Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Common Redpoll Yard Bird #115

   Had a single Common Redpoll on the driveway around noon today, which became yardbird #115.  It also was the 102nd species seen in the yard this year.

 Below is a photo of a Snowy Owl that was one of four seen on Friday 12/22 on the upper reservoir road at my work.

Friday, December 1, 2017

More Snowies

     Woke this morning and found a message on my phone from Van Burmeister who found 4 Snowy Owls on the south breakwater of Ludington Harbor.  A second message was from Dave Dister who suggested that I check the pumped storage reservoir to see if I could find any of the 3 owls that I saw Wednesday.

    I was only able to find one owl at the reservoir before heading to the harbor to document the 4 birds that Van found.  With a little more effort I was able to find a sixth Snowy along Scottville Rd.
   Twelve of the Snow Geese that I saw at the reservoir on Wednesday were still present.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Make that Three Snowies

      I can hear it now. "Snowy Owls? Is that all you got?" Well if these Arctic interlopers are going to keep crossing paths with me, I've got to keep blogging about them.
    This morning I stayed over into the daylight hours for a meeting and afterward took advantage of the sunny skies and light winds to check if last week's owls were still up on the reservoir.
      At the four mile mark of the six mile, one-way loop I spotted two birds atop of a small structure.  These appear to be young females that I have been seeing up there.  One of the Snowies stayed put as I passed the structure.

    A little further ahead as I passed a transformer I noticed a young male in my rear-view mirror.

   Other birds of interest included a flock of 14 White-phase Snow Geese, that circled the reservoir for about 10 minutes.

  A single Blue-morph Snow Geese hung out with the Canada Geese.
Rough-legged Hawk
    After I made it home, Dave Dister called to report a Glaucous Gull at Ludington Harbor.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Second Snowy Owl

   I stopped by my work on my day off to see if the Snowy Owl found there last week was still present.  It was and it brought a friend, a second Snowy.  Only one bird was close enough to photograph.
   Also present in the reservoir were a Pied-billed and Horned Grebe.
   The Snowy Owl stood its ground with an angry Crow, until the corvid realized that the Owl wasn't fazed.
  The owl stood by as I was heading down back ramp, which allowed me to increase the distance between us and still face her head on.

     On the lower reservoir road a handful of bucks contemplated a rearranging of the accepted hierarchy. 
10-pt Buck- " I'm going to let that guy know what I think of him......"

".....Maybe tomorrow".

Next up the buck who looks like he got his rack at the factory seconds outlet. 

He better walk before he makes him run.

Friday, November 10, 2017

First Snowy 11/10/2017

   The change of seasons from fall to winter occurred yesterday afternoon, when the south wind which pushed morning temperatures to the mid-40's,  shifted to the northwest and dropped the late afternoon temps into the upper 20's.  In the evening, lake-effect snow showers dropped about an inch of snow on the area while the trees were still deciding if they should drop their leaves even though the complete color change has yet to occur.
My yard
   The clash of seasons gave me the opportunity to  photograph two of my favorite subjects (snow and fall colors) simultaneously.
Leaves at Ludington State Park

Buttersville Park

  At Buttersville Park, which is on the grounds of my employer, I ran into my coworker Brad who told me that the Snowy Owl that he found yesterday was still up on the reservoir road.
  About an hour later I drove the upper reservoir road and found the Snowy and a Dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk at eye level. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cackling and Snow Geese at Work

3 White-morph Snow Geese and a Cackling Goose in flight
  After an unsuccessful chase of a late Blue-headed Vireo that Dave Dister found at the State Park this morning, my wife and I drove to the upper reservoir road at my worksite.  As we slowly drove the upper loop, I noticed flocks of Canada Geese coming to land on the pond.  Scanning the flocks I saw 3 White-morph Snow Geese following the Canadas in from the surrounding cornfields.  
Blue Morph Snow Goose
   When I examined the raft of geese that landed I found one Blue-morph Snow Goose.  It wasn't until I downloaded the photos onto my computer that I noticed that there were at least 7 Cackling Geese interspersed among their larger cousins.
Four Cackling Geese among Canada Geese
    Before we got to the upper road, a handsome Dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk flew by.  I was hoping to get eye-level shots of it with the 200+ feet of elevation gain that the upper road provides.  But the bird was nowhere in sight when we got up there.
Dark-morph Rough-legged  
   The only raptor viewed from the high road was this young Bald Eagle.
Immature Bald Eagle

Friday, November 3, 2017

Red-necked Grebe Ludington State Park 11/3/2017

   Yesterday at Ludington State Park Dave Dister found a Red-necked Grebe in Hamlin Lake off shore of the Island Trail .  This morning the bird was near the same location (past the second bridge), although a little more distant than yesterday.

  The following birds were in my yard later in the afternoon.
Dark-eyed Junco

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Orange-crowned Warbler

Better background and lighting
White-crowned Sparrow