After a 3-week hiatus from birding (unintentional) I finally got the chance to do a bit of birding (kind of...). Robin and I drove up to the condo in Central Lake Friday afternoon so I got to hone my 70 mph birding skills. US-127N at Maple River SGA yielded no birds. The Dead River Swamp near Houghton Lake, however, was a bit more productive. Numerous Great Blue Herons continue at the rookery, and an Osprey was perched nearby. I would also see a Sandhill Crane and Northern Harrier on the trip home Sunday.
Saturday morning was reserved for a trip to Traverse City. Along the way I managed to spot several Eastern Meadowlarks and Grasshopper Sparrows atop the wooden fence posts lining US-31 north of Elk Rapids. Later in the afternoon, on the return trip to the condo, I stopped briefly along Kiessel Rd. and M-88 to listen for grassland birds. Several Bobolink were still courting and singing several hundred yards away, along with numerous Savannah Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks and Song Sparrows.
We drove into Boyne City late Saturday afternoon and had dinner at the Red Mesa. Afterward, we walked down to the water's edge to watch the lake and setting sun. While sitting on the park bench a Mink popped up from the weeds lining the shoreline and sauntered right past us, unaware of our presence. No camera, no pics...
Returning to Central Lake we spotted several more Grasshopper Sparrows along the roadside. A slow cruise down Childs Rd. and M-65 yielded several more meadowlarks, and a lovely Vesper Sparrow that flew before I could get the scope on it.
Though I took no photos this trip, it felt nice to be able to listen to the distant chorus of birds the golden hours of the morning and evening.
Grasshopper Sparrow - digiscoped © 2007 J.S. Jourdan