Wednesday, September 28, 2016

White-winged Dove Ludington 9/28/16

  Note: This bird is at a private residence and I don't have permission to give out the exact address.  If there is some interest in this bird I can talk to the homeowner on your behalf.  

   A couple of days ago I was made aware of a White-winged Dove less than 2 miles from my house. The bird has been seen by the homeowner each day since Monday but only for a few minutes each time.  Today I called him and he allowed me to come over and try to photograph the bird.  I arrived at his house around 10 AM and the bird hadn't been seen since 8:30 AM.  As the host was leaving to run some errands I told that I would stay about an hour.

  Right at 11 AM the White-winged Dove showed up in the lower branches of a large maple tree about 20 feet from the deck.  Of course the bird posed with its perch obstructing the prominent diagnostic white leading wing edge.

  After a few minutes the bird flew to a higher vantage point which exposed the white on the wings however the bright background sky made for some drab photos.
   Twenty minutes later it flew down to a lower branch with provided both an unobstructed view and a better background.
  This sighting represents a first for the Mason County list, which is up to 308 species.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Olive-sided Flycatcher 9/8/2016

   Another yard another Olive-sided Flycatcher.  As I stepped out on to the back deck to grill up some lunch, I looked over the house and noticed a flycatcher at the top of an oak in the front yard.  Initially I suspected a Kingbird as it chased insects then returned to the same perch.  I reached back into the house and grabbed a pair of binoculars and realized I had myself a new bird (#105) for the yardlist.  It is only the second Olive-sided Flycatcher that I've ever found (or did it find me).  The first was at my old house when I noticed one on the back wire as I walked through the dining room.

  The one at the old house only stayed a few minutes but yesterday's bird was much more cooperative. It actively hunted down bees (or wasps) and other bugs for about an hour.   

   Its habit of returning to a preferred vantage point made it possible to get some flight shots as I kept the camera trained at an anticipated landed spot.

   A couple of days ago a pair of Red-tailed Hawks sparred over my house.

The dropping of the gloves.

Looks like this just went from a hockey fight to a baseball fight, with no blows landed.

Back to their respective benches.

Friday, August 19, 2016

International Crane Foundation Baraboo Wisconsin

    There are 15 species of cranes in the world and there is only one place where you can see them all, the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo,WI.  For more information and a visitors' guide check out their website  International Crane Foundation
Close up of Black Necked Crane
Grey Crowned Crane

Black Crowned Crane

Blue Crane


Eurasian Crane

Hooded Crane

Sarus Crane

Siberian Crane

Wattled Crane

Whooping Crane

Monday, August 8, 2016

Weekend at Ludington Harbor

  Plenty of photo ops at the harbor this weekend.
Merlin announcing the rising Sun, he's come to snuff the rooster

Piping Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper

Belted Kingfisher

Female Yellow Warbler

Great Blue Heron hunting with its shadow

Round Goby chose to dodge the shadow

Dinosaur feet

  Friday and Saturday evenings clear skies and convenient celestial objects allowed for some astrophotography.
Moon on Saturday

Moon with Jupiter on Friday

Venus drawing a crowd on Friday evening

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Birds on the Pier

  The unedited photo file on my hard-drive has been filling up since Friday to the point where I'd almost need a day off to tend to it.
  Here are some photos taken at the south pier at Ludington Harbor.

Piping Plover

Northern Pintail

Gobal Annhilation

Untimely Blink

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover

(Un)Spotted Sandpiper

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Common Eider Ludington Harbor 7/28/16

  This morning while walking the south pier at Ludington Harbor I noticed an unusual duck about 50 yds out on the lake side of the breakwater.  I took over 100 photos until a boat leaving the harbor spooked the duck which took off and appeared to land just north of the north pier.  When I got home I had an email from Van Burmiester with an attached photo of the same bird. I suspected that he was correct in determination that it was a Common Eider.   Have since received many replies confirming it as a Common Eider.  Thanks all.

   A Rare Bird Observation form and photos have been sent to the Michigan Rare Bird Review Committee.  If accepted, this would be only the 6th documented state record for this species.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hungry Hungry Heron

     Crossed paths this morning with a most-cooperative and focused Great Blue Heron on the south pier at Ludington Harbor this morning.
Heron.      May you please repeat the word?

Heron.      May you please give me the definition?
  This bird seemed to be determined to rid Lake Michigan of invasive Round Gobies.
A wading bird that has long neck and legs........

May you please repeat the word?       Heron

May you please use it in a sentence?

If Gail had not seen the heron fly down from the tree, she would have insisted the huge bird nested on the ground.

May you please repeat the word?            Heron

What's the word again?          Heron.

Hairwink?   Heron.   Harrow?   Heron    Hairline?  Heron

Hurling?  Heron     May you please repeat the word?...........

  This heron's dedication to its mission had it almost oblivious to my presence.  I positioned myself ahead of it on the pier while it slowly moved forward to a point where it got too close for my lens to focus.  At that point I would walk ahead another 50 feet and wait for the next fish to venture into the bird's strike-zone.  I swear if I stayed stationary the hungry fish-eater would have just stepped around me and continued on.