Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Osprey! - 20 May 2015

At 4 pm this afternoon Asia and I were sitting on the sidewalk in front of Brownton Abbey (waiting for Robin to come home) an Osprey flew over the house! I spooked both cats as I ran indoors to grab the camera, and came out to see a pair of birds circling over the house. I was able to get a few flight shots as they soared low over the house.

Yard bird #41!

First Yard Photos - 16 May 2015

It was raining this morning so I set up the scope in the sunroom windows and waited for something to wander by. A Gray Catbird perched low in the brush at the back of the property line and allowed me to get a few digiscoped images.

A pair of Killdeer were in the muddy/rocky/puddly lot next door, so I turned the scope on them.

I had just set up the hummingbird feeder and no sooner than I did a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird came by and fed. I was too slow with the scope, though and missed her.  Twenty minutes later she came by again and I missed her again.  I would not see her again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Starting a New Yard List! - 13 May 2015

Robin and I moved into our new home in Brownstown Twp. last week. We are located in the Del Webb Community of Bridgewater, and have aptly named our new home "Brownton Abbey" (short for Brownstown Abbeyville). We chose the location so that our house backs up to the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) green space where the power lines run parallel to West Rd. It is wooded, and the empty lots to the west give us nice, wet fields.

I've been keeping a half-hearted list in my head during these past months of building and the recent move-in, but today I heard the distinct "Peent" of American Woodcock in the field across the street! This, along with the Eastern Bluebird pair frequenting the willows and dogwood along the back of our new property, is prompting me to fire up an e-bird hotspot for the area.  So far yard birds include:

1. Dark-eyed Junco
2. House Finch
3. American Goldfinch
4. House Sparrow
5. Cooper's Hawk
6. Sharp-shinned Hawk
7. Mourning Dove
8. European Starling
9. Blue Jay
10. Rock Pigeon
11. Common Grackle
12. Red-winged Blackbird
13. Red-tailed Hawk
14. Turkey Vulture
15. Bald Eagle
16. Common Crow
17. Great Blue Heron
18. Song Sparrow
19. Savannah Sparrow
20. Killdeer
21. American Robin
22. Mallard
23. Horned Lark
24. Barn Swallow
25. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
26. American Tree Swallow
27. Baltimore Oriole
28. Herring Gull
29. Ring-billed Gull
30. American Kestrel
31. Yellow Warbler
32. Gray Catbird
33. Canada Goose
34. American Woodcock

Follow-up: Walking home last evening (5/14/15) I heard the twittering, then looked up and saw a Woodcock fluttering right over the house! My new neighbors got to to see it, as well!

Added 5/18/2015
35. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
36. Northern Cardinal
37. Field Sparrow
38. Common Yellowthroat
39. Rufous-sided Towhee
40. Warbling Vireo

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Biggest Week in American Birding is Here! - 10 May 2015

I've been out of commission for quite a while now. No birding. No photography. No blogging. Well, not entirely true. I've been working on a new blog. You see, Robin and I just moved from Wyandotte into a new home here in Brownstown Twp., MI!

We are proud owners of a new-construction home at the Del Webb Community of Bridgewater. I've been spending Thanksgiving through, well yesterday, packing and moving. I'm exhausted. Plus, having the flu for the past 3 weeks has not made the move any easier. But today, I finally got a chance to turn on the camera and head out to the Biggest Week in American Birding Festival in NW Ohio.

I gave a Digiscoping Workshop at Maumee Bay State Park this morning as part of the Photography Workshop Series put together by Brian Zwiebel. My class of ten spent the first hour reviewing the who, what, where, and why's of Digiscoping, then we got out to practice our skills.

A red-morph Screech Owl was spotted yesterday on the boardwalk at Maumee Bay SP, so we headed out to look for it. It was a perfect subject for a group of new digiscopers, many who were digiscoping for the first time. And it couldn't have gone any better!

We had folks who were trying out camera phones for the first time, or trying to get their DSLR to take photos using the Swarovski DCB adapters. We were all thrilled when everyone was able to get wonderful photos of the owl as it roosted in the morning's overcast skies.  One gentleman even had a homemade scope made from old Nikon lenses, converters and a Nikon eyepiece. Impressive!

I couldn't spend the whole day down here, though, as I had to get back home to take Robin to the airport. I won't even be able to get back down to the festival this week as I have workers and contractors coming to old and new homes. But, it was great to be back in the field again.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

White-throats and Snow! - 22-23 Apr 2015

As I watched snow flurries swirling around the yard I spotted one, then two more White-throated Sparrows kicking in the mulch.

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