Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wet Saturday! - 07 Mar 2009

Despite forecasted rains today, I decided to get out and take my chances with the weather.

I drove down to Monroe Co. and checked out gulls along Lotus Rd. The ponds were melted and all the gulls were concentrated in a field off of Suder Rd. Among the hundreds of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls I managed to pick out (3) Lesser Black-backed Gulls, all adults. Unfortunately I was too far away to digiscope them, and I didn't feel like trespassing on private property to get any photos. Besides, the rains were starting and I had lots of ground to cover.

I made a quick stop along Sterns Rd. east of Summit and found a singing Fox Sparrow among the numerous Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and Tree Sparrows.

Heading north I stopped in Belleville and found the previously-reported Long-tailed Ducks near the bridge on Belleville Rd. By the time I parked and walked back to the bridge the four females and one male were far out in the lake. I took a couple photos w/ the D300 and Sigma 400 mm f/5.6 just for record. Other birds seen were (2) Great Black-backed Gulls, numerous Common Mergansers and Goldeneye, Redhead, Canvasback and Mallard. I did not find the Horned Grebe.

Next stop was Gotfredson Rd. (and Vreeland) to look for Lapland Longspurs. With the rains now coming down heavily I could only crack the windows and listen for birds. Horned Larks were noisily marking their territories and chasing each other near the road and among the corn stubble, but I could neither see nor hear any Lapland Longspurs. At one point I did spot the featured Ring-necked Pheasant male in the ditch to my left, and managed a few photos before it disappeared into the undergrowth. A Red-tailed Hawk was the only other bird seen in this area.

With rains coming down I decided to call it a morning and head home.

Oh, I continue to host about 3 dozen Common Redpolls, American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins in my yard in Wyandotte.

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