Monday, March 31, 2014

Thanks Obama

  This morning I spent about an hour watching a trickle of migrating birds in the skies over my yard.  At one point I spotted some distant Sandhill Cranes (new yard bird,  #138) heading north on a path that probably wouldn't have brought them within a half a block of my house.  Also in the distance I heard the rumble of a helicopter in the direction the cranes were headed.  The cranes must have heard it also because they made a left turn and flew right over my house.     

  It wasn't just any helicopter......

 It was Marine One carrying President Obama to Ann Arbor.

Thanks, Obama

      Below is the last photo I took before I photographed the president chopper.  It was the first time I ever saw Leo on the roof and the first time I purposely took a patriotic photo of a cat.  
My own rooftop security
    By the way,  I didn't realize it was Marine One until I downloaded the photos into my computer 4 hours later.   Before you ask, the president wasn't flying over to see if he should declare my yard a disaster zone. My neighbors already have.

   This isn't my first encounter with the president.  Back a few weeks ago when my blog pageview counter hit 20,000 he dropped me a congratulatory note.....Congrats! 20,000 visitors! How did you prevent the website from crashing?-B. Obama.


  Other dignitaries also sent their well-wishes.  Here are a few.
George W. Bush - Thanks for showing the human being and birds can coexist peacefully. 
Gerald R, Ford - Not at my airport they can't.
Vladimir Putin -I read blog with shirt off
   Thanks gentlemen and Mr. Putin.  I assure you I'm fully clothed when I write these posts   

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ross's Goose and Trumpeter Swans, Monroe County 3/14/2014

     A morning walk along the Lake Erie shore, south of Erie Rd., took an unexpected turn when a flock of Canada Geese flew by led by a Ross's Goose.

Following the Ross's

Composite of Ross's Goose
  A search of the Michigan Audubon's Bird Records Committee Searchable Database,  Michigan Audubon Ross's Goose Records  shows only 90 Ross's Goose records for the state through September 2012, with just three of those occuring in Monroe County.
  A few minutes later when the hundreds of Canada Geese started to clamor and take flight off of the lake, I heard the bugling of Trumpeter Swans.  I scanned the airborne birds but found the Trumpeters still on the water.

Horned Grebe with breakfast

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Detroit River Red-necked Grebes and White-winged Scoters

       This afternoon at Dingell Park in Ecorse there were 15 Bald Eagles on the north side of Mud Island.  There were another seven on an ice flow south of the island.

 Although what I was really after was a Red-necked Grebe that Jerry Jourdan and Andy Dettling reported on Tuesday. I parked on West Jefferson and scaled the snowbank and walked to an area where I could scan the river south of Mud Island.   I initially spotted a Horned Grebe that caught a small Perch. I watched it dive and resurface as it rode the current down the river.

   Suddenly out of nowhere the coveted Red-necked Grebe popped up right in front of me.  It must have been right against the breakwall and out of my field of view as I stood just three feet from the rail.

Riding a wave with propellers almost out of the water 

     I later headed to Bishop Park in Wyandotte and relocated the flock of White-winged Scoters that Andy found at Dingell and Jerry observed from the Wyandotte Municipal Boat Launch yesterday afternoon.

Red-necked Grebe among Scoter raft
 In single digit temperatures this morning I searched for Red-necked Grebes at the powerplant in Erie, but all I found was a Horned Grebe.

  This Song Sparrow was feeding along the shoreline waiting for spring to arrive.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

More Ducks and Eagles at Belanger Park

 More ducks and eagles at Belanger Park today.

Common Goldeneye

Common Merganser trying to eat in peace

Black-crowned Night Heron

More eagle photo ops at Belanger Park

Leg banded eagle

Monday, March 3, 2014

Belanger Park, River Rouge

Walked the Lake Erie shore for an hour and a half in single digit temperatures after work this morning.  Didn't see anyhing too spectacular but I did get a nice shot of an adult Bald Eagle.

  Went home and slept for a couple of hours.  Ran some errands and headed to Belanger Park in River Rouge.  Ended up taking over 900 photos of eagles, waterfowl and gulls.

Immature Bald Eagle

Screaming  Eagles

Female Common Goldeneye


Red-Breasted Merganser

Greater Scaup

Note female Goldeneye under water

Serrated bill


White-winged Scoters

A pair of Scoters

Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull

Herring Gull
  Despite the afternoon sun the temperature only rose to the mid-teens, the ice stuck to the feathers of the gull below.
Great Black-backed Gull

    Belanger Park is a couple of miles up river from Dingell Park.  There weren't as many eagles as there are at Dingell but they were much more active.