The first 6 deer I saw on my recent road-trip were carcasses at the side of the I-75 on the lower Michigan penninsula (not to mention an assortment of dead raccoons, possum, skunks, porcupines and various unidentified animals). Later I would see a couple dozen live ones at various times and places in forests and by the roadside. There are a lot of deer on the Upper Peninsula. In fact, I found not seeing deer to be unusual.
I saw an assortment of birds of prey, as well as crows, robins, swallows, finches, grouse, quail, not to mention birds I heard but never saw, such as the whip-poor-will who serenaded me to sleep nightly. And then there were the turkeys.
I skidded to a stop to take the last two shots. What I missed in the photo were a several babies walking along with mama turkey. They were tiny and I could barely see them through the brush. If I were a little quicker, I might have caught then a couple feet back where there was a little bit of a clearing, but unfortunately, by the time I fumbled for my camera and snapped a couple shots, they had disappeared into the longer grasses.
I was just out with the dogs for a walk over by the water filtration plant. As we came down the hill and turned south a hawk swooped down from above the roof of the building and soared low across the pavement and the grass, flying towards the lake and then turning west and flying out of sight. It was a large bird with a distinctly reddish tail, leading me to suspect (hey I’m no birder) it was none other than a red-tailed hawk.
We turned west and watched the bird fly back toward us, then across the harbour, landing on a tree out on the spit. Moments later it flew back toward us again, soaring low and fast and then swooped gently up to a perch in a tree perhaps 100 yards behind us.
The filtration plant and Sam Smith park beside it are amazing places for birdlife. Usually the first indicator that some special bird or another is around is the flock of birders with their long expensive camera lenses and their tripods. Tonight though, there was nobody out there but me and the dogs, our new bird friend and whatever it was hunting.
Mosaic Blue Jay by Sheila Gregory and Eugene Knapik
The only thing left to do on the mosaic blue jay is screw in some hanging hardware, and where that goes depends on the angle at which it’s going to hang.
Tuffy P signed us up somewhere or another to receive emailed birding reports. I thought that might mean an email every few days but it turns out that birders are a very industrious lot and they take their hobby oh so seriously. Here are some sample headers from the emails we’ve been receiving:
Hudsonian Godwits @ West perth…
Hudsonian Godwit- Yes, American Golden Plover – Yes, at West Perth Wetlands
Eared Grebe still present at Townsend Sewage Lagoons
Short billed Dowitchers and 6 Black bellied Plovers over Andrew Haydon Park (west)
Jaegerless day at Van Wagner’s, Hamilton
Toronto Islands fall migration – Blue-winged and Prairie Warblers etc.
James Bay shorebirds — Chickney Point
Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Whitby
We’re getting dozens of birding reports. We have more information on bird sightings in Ontario than I imagined possible.
Check out the grebe chicks in Col. Sam Smith Park!
There’s a new bird in town. Look…there, behind the bear’s breeches. You mean that red one? Ya, ya, that’s the one. You got the field guide? No, I thought you brought it. I think it’s a Scarlet Tanager. Really? Ya, a Scarlet Tanager.
A large hawk was flying around Long Branch today. I watched it way up there as I took the dogs out for their run. It was too far away for me to tell what exactly it was. Let’s just say it was a heaping big bird of prey. When I rounded the corner by the water filtration plant, I looked up again and it was gone.
The last time I saw a hawk around here was a few months ago. I saw that one fairly close up. It had landed on the edge of the roof of the filtration plant. I’m fairly certain that one was a Cooper’s Hawk.
The hawk I saw today was making some big circles. Maybe it was hunting around for something tasty for dinner.
- Young Coopers Hawk (writing26letters.wordpress.com)
- searching searching (aimlesswithpurpose.wordpress.com)
- 365 Project Jan. 21-27 (terrybeigiephotographyblog.com)
We completed another bird mosaic and I installed this goldfinch this afternoon.