Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lake Erie Scoters! - 03 Nov 2013

I drove down to Lotus Rd. in southern Monroe County to look for a female Mountain Bluebird reported a few days ago by Karl Overman.  I dipped on finding the bluebird, but found 90 Dunlin foraging on the exposed mudflats at the railroad tracks on Lotus Rd.

I then drove over to the J.R. Whiting Power Plant at the foot of Erie Rd. to look for some scoters reported a few days ago, as well.  I was not disappointed.  I met Pat Jakel there and together we scoped 20 Black Scoters, 8 Surf Scoters and 1 Long-tailed Duck about 100 yds. out from shore.  Distance and lighting were not friendly for digiscoping, but a high-mag video through the scope found the Long-tailed Duck among the scoters.

We walked down to the outfall of the power plant and saw a hundred Bonaparte's Gulls, but no unusual gulls.

I then headed Pt. Mouillee, where I found a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a pair of American Kestrels, but none cooperative enough for photos. A Lesser Yellowlegs was foraging in Mouillee Creek, but I didn't stop to digiscope it.

Next stop was Lake Erie Metropark for the Detroit River HawkWatch.  I arrived a bit before 11 am and immediately was put on a Rough-legged Hawk high in the stratosphere (thanks, Greg Smith!). The bird gorgeous through the scope but just a speck through the camera, so no pics (again).  I could only manage a few pics of a fly-by Red-tail, and even then I was late on it.  The thousands of American Crows passing overhead in a long procession was really impressive!  One Golden Eagle was reported earlier along w/ dozens of Red-shouldered Hawks.

Robin and I would return to LEMP later in the afternoon for a walk, but things had slowed. As we drove back to Wyandotte we spotted an American Kestrel dive-bombing a Cooper's Hawk atop a light pole across the street from the Yak Arena.  By the time I could get in position w/ the scope the hawk decided to fly off.   Too slow again.

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