Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spring tease - 08 Feb 2009

Yesterday's balmy 40's and today's clear skies / mid 30's brought the first melting snow in weeks. Although spring is still far off, there is hope that it will actually arrive this year. I made a quick trip to Grosse Ile (Westcroft Gardens) this afternoon but failed to find any birds there. the ice is all but gone from the Detroit River in this stretch and hopes are that the ice fisherman got their shanties off in time.

Next stop was Lake Erie Metropark, where I spotted a nesting Great Horned Owl along the entrance into the park. The bird was sitting up high enough so that its ear tufts were well in view. A quick scan with the binoculars yielded a sleeping adult.

I walked roads and trails for a good hour or so, when I came upon a second Great Horned Owl snoozing comfortably in the late afternoon sun. Luckily for all the bird is in a location not easily accessible. I grabbed a couple digiscoped images from about 50 yds away, and even took a short video. The bird's body is visible in the first portion of the video, but then he/she wakes up and pops his/her head out for a moment. Neat!

I then drove over to Pt. Mouillee HQ off of Campau Rd. and saw a Northern Harrier fly out from near the boat launch. As I drove up to the boat launch I noticed the carcass of a dead Mute Swan atop the thawing ice. Meanwhile, the harrier flew to a second carcarss about 100 yds. out. I digiscoped a couple of images using the self-timer, then watched as a second Northern Harrier scare the first bird off the carcass. While bird number two fed, bird number one rested out on the ice several yards away. The waning sunlight forced me back into the car for home.


Kevin said...


Wow you think she made that Kill?

I heard of Harriers drowning Waterfowl though.

Kevin said...

Wow Jerry you think She made that Kill?

I heard of Northern Harries drowning Waterfowl though.

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