Monday, March 19, 2018

Now Where Were We.

 It has been a couple weeks since the last update.  Here are a few photos coinciding with winter's end.

Purple Finch at my house

Red Breasted Merganser at Pt Mouillee

Horned Grebe at Ludington Harbor
Marlboro Man looking for a light

Ludington Light

New Yardbirds (#116)....Cedar Waxwings

Sure sign of spring....Tundra Swans

Venus and Mercury with Little Sable Lighthouse

   From before the days of Aristotle it was thought that certain animals spontaneously generated under the right conditions.  It wasn't until the mid-19th century, through the work of Louis Pasteur and John Tyndall, that fruitflies, mice and raccoons stopped materializing from decaying fruit, grain and sunflower seeds respectively.  I imagine the recipe went something like this.......
   Step 1- Place sunflower seeds in large container with unsecured lid
   Step 2 -Leave overnight in cool dark area.
   Step 3 -Enjoy
Note : For Black Bear replace seeds with Broasted Chicken then place in a restaurant dumpster instead of garbage can


   A party can still spontaneously arise when a dog wears a hat.  Whether he gets invited to the party is another matter.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Roadkill? Not So Fast


      As I was leaving work this morning, I pulled out of the compound right behind one of the midnight-shift security guards.  As we got about a mile down the road, I saw something glance off of the guard's car and land on the edge of the road.  I suspected that it was a bird so I turned around to check on it.  What I found was an Eastern Screech Owl lying motionless with one of its wings outstretched and eyes barely open.
   I picked up the dazed bird and put it in my car with plans to take it to a rehabber if it survived.  When I got home I placed it in an aquarium with a shallow bowl of water.  Within minutes it was reviving and splashing the water all over itself and the aquarium.  When it became apparent that its wings were fine I took it outside and placed it in one of my spruce trees.  I took a couple of photos and promptly texted them to a friend and my daughters.  By the time I sent the texts I looked up and it was gone.  
The Watt House has no comment at this tahm.

   For some reason my friend suggested I name it Sarah Huckabilly.  I thought it resembled a couple of other pop culture icons.

You should shee the other guy

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Eight Snowy Owls

  This morning I set out to make a run at besting the Mason County daily record of 6 Snowy Owls that I set in December and was tied on Thursday by Tom Bagwell.  I started in the US-31 area where Tom found all of his owls within roughly a quarter mile of the highway.

   Between 9 AM and noon I found seven Snowies within a couple of miles of the US-31 corridor.  Below is a map of where the first 6 were located.






   The seventh owl was found on a pile of tires in a yard on Tuttle Rd between Hansen and Decker.  As it sat motionless in the backyard of the residence a large Great Dane played in the front yard.

   The eighth Snowy was found on the reservoir at my worksite.
    As I was leaving my workplace a Bald Eagle flew near and provided a photo op.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bobcat Cold Wait

   A call from Dave Dister early this afternoon had me running out the door before the conversation was over.  Dave found a sleeping Bobcat about 40' up in a tree, 200 feet east of Dennis Rd. in Victory Township.   My wife and I headed right out there to find the dozing cat with its backside pointed toward the road. 
   The cats that I've known personally can sleep 12 hours straight without a break(?), so I knew it might get pretty frustrating waiting for the big guy to present his better side.  We ended up spending about half an hour watching the Bobcat with just some slight repositioning but never showing its face or even more than one ear.  After a quick drive around the area we returned to find that it had stirred and was now facing the road with the muted sun illuminating its sleeping face.
   I was even able to get some shots of it with its sleepy eyes half open.
  Although other people have seen one at my worksite, this is the first live one that I've ever seen,

Friday, February 9, 2018

Greater White-fronted Geese at Ludington State Park

   Yesterday Benjamin and Levi Wilson (the future of Mason County birding), found three Greater White-fronted Geese among a flock of Canada Geese in the Big Sable River across from the office at Ludington State Park.
  Today the geese were in the same location on a rare sunny winter day in Mason County.

  Meanwhile in my yard the Sharp-shinned Hawk still visits daily and poses for photos when he's not eating someone.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Snow Angel of Death

    Late this morning the Sharp-shinned Hawk that has taken up residence in my neighborhood this winter,  continued its assault on the smaller birds at my feeders.  I saw it as it plunged to the ground with its next meal in its talons.  It was too close to get a photo with my large lens but after it/they flew off I went outside to see if any feathers from the victim were left behind to aid in its identification.  No feathers were found but hawk left quite an impression in the snow.

   The tail drag impression was a result of its braking maneuver when it landed.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Looks guilty to me

   The Sharp-shinned Hawk that is being sought for questioning in the abduction and suspected killing and possible dismemberment of a Goldfinch on Saturday was caught on camera by a surveillance unit this afternoon.  The Goldfinch's friends and family want answers about what the Sharpie has characterized as a casual lunch date.  Although speculation of whether a crime has actually occurred is in dispute because no body has been found.

Evidence of another potential crime hangs from its bill

Unaware he's being watched he brazenly appears to be searching for another victim

Sharpie striking its most innocent pose yet.
  Just for fun I include a crop of the top photo that shows my house reflected in the bird's eye
The 'X' shows my approximate location