Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Day on Fighting Island - 12 Jun 2014

Our Analytical North America Group of BASF met on Fighting Island in the Detroit River today for a day-long meeting with colleagues from our Tarrytown, NY site.  As the 'unofficial' photographer of the day's meetings/workshops I spent some time running around looking for birds and bugs.

As we drove to the dock at the foot of the Detroit River I spotted a mink carrying a rodent along the break wall. Just as we were pulling away from the dock I spotted a Common Loon flying north along the river!  Purple Martins entertained us while we got permission from Canadian Customs to land on Fighting Island.

Before meetings started I took a quick walk out back and heard Warbling Vireos, Blue Jays, and Black-capped Chickadees.  A Map Turtle was digging a hole in the middle of the foot path just outside the door of the lodge.  We made sure she was not disturbed.  I walked out onto the grass and found a pair of yellow-spotted robber flies mating in the grass.

An hour break in the early afternoon gave me a chance to walk the grounds, where I found a dozen or so female Widow Skimmer dragonflies buzzing along the wood edge.  Later, I found a male Orchard Oriole on a tree near the pheasant pens (no pheasants seen, but several heard), then spotted several Cedar Waxwings. A Common Whitetail dragonfly stayed just seconds before flying off to deeper grass, where a Common Yellowthroat was singing.

An Indigo Bunting had me searching the trees for a time before I finally spotted it.  The Great-crested Flycatcher was easier to find. An Eastern Kingbird perched in the open, but was directly between me and the Sun.

The challenge of the day was trying to photograph the Barn Swallows that were zipping across the grass.  I did poorly trying to capture them in flight; they are just too fast.  The American Robin was an easier mark. A Common Whitetail dragonfly stayed just long enough for a photo or two.

This Black Squirrel posed for a few pics before it got too dark for any more photos.

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