Warbler
    Later a group of about twenty warblers stopped by to feed on insects in the trees.  The remarkable thing about this group was that almost all of them were Nashville Warblers.  A single Blue-headed Vireo tagged along with the warblers.
Blue-headed Vireo
  The Wilson's and an unphotographed Orange-crowned Warbler brought the 2018 yardlist up to 107 species.

Red Knot Ludington 9/24/2018

    Dave Dister called this afternoon to alert me to a Red Knot that Matt McConnell found at the south breakwater at Ludington Harbor.  I headed right out there and found the bird right where Dave said that he had seen it.
Red Knot and Sanderling
It found a tasty morsel...

….that appears to be a Labradoodle embryo.
     The young Knot later flew away from the pier but landed nearby on the sand deposits adjacent to the pier.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Kettle Up and Be Counted - Broad-Winged Hawks 9/19/2018

   The Broad-winged Hawks stuck to their tight schedule and flew over Lake Erie Metropark in swirling kettles and soaring streams today. The final tally was over 20,000 of the mass migrators.

Below is a video of an early morning overhead kettle.

    Other migrating raptors included, Northern Harriers
American Kestrels.
and Sharp-shinned Hawks

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Eagle Has Landed 9/2/2018

   A late morning visit to a secluded area of my work site was intended as an antler-retrieving training session for the new pup, Nico.  About the only thing she gleaned from the lesson was an introduction to the distractions of area and hopefully a new found respect for the Earth's gravitational field.   

       The Bald Eagle shown above touched down on the ground with the grace and accuracy of a laser-guided feather.  In contrast, moments later Nico landed on the pavement like a bag of bricks when her center of balance broke the plane of the backseat window as she leaned out to get a better look at a Ring-billed Gull that slowly glided by.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Persied Meteors 8/12/2018

    Clear moonless conditions have been ideal for the annual Persied  meteor shower.
Big Pink Lightbulb sinks into Lake Michigan
   Although 60 meteors per hour are supposed to be visible from an unobstructed location, I barely saw more than 1 per hour in my tiny patch of sky.

  The photo below shows not a meteor but rather a -4 magnitude Iridium Flare caused by the Sun reflecting off of an Iridium Communication satellite's antenna. Explanation of satellite flares here..Satellite_flare
   A couple of weeks ago I acquired a new friend.  She's a self-walking Larbradoodle.  She'll be 4 months old tomorrow and has already hit the 30 lb. milestone. Between the two vet visits she's had, she grew 18% in 17 days.  I like big mutts and I cannot lie.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Willets at Ludington Harbor 7/9/2018

   Dave Dister left a voicemail late this morning about 7 Willets he had seen on the South Breakwater of Ludington Harbor.  I made it out there within the hour and found them still hanging together but moving occasionally to avoid the light pedestrian traffic.

   Bonus Bird - Piping Plover.  It was the first one that I have seen in Ludington this year.

   The leg bands show that this bird is not one of the breeding pair that nested on Stearns Beach in 2016.

 It has been over a month since my last post in part because of the loss of my best friend back in the first week of June,  After a brief illness my 13 year old dog Roscoe died.  He had found his way into a number of posts on this bird blog here is a link to those posts....Roscoe

  He was valedictorian of the PetSmart Obedience School Class of 2005.

  He was good friends with and watched over two of our cats Comet and.....

 ….the late Leo

even when Leo wasn't so friendly.
   He was never one to back away from a threat
Ended in a draw
This confrontation ended differently as he stole the turkey sandwich and eventually ended up humping his opponent. 

   He never quite got the hang of an Easter Egg Hunt.
 He got into his share of trouble.  After initially denying involvement in Curious George's demise.

   He had a hard time explaining his new wardrobe.
  He frequently displayed his athletic abilities

He was the Eric Ebron of Dog Frisbee

But the Barry Sanders of DFL

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lack of Depth

 Could have used some more depth of field to get both the hawk and moon in focus.  If I would have focused at 601 feet and stopped down to f/64 I could have had a depth of focus from 300' to infinity.

   More photos taken from the deck today.

Male Scarlet Tanager singing and posing for....

.....a more dignified Scarlet Tanager.

Red-breasted Nuthatch trying to hide

Red-tailed Hawk gaining altitude