Sunday, May 20, 2018

Snowy Egret at Freeman Pond 5/20/2018

    Got a call from Linda Scribner late this morning to notify me of a Snowy Egret found by Shelly Green as she passed by Freeman Pond on US-31.  I headed right out there where Linda and her husband Chuck were watching the bird, as was Dave Dister who was on his phone getting the word out on a bird that hasn't been seen in the county in 41 years.
    It was visible almost motionless in the pond until it took off and flew nearly overhead and landed on the farside of the small pond at the Kubota dealer on the west side of US-31.
    This brought the bird closer as it preyed on small fish in the pond.

looks like my yard
   It later headed back across the road but not before allowing some flight shots in good lighting.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Two More Warbler Mornings

Northern Parula

   The last two mornings there has been a continuing influx of warblers in my yard.  Today I had ten species of them, including a first of the year Magnolia(unphotographed) which is the 100th bird species I've recorded in the yard this year. Last year I didn't hit 100 until October 22.  This year I hit that milestone before the first lawn cutting of the season (by six hours).


American Redstart 


Black and White

  Vireos are also zipping around the yard.
   I think this next one might be a Philadelphia Vireo.   Please correct me if I'm wrong. Contact info is at the bottom of the page.
   Other birds included
Scarlet Tanager
Blue Jay

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

10 Warblers Species in the Yard

Female American Redstart
     All day long warblers stopped by to fuel up for their continuing migration. In all ten species were tallied.
Yellow Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Tennessee Warbler
  Besides the warblers shown above...Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided, Bay-breasted, Northern Parula, Blackburnian and Yellow-rumped were also counted.

  Pine Siskins continue to mob my feeders to the point that their numbers raise a red-flag when entered on Ebird.  Today I logged 31 on my Ebird submission but that was only the ones I counted in and under one tree.

    Three or four Baltimore Orioles are hitting their feeders hard all day.
  The aforementioned Bay-breasted Warbler was the 98th species that I've seen in and around the yard this year.  Last year I didn't hit 98 until September 8.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cerulean Warbler 5/13/2018

       The snow pile at the end of my street has been gone less than two weeks.  But the inconvenience of a prolonged winter is paying its dividends now (for me anyway).  Although leaf-out of the trees is a couple of weeks behind schedule the birds continued to march unabated toward their breeding grounds.
      Last spring, through a check on ebird, I discovered that there is a reliable Cerulean Warbler territory about 30 minutes from my house.  Last May, I took a couple of trips out there, heard two singing males but they remained hidden among the leaves in the Manistee National Forest canopy.  This year's delayed spring presented a more promising opportunity to view and photograph these elusive little guys.
   I was able to find three singing males but only the one in these photograph came lower than 50 feet off the ground.

    Through millions of years of evolution the battle between predator and prey has yielded a number of strategies.

   If your go-to move is to look like a twig.....your mom better have laid hundreds of eggs so that at least a couple of your siblings can carry on your dumb genes.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Migratory Bird County - Riverton Twp. 5/12/2018

   For the second year in a row I covered the whole of Riverton Township during the Mason County Spring Migratory Bird Count.  Dave Dister tipped me off on Blue-winged Warblers in my count area.  I had scouted the area during the mid-week but was unable to find them.  Fortunately today was a different story.  I heard 3 singing males and was able to secure some properly lit photos of one of them.
   Another good bird was this Hooded Warbler (1st Spring Female?).

   Baltimore Orioles were seen in several locations.
   Other birds were....
Vesper Sparrow

Eastern Bluebird

Tree Swallow

Green Heron

Yellow-throated Vireo

Female Buffleheads. The one on the right appears to be eating a waterbug.

Solitary Sandpiper, alone with its reflection.

Sandhill Cranes


Gray Catbird

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Brown Thrasher

Yellow-rumped Warbler

American Redstart

Red-eyed Vireo

Yellow Warbler

Eastern Kingbird
   Back at my house, I added a few more species during an afternoon feeder watch.
Red-headed Woodpecker

Lincoln's Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

White-Crowned Sparrow
I ended my Riverton survey with 66 species and was able to add another 7 in my yard when I got home.