Saturday, April 25, 2015

Loons Over Old Yard

   Headed back to my old house for the weekend to pick up some things and visit some folks.  If it's April, it's Loon month.  I had 7 Common Loons fly over before 8:30 AM.  Six of the seven were very high and flying from ESE to WNW.  The first bird on the other hand was heading almost due north but more importantly flew only about 150' above the house.  I was able to fire off 4 photos as it zipped by.
   In the cropped version of the above photo the barcodes on the neck were clearly visible.
   Below are cropped shots of loons flying much higher.

  Hopefully I'll get some on the yardlist of my new yard in the upcoming week.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ludington Merlin and Bonaparte's Gulls

Merlin on State Route 116 leading to Ludington State Park
  Following up on a 3-day-old report of a possible Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on South Lakeshore Drive (near where the one was last October), I headed into the dreary misty morning with binoculars and camera in tow.  No flycatcher was seen but a remarkable flight of Bonaparte's Gulls blew in off Lake Michigan riding a 30 mph tail wind.
   In less than two minutes I conservatively estimate that 500 of the gulls zipped overhead in groups of 50 to 100.  By the time I turned my car around the larger groups were well inland and out of camera range.  A few minutes later I got some shots of  couple of smaller groups.

Pair of Red-breasted Mergansers on Pere Marquette Lake
   Saw one Common Loon out over Lake Michigan,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker Ludington State Park

   Crossed paths with the most cooperative Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker this morning at Ludington State Park.  This bird spent about a half an hour drinking the sap of a Birch tree.

   The Ruby-crowned Kinglets were equally obliging.
   Here are some birds that visited my yard today.

Yellow-rumped Warbler hitting the suet.
   This Osprey was one of 4 species that I added to the yard list today.  The others were Rock Pigeon, Bald Eagle and Double-Crested Cormorant.  Yard list is now at 47.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Migrating Broad-winged Hawk

   Early this afternoon, the yardlist grew to 43 as I added Broad-Winged Hawk.  It might possibly be an early spring record for Mason County.  Due to the dense tree cover I had to put my lens into manual focus and was lucky to get a decent photo of the bird.

   The trees didn't interfere with the Red-bellied Woodpecker filling up on suet.

    After work I stopped by a nearby Disc Golf Course to see what kind of birds the overnight winds blew in.
Vesper Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Purple Finch

   This afternoon a flock of Purple Finches descended on my yard and stayed for about 10 minutes.

  Yesterday I recorded my first warbler of the spring, when a Yellow-Rumped Warbler stopped by to eat some suet.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Growing the yard list

  I added 11 new birds to the new yardlist this weekend . I'm up to 37.  Wasn't able to get photographs of Eastern Phoebe, Hermit Thrush, Northern Flicker among others, but below I included photos that I was able to get of some of the new ones as well as the everyday birds.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (new)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (new)

Purple Finch (new)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (new)

Sandhill Cranes  (not new)