Monday, October 30, 2017

Sterling Morning for Waterfowl! - 29 Oct 2017


Justin Labadie posted some nice pics of American Wigeon and Northern Pintail from Wm. Sterling State Park in Monroe Co., MI yesterday, so I thought I'd go check them out to see how well I could digiscope them.

I first took a ride down to the Summit Rd. exit just before the Ohio border to check out the Lotus Rd. ponds. Ring-billed Gulls were the only show, with a pair of 1st-winter and 2nd-winter Herring Gulls among them. On the way back north, though, Bay Creek Dr. yielded a pair of Sandhill Cranes that were close enough to photograph from the car, and to digiscope from the side of the road. Despite the overcast skies the light was sufficient for some decent images.


I then arrived at Sterling State Park and proceeded to walk the bike path around the west side of the park. Flocks of Tree Swallows were moving overhead to the west. To my right, on a small log near shore of the pond sat a fluffed up Northern Rough-winged Swallow. I spent some time digiscoping it from the trail.

Near the corner of the pond, where it narrows to a small canal, swam pairs of Gadwall




Farther in, and along the canal, were several small groups of Green-winged Teal foraging among the duckweeds.








Near the southwest corner of the walking trail, where the canal opened into a larger pond, a pair of Northern Pintail were foraging. Unfortunately, they were a bit too far even for digiscoping.


Some of my best opportunities for digiscoping would come on the way back to the car when I came across a small group of American Wigeon and Gadwall. These birds gave me the opportunity to study wigeon plumage like never before!











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