Sunday, November 11, 2012

Slow HawkWatch Day - 10 Nov 2012

I worked on a Wayne Co. Worst Day, today.  Worst Day? Its the opposite of a Big Day, where you try to see as many spp. in a day as possible.  I drove all over Wayne Co. this morning and decided I could probably break a record.  It was cloudy, slightly foggy, so I figured I had a good chance of seeing the fewest amount of birds possible.

I started at the Tyler Rd. Cemetery looking for crossbills. The place was empty.  My consolation prize was a dozen Ring-billed Gulls on lake next to the old Visteon HQ.  Tally = 1.  My next location was the cemetery at 5-mile and Farmington.  Nothing.  I then drove south to Michigan Memorial Cemetery at Huron River and Willow Rds.  I saw a Dark-eyed Junco.  Tally = 2.  So I decided to head to Lake Erie Metropark and clean up on hawks...

I arrived at about 10 am and found Don Sherwood, official counter for the day.  He was talking to Rodney Laura, and neither of them had seen a hawk today.  No problem, the sky's supposed to clear any minute now.  Three hours later it was still cloudy and no hawks.  They would end the day with 5 birds, I think.  I would miss a low-flying Goshawk.  Frick. Other folks showed up, including Pat Jakel, Joe Hammerle, Mike Mencotti and Jerry Sniderman, so the conversations were nice.

My only consolation birds of the day were Bonaparte's Gulls, a couple of Ruddy Ducks, a small flock of Black-capped Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and a fly-over flock of Pine Siskins.  The half-dozen Bonaparte's Gulls near the boat launch provided some much-needed relief from lack of birds.




Joe Faggan stopped by, so we took a walk to look for siskins.  We did manage to bring a Winter Wren into the open.  It was across the channel from the wooden bridge just south of the boat launch.  The bird hopped onto a branch and chattered like an angry squirrel for several minutes.  I managed to digiscope some nice keepers from about 150' away, despite low light and slow shutter speeds.  We would also see a Swainson's Thrush for a brief moment on the way back.




Although the hawk count proved to be disappointing, the company and other birds in the area made up for it.  I had hoped for an intense day of birding, but sometimes it doesn't work out.  I didn't set any Big Day records, but I also didn't set a Worst Day record, either.

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