Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mayflies and a Stupid Camera! - 25 Jun 2016

Robin and I headed down to Lake Erie Metropark for our daily run/walk. I decided to take the camera in case a hatch of mayflies occurred (it did!). I didn't expect the camera to get switched from A-Priority to Manual. Instead of shooting 1/1000 sec using Auto-ISO under Aperture-Priority (f/8) I ended up shooting at 1/160 sec at Auto-ISO.

So, you can imaging my upset when a Least Bittern flushed in front of me and fly across the creek several times, in full sunlight, only to be photographed as a blur. Grrr.

I did managed to salvage a few pics, though.

Curiously enough, the mayfly hatch was concentrated to a single light pole in the middle of the parking lot at the LEMP boat launch at the foot of Lee Rd. in s. Wayne Co. No other light pole had even a single mayfly on them; just the one.

A pile of mayflies hatching and molting on the ground looked like a reenactment of last Sunday's "Battle of the Bastards" episode of The Game of Thrones.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Field Sparrows and a Chat! - 19 Jun 2016

A Yellow-breasted Chat at Oakwoods Metropark in Wayne Co., MI was reported earlier this week by Karl Overman. Since it was only about 10 minutes away I grabbed the scope to see if I could relocate it. Parking at the horse trail lot next to the railroad tracks I walked the bike path about ¼ mile before locating the Chat. I could hear it singing loudly from the bike trail, and spotted it flying across the field to a tree well off the trail. After a wee bit of bushwhacking I spotted it briefly before it flew off again.

As I headed back to the trail I came across a fledgling Baltimore Oriole. Nearby mom was chattering away and brought a mouthful of grubs to the young.

Yellow Warblers were also out in force, and several pairs were seen in every direction.

Some noisy chips got my attention, and a pair of Field Sparrows carrying insects were agitated by my presence. A nest must by close by, so I stayed only long enough to grab a few pics w/ the D7100 and a couple of digiscoped images.

Indigo Buntings were seen in several locations, but constantly on the move, so a digiscoped image was all I could muster.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Recent Yard Visitors - 12 Jun 2016

Robin and I have been enjoying some nice visitors to the yard this spring. As I write this a Common Yellowthroat is singing daily (all day) from the hedge line just outside the back door. A Yellow Warbler joins him for several minutes a day, and its a joy to hear them both.

I haven't been hearing any American Woodcock out back since about the first of June.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been slow to arrive, but are now daily visitors to the feeder since about June 1st. I've been attempting to capture some images of the male when he makes a 3-second visit every 20 minutes or so.

I hung an orange ant-moat above the hummingbird feeder and filled it with jelly. The Baltimore Orioles have been making regular visits and providing some nice portraits from the back window.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have also been making regular visits to the feeder.

A Gray Catbird has been singing since early May, and is most vocal during the early hours of the day. It has been seen attacking the suet feeder, and even enjoys the jelly feast over the hummingbird feeder!

House Finches have thinned considerable since winter, but a family of 5 have stuck around and squabble over sunflowers.

A Song Sparrow enjoys gleaning the ground for several minutes a day.

Eastern Towhees are heard singing daily from the woods out back, and occasionally make an appearance.

Blue Jays are active at the feeders. They, along with the Common Grackles and family of European Starlings, empty the suet feeder every day. I'm having to replace suet daily this late into the spring/summer season.

Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, and Mallards are seen daily.

Oddly, no Sharp-shinned or Cooper's Hawks have been seen all spring.

The Black-capped Chickadees fledged several chicks, but have not been seen since the young left the bluebird box. A pair of Eastern Bluebirds were heard yesterday, so I'm hoping they find the now-empty bluebird box.

On the critter side we're enjoying up to 3 Chipmunks visiting the feeders daily. Bunnies are showing up, as well. A Raccoon has been raiding the sunflower feeder nightly, and I can tell because it spins the feeder around so it can feed from the snag nearby.

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