Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 Monroe CBC Erie, Michigan

   The Monroe Christmas Bird Count took place yesterday in the just about the coldest steadiest light rain possible.  The temperatures hovered in the mid-30's as the rain took just under 4 hours to penetrate my jacket, hoodie, sweatshirt, thermal shirt and T-shirt,   My camera rig held up extremely well thanks to a garbage bag wrapped around my Canon 5D and cannon-like 500mm lens.

  A half hour before the sunless sunrise I joined Allen Chartier and Will Weber at the Mostly Birds (but not always) afterhours headquarters for my 3rd and their 37th CBC at the site. Here are the best  blurry drab poorly lit grainy photos I was able to take.      
Canada Geese five minutes before sunrise

Tundra Swans


Birds of the Day....White-winged Scoters

Summer lingerers  Double-crested Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Heron

Wood Duck

3 year-old Bald Eagle showing lots of white

Belted Kingfisher

Toledo Mudhen

Hooded Mergansers

Redheads, Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks

Adult Bald Eagles

Tree Sparrow

Song Sparrow
   The photos below were taken on Thursday in better lighting at the same location.
Great Black-backed Gulls

    The photo below shows  an imprint in the snow of the primary and secondary feathers of a raptor that swooped down on an unfortunate rodent.
Poor lens selection
    Allen and Will continued on to Erie Marsh which reportedly was not sunny and warm . The highlights there included Swamp Sparrows,  a light morph Rough-legged Hawk, two Northern Harriers, (the male being attacked by a Great Horned Owl) and an adult Red-shouldered Hawk.  I unfortunately had to head home for a towel and a (restless survivor's-guilt interrupted) nap because I had to return to the count site at 4 PM to monitor the bird-attracting machinery until midnight.

  This post was brought to you in part by Carhartt...makers of outdoorwear able to keep you dry at a rate of just under an hour per layer. And Hefty... keeping sensitive electronics dry with a wide-range of low-cost aesthetically pleasing improvisable waterproof  products.  

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