Sunday, April 3, 2016

First Shorebird, First Flight - 26 Mar 2016

After a week in high 80's and high humidities it was a bit chilly this morning at Pt. Mouillee. Temps were in the low 30's but were supposed to rise to 50F today. I parked at Mouillee Creek and headed east along the Middle Causeway to enjoy some Michigan spring birding.

Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds were actively singing despite the sun just rising. I was able to digiscope this singing male using High ISO settings on the Nikon 1 V3. Images were a bit grainy, though...

As I approached the Humphries Unit I spotted the first shorebird of the spring: Lesser Yellowlegs! Incidentally, Killdeer don't count even though they are technically the first shorebirds that appear here  each spring - several pair were actively calling and already setting up home.

The sun was finally up enough that this singing Red-winged Blackbird made for a better digiscoping subject.

I rode around the south end of Cell 3 to the Lake Erie side to check on waterfowl. I carefully moved to the edge of the phragmites and was able to spot a large flock of ~200 Northern Pintail, Mallard, and Green-winged Teal.

I was able to get a few digiscoped images before the majority of Green-winged Teal took flight.

The Northern Pintail and Mallard followed shortly after. A few American Black Duck were among them.

Large flocks of Greater Scaup were whistling past me from the Lake Erie side and I managed a few flight pics of them!

As I left Point Mouillee SGA I drove down Haggerman Rd. and spotted 3 Sandhill Cranes in the cornfield to my left. One bird was way out in the field, but these two were closer.

I got home just in time to catch the Harris' Sparrow below my feeder at Brownton Abbey. Incidentally, both it and the Golden-crowned Sparrow are still around (as of yesterday)!

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