Sunday, February 7, 2010

Weekend Birding

This morning I birded Robert Long and the Novi Wetlands. At first glance Robert Long did not look promising as I could only find Mallards. After a minute or so, however, I noticed a bright white spot on the north shore of the pond. When I looked through my binoculars I discovered that I was looking at the bright white throat of a male Northern Pintail. Two of these beautiful birds have been appearing off and on throughout the winter and they seem to have a habit of disappearing for a few weeks and then reappearing just when we are sure they are gone. I tried to sneak up on it without flushing it but was unsuccessful and it flushed with a few other Mallards to land out of camera range in the pond. I did manage one decent flight shot though.

Sparrow variety was decent as well; I had six or so American Tree Sparrows, one Song Sparrow, and one Swamp Sparrow. It seems that my luck has run out on seeing the Shrike at the Novi Wetlands, I failed to see it for the third or fourth straight time after seeing it two straight times. I did manage one decent shot of an American Kestrel.

On Saturday I went on the Detroit Audubon Society field trip to Belle Isle. We had a relatively good day for ducks with two male Red-breasted Mergansers being the highlight for me. I did not see the Long-tailed Duck seen by other members of the group though thanks to a kayaker who flushed the flock of ducks that it was in.

On Friday I drove along Gotfredson and Vreeland Roads and saw many of the same birds that I saw last week, including the Rough-legged Hawk and Lapland Longspurs. I also saw a flock of a hundred or so Snow Buntings and a flock of Wild Turkeys nearby. Here is a picture of one I took on Thursday at Kensington which is now the place to see Wild Turkeys in the winter in Oakland County.
Anyway, nothing terribly exciting but not bad for February.

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