Sunday, March 23, 2014
Short-eared Owl! - 22 Mar 2014
I arrived at Cell 1 and found a wasteland of felled trees and a mountain of wood chips. The woodlot that used to be here was gone; completely. Mid-sized logs and tree branches littered the landscape. No idea why, but will withhold judgement until the motive for clearing the Cell is learned.
At the junction of Cells 2 and 3 the ice disappeared along the Lake Erie shoreline. Cell 3 was still mostly ice, but rapidly melting. The mudflats in the SW corner of the Cell were exposed, and a large flock of several hundred Ring-billed Gulls took advantage of some open water and mudflats to catch some afternoon sunlight out of the direct wind. A few Herring Gulls were mixed in, but I found no other 'dark-mantled' or 'white-winged' gulls among them.
Heading back toward the Roberts Rd. parking lot was a major challenge with soft trail and stiff north wind. I walked the bike the majority of the 2 miles but managed to see an Eastern Meadowlark and an American Kestrel along the way.
While driving by Riverside Park at the mouth of the Huron River I spotted a flock of 12 Tree Swallows foraging along the open water just out from the boat launch!