Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birth of a Birder

Went birding last Saturday on Lake Erie MetroPark, hoping to improve my skills in Raptors Identification. Dropped Diane at a cat show in Allen Park (the location of the show reminded me an infamous Snowy Owl Adventure with Jochen), and went on the beach hoping to improve my skills in Hawk Identification, and specially for the Broadwinged Hawks. Reports from previous days were specially promising, with more than 30,000 Broadwings on Thursday alone.

Alas, the birding Gods (or, to be more specific, Aeolus, the God of the winds) were obviously upset, and declined to give me the number of raptor I statistically deserved on this day. A few dozen Sharp Shinned Hawks, a juvenile Bald Eagle, one Harrier and an Osprey were the only raptors seen between 11h00 and 1h00 this day. On the butterfly side, though, a few monarchs were observed crossing the water toward their sunny destination.

Walking on the boards to go back to my car, I enjoyed the sight of several yellow-rumped warbler (I tried to digibin a few of them), cedar waxwings, as well as a couple dozen pie billed grebe who were feeding close from shore. A group of 300+ double crested cormorants was seen at a distance.

First try at digibinning on a yellow rumped warbler

Premier Essai de digibinning sur une paruline a croupion jaune

A cedar waxwing, the rock star of american birds, is clearly not impressed by a little yellow on a rump

Un Jaseur d'Amerique (Diane et moi les appelons les rock star) n'est evidemment pas impressionne par un peu de couleur

I also tried digibinning on a flying Egret

J'ai ensuite essaye d'ameliorer ma technique sur une Grande Aigrette en vol...

Enjoying the beautiful day, I sit on a bench and reflected on the day when, two years ago and stuck in bed by a terrible back pain, I discovered the world of birding by reading "Kingbird Highway", by Kenn Kaufman. The next day (it took me just one night to finish the book), still dreaming about this transcontinental pursuit of birds (and probably something more than birds), I purchased a field guide, tried to look through my window with a 20$ pair of binocular (I guess I should have called it monocular, as one side was constantly fogged), and discovered a different world......3 pairs of binocular and 2 field books later, here I am, rich of new friends, new experiences, new knowledge, and a new obsession....

Back at home with Diane, we got a good surprise at our feeder. A female Rubythroated hummingbird was resting and pruning at our window. We enjoyed her for 30 mn.

Female Rubythoated Hummingbird, resting during migration

Colibri a gorge rubis, se reposant pendant sa migration


Céd said...

Bienvenue sur la blogosphère... C'est un honneur pour moi, d'ouvrir la liste des commentaires de ce blog, mais comme tu peux le constater, pour l'instant, au moins, je me contenterais de commenter en français... C'est fou comme cette passion peut-être communicative... J'ai désormais les jumelles en permanence dans la voiture, et un petit guide pas trop loin... j'observe, je guette... C'est un plaisir !!!

A bientôt

Brother Céd !

Jochen said...


Welcome to the blogosphere - as already mentioned by Ced - and I am equally honoured to be the second to comment.

All the very best and have fun birding and bird blogging!!!!

Laurent said...

HEy Cedric. Tu ne le realises surement pas, mais la ou tu vis est probablement un des meilleurs coin pour les oiseaux. Des marais, des forests, des espaces herbes.......

Hi Jochen

I am glad you are spending a little bit of your valuable (and rare) free time reading my modest blog. I hope to remind you some of the (good) time you spend birding in michigan