Friday, July 13, 2012

Pt. Mouillee White-faced Ibis - 02 July 2012

Three White-faced Ibis were reported earlier this week from Pt. Mouillee SGA in SE Michigan.  One of the three may be a hybrid (White-faced X Glossy), but further documentation is required for confirmation.  I managed to see one of the birds, an obvious adult White-faced Ibis.  Note the red eyes and broad, white-pinkish skin patch on the face.  The bird was found in the Humphries Unit just across from the junction of the Lautenschlager / Bloody Run Units. It is a dwarf by comparison to the much larger Great Egrets.

Winds were largely absent this morning, so much of the marsh was blanketed in an early morning fog.  It would soon burn off.

Bank Swallows were roosting in the phragmites lining the Middle Causeway, and permitted a few digiscoped images from just 20 feet away. Check out the long wings on this juvenile (?).

I rode the Middle Causeway toward Cell 3.  Along the way a Peregrine Falcon cruised the shoreline looking for an easy meal, but struck out when it swooped a couple of coot in the Humphries Unit.  I tried my best but found it impossible to track it w/ the 300/2.8 VRII.

Cell 3 contained quite a few Redhead Ducks, but I only found a couple of shorebirds.  A pair of Dunlin, including a blind bird, were foraging next to three Semipalmated Sandpipers.  One Semipalmated Sandpiper was found along the east shoreline of the cell, and was close enough for some nice digiscoped portraits.  It eyed a floating mayfly just briefly before flying off.

A small flock of 8 Black Terns were roosting on the small mud spit next to the east shoreline.  They were fidgety, and kept spooking, which resulted in their flight across the open water and back to roost.  I took the opportunity to capture some flight shots of both juvenile and adult Black Terns in various stages of pre-basic molt.

Common Tern juveniles were also in the area.  Note the black on the back of the head of this juvy.

I returned to the main dike and took this panorama of dozens of Great Egets roosting in the rookery located in the Humphries Unit. The panorama was created from almost 20 different images captured using the Nikon D300s and 300/2.8VRII!

Returning to the Middle Causeway this deer (with Tick attached to its back) froze in the middle of the grass to my right.  Deer flies continue to be a pest.  I was bitten a month ago on the forearm, and it got infected.

A dozen Bobolink were roosting among the sweet white clover lining the causeway.  Most were males, with several birds appearing to be in mid-molt. One female-type bird was also present.

I would later attempt (and fail) to get close enough to digiscope some Indigo Buntings that were singing near the pump house.  Oh, well.  Still a good morning.

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