Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thumb Birding

I birded the Thumb today starting at Port Huron where I saw several Long-tailed Ducks along with Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, and Buffleheads. The Long-tailed Ducks were much closer than in November and I was able to manage a few shots despite the gray skies. Here is a shot of a male and female.

I then headed up toward Port Sanilac and was surprised to see that most of Lake Huron was not frozen. I was able to pull off a bit after Lexington where I saw a Bald Eagle and three Long-tailed Ducks fly by. After this I headed for the dump east of Carsonville in the hopes of seeing the Glaucous-winged Gull that was seen there last Friday and Saturday. Not surprisingly, I couldn't relocate the bird, it didn't help that a Cooper's Hawk flushed all of the gulls after I had been looking at them for just ten or so minutes. The only gulls I was able to count before this were about a hundred Ring-billed and six Glaucous Gulls. The trip to the dump was not a waste however, as a Dark Morph Rough-legged Hawk provided some great views and photo opportunities.

Also notable were the large flocks of Wild Turkeys of about twenty that I encountered twice in Sanilac County and once in Tuscola County where there was also a Light Morph Rough-legged Hawk. It was a pretty enjoyable day of birding, especially as it is February, which I generally consider my least favorite month to bird.


  1. I recommend that you return to the Lakeport-Lexington area in March for the tundra swan migration, if you haven't seen that before. The best days are those with no wind. We'll bundle up and sit out on the beach in the morning. 7:30 to 9:30 has been a productive time of day, although they move through at other times, too, including at night with a full moon. If conditions are right, we can hear and see the birds miles away coming over the SE corner of Lake Huron. We sometimes get B&B and cottage rental bookings in March because of the swans.
    Sandy White

  2. Hi James,

    Nice photos! The thumb is an underbirded (and underrated) spot.

    My old house (in Beverly Hills) was about fifteen minutes from Farmington Hills...wish I had gotten the chance to meet you before I moved!