Monday, December 15, 2008

A Week End of Winter Birding

The Varied Thrush is still there. Somewhere. It has been seen many times during the week at a different bird feeder, but my 4+ visits were unsuccessful. I am not giving up, at least not yet.

Last Saturday was for me an opportunity to forget the Thrush, and to focus in expanding a little bit my County list. The Washtenaw Audubon Society was organizing the annual trip to Salem Landfill (only a few feet away from the edge of the county!). So a dozen birders went to this trip, with, maybe, the potential to relocate one of Franklin's gulls seen last month in the county. We could even dream about an Iceland or Glauceous Gull......

Birding on the frozen landfill

It turned out there was not too many gulls at the landfill, where few dozens Ring-billed and Herring Gulls were competing with hundreds of thousands of starlings. At the end, we located a lesser black back gull, which was a nice addition to my county list. Most surprisingly, we did not loose a single finger due to frostbite....

With plenty of time to spare, we choose to drive back through Superior township, where somebody located a very cooperative Merlin, as well as a rough-legged Hawk ( a new lifer for me!)

Merlin (Faucon Emerillon)

On the way back, I could not quite resist to the tempation to give another try to the Varied here I went, checking a couple of feeding station where the bird had been seen....nothing, as usual. Well, it has been a fun morning. Let's go home
As I was wasking toward my car, Will, the owner of the second feeding station (something like 15 birdfeeders!!!!) came with an annoncement . "Black Scoter at portage lake"!!!!!!!!.

So 2 hours later, Jacco, who never miss a good county bird (the man is getting closer to 240 county birds now), picked me up to get a view at the bird, on the other side of the county. Not surprisingly, we met there most of the county chasers. Talked with one of them, who said it was his first new county bird this year (he had a good laugh then I told him he did not do that great, since I added about 40 birds to my county list this year). Another funny thing is, I was the only one to have a birding book with me.........
I did not take my scope, but I sneaked a couple of pictures through different scopes that were installed there. Light was quite terrible, but I guess it is good enough to positively ID the bird.

Female Black Scoter (Macreuse noire, femelle)

It turned out the Black Scoter was only the second one in the whole Washtenaw County birding History!!!!!!!