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.