Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bonaparte's at Pointe Mouille

I had the chance to stop for a quick lunch break yesterday at the Pointe Mouillee Headquarters. I was originally planning to walk around the Velvet unit, but I quickly realized there were too many people there working hard to "manage the natural ressources" of Michigan (I mean rednecks with shot guns). So I just spend half an hour on the observation platform of the headquarters, hoping for a late season raptors to fly over.
No raptors, but I had the good fortune to see quite a good number (150+) of Bonaparte's gulls, in winter plumage. The light was rather bad, but it was a great opportunity to take pictures of birds in flight with my fz-28, and to experiment with the different camera modes. Also seen was a rather impressive flight of Tundra Swans...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mid-fall evening's dream

Sometimes we go out birding
Just for the taste
Of a warm evening,

Just for the sight
Of the Sandhill Cranes
Flying back
To their roost
In the fading light
Just for the sound
of their noisy karooo
- is it infinitely ugly, or beautiful?
Not even for a tick
On our county list
No field notes,
It's the wrong side of the county line

It's almost dark now

And getting chilly

And the cranes are all landed

So we leave

Was it the last true fall night?

Stop the dream!!!!!

There is a white winged dove in the county!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hawk watching with a Babyhawk

I love the baby carrier we bought a few weeks ago. It's called a "babyhawk'. The name itself would justify the purchase, but, honnestly, it is a far superior design than the carrier we had before. The baby is warm and cozy in the carrier(nowadays, I wear my coat over it), and most important, it is really easy to strap the baby in it without any outside help. So it allows me to go for a walk without worrying about having Diane around to help me.

A couple of week ago, we went for a walk in the neighboorhood. No rare birds around, but Robins were numerous, eating berries on a tree, only a block away.....

A lot more impressive was a Cooper's Hawk, perched on a fence. I was amazed by how close I was able to approach the bird. It is only after the bird took off, finally, that I understood its lazyness. The Hawk was carrying a huge black rat (not visible on the picture), and flying with its afternoon snack was obviously a huge effort.