Thursday, July 17, 2008

Steamy morning - 17 Jul 2008

I took a quick run down to Pt. Mouillee this morning before work. At 6:30 am the temps were already in the low 70's and, after last night's storms, lots of moisture made for a steamy bike ride. Skies were clear, but lack of a breeze made for difficult birding - everytime I put the binoculars to my glasses they would fog up. This made photography difficult, so I put the D300 away and concentrated on digiscoping.
At the Walpatich Unit Marsh Wrens were singing in at least different locations. As I approached the bank I flushed (4) Green Herons from below me that flew off to deeper waters.

A Black-crowned Night Heron also flushed from farther up the pond, but flew toward me and landed in a dead snag near shore. In the early morning sunlight it made for a wonderful digiscoping opportunity, so I put the 3 second timer on and shot several nice portraits.

Continuing on I headed down the dike between Long Pond and Bloody Run Units. A single Black-necked Stilt preened in the morning sunlight far back in the LPU. A Lesser Yellowlegs also fed in the LPU. The field where I found the Baird's Sandpiper last Saturday a single Least Sandpiper fed near several Killdeer.

The North Causeway was soft after last night's rains, so I got to sweat a bit more before reaching the Vermet Unit. Heading back toward the Middle Causeway I paused for a few minutes to digiscope a noisy Marsh Wren just a few feet away. Unfortunately it was obscured enough by the sedges that I managed only a couple keepers. I scanned the Vermet Unit for the Snowy Egret but dipped on it.

As I approached the Middle Causeway four Short-billed Dowitchers flew in and landed in the LPU. I spent several minutes digiscoping the birds, and got a few keepers despite their constant motion. Returning back to the car a black bird w/ a white rump flushed from the grass ahead of me and landed in the short grasses on the other side of the ditch. A male Bobolink! I tried digiscoping it from from a distance but the moisture in the air made it difficult to get a clear focus. I managed a single keeper from the constantly-preening bird.

Back to the car, home for a shower, and off to work by 9 am. Craving satisfied.

1 comment:

Will said...

Jerry, you are my vicarious access to Pt. Moo. I appreciate your commentary on conditions as well as the great photos. Does it seem like there should be more shorebirds by now?

I am off on a three week trip out of the country. Hope you will continue your Mouillee updates so I can keep up on what I am missing.

Any sign Stilt chicks?


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