Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter is Here! - 20 Nov 2014

Not even Thanksgiving, yet old man winter has placed an icy grip on the Great Lakes Region. Temps here are in the single teens, while Buffalo, NY is digging out from up to 8 ft. of snow! With an inch of snow on the ground here I drove over to Grace Lake to look for gulls (none), and then over to Willow Run Airport in Wayne Co., MI.

I found a flock of Horned Larks that numbered over 300 birds in the field just on the other side of the fence along the south service drive. I started scanning the flock to look for Lapland Longspurs, and am happy to report at least 3 birds seen.  I then looked for Snow Buntings, and couldn't find any until a flock of ~100 birds flew in from the runways.

I parked in front of one of the service gates and was able to put the scope on a few of the nearby birds, including this juvenile Horned Lark.

I was pleasantly surprised when an American Pipit appeared on the dirt path. No sooner that I got the scope on it that it flew over the fence and onto the service drive, where I took a few quick digiscoped images before an oncoming car chased it off to the south.

I continued driving around hoping to find a (possible) Snowy Owl or Rough-legged Hawk, but despite the growing influx of both birds into the lower Great Lakes Region, I found neither.

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