Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slow Sunday - 24 Jul 2011

Another hot and sticky day was in store for SE Michigan today, so it was time to get out before it got too uncomfortable. 

Parking at Mouillee Creek I heard a Marsh Wren singing just across the road (US Turnpike) in the phragmites.  I walked across the road and managed an almost capture as it popped up to my pishing.
It then flew off after two of its young that had flown out of the phragmites nearby.

I met up with Tom Gass and birded with him the rest of the day.  We rode the Middle Causeway to the dike separating the Bloody Run and Long Pond Units, then north to the North Causeway.  There we picked up Marsh Wrens singing in the Long Pond Unit before we took the dike separating Vermet and Long Pond Units back toward the Middle Causeway. 

Along the way we hooked up w/ Jan Palland and Linda Johnson and stopped to look for the White-faced and hybrid ibises.  They would not show today.  We did, however, manage to pick up the first Stilt Sandpipers of the season (four of them) along with Short-billed Dowitchers, a Wilson's Snipe, Lesser Yellowlegs, a pair of Pectoral Sandpipers, and Least Sandpipers.  A fly-over Least Bittern help soften the blow of missing the ibises.  A second Least Bittern would follow a short distance later, but prove to be too far to photograph.

We then headed toward the Banana Unit, where we failed to see any Cattle Egrets or Snowy Egrets.  A consolation was 4 American White Pelicans swimming in Cell 3.  One juvenile pelican was sporting a nice set of sideburns that reminded me of someone...

The dredge pumping was turned off today, so the mudflats had an inviting look for good shorebirding today.  Alas, no shorebirds were in sight.  No sign of the American Avocet.

Tom and I decided to head back to the cars.  We failed to see either of the Little Blue Herons, so the day was a bit of a disappointment.  Still, it wasn't a complete loss.  After all, its not everyday you get to see a Summer Azure w/ a nicotine problem...

Thanks for letting me bird with you today, Tom!  And good to meet you, Jan and Linda!

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