The weather is starting to warm up and the ice is finally off the lake. As it broke up we found a few lake icebergs floating a little off shore.
It’s really nice to see some of the early birds working back into Essex County. We had a few Sandhill Cranes visiting our little area again, unfortunately they seem to be staying pretty far out in the fields, or higher up in the sky. They like to give a loud call similar to a turkey gobble, and as soon as we hear them our heads are up and swiveling all over.
All over the place we are seeing the Turkey Vultures, Killdeer (they tell you who they are when they fly), Redwing Blackbirds, Dark-Eyed Junko, Phoebe, Kinglets, and Robins. Herons and Egrets are finally showing up in small numbers. We’ve even had a flock of American Pelicans resting on the Detroit River just a 3 minute drive from our house. All kinds of ducks are starting to show up. We missed the Long Tailed Duck in Windsor, but Pintails are enjoying themselves at Hillman Marsh.
So last month we were chasing the Snow Buntings, but early March was all about the Redpolls. This time we got a message that they were at a park that we often visit for waterfowl and shorebirds. The initial post was about over 100 redpoll, so we hopped in our car and off we went. By the time we got there, they had either moved away, or were hiding from us.
We went back a couple days later and as we got to a small brush at the edge of the trail, we noticed the bushes almost seemed alive. We had struck Redpoll gold! In all we counted almost 70 in a couple of trees, and they were giving us quite a show. Although we couldn’t find a Hoary, we were giddy just seeing so many Common Redpolls so close.
My Lady and I were walking through Holiday Beach a couple days ago and spotted a strange bird. I took a photo, and was quite surprised to see a White Headed Robin! Right away I put it onto our birding group and went on taking far too many photos. After getting home and putting them onto the computer, it turns out I took just under 600 pics of this poor bird. After getting rid of the obvious bad ones, I am still left with about 90. I really should get rid of some more. We have found out that this is a pretty rare bird so it’s nice to see it again a few days later, and this time we showed it to a few other birder friends who were able to get their own photos.
And guess who’s back on the Osprey nest? Yup, those Horned Owl squatters. They are making it harder to see them this time, and we haven’t seen any babies yet, but we are keeping an eye out for them.
We had a Common Loon spending time in the Colchester Harbour for a few days. We stopped there a couple days and tried getting that perfect photo of it rising up with the wings out, head up and bill open in a call. Unfortunately it chose not to do that for us. We did show up one afternoon when the sun was shining nicely and got some close ups of it. Very happy with that.
On one of our many drives, we spotted 4 female Pheasants near the side of the road. We went back a few days later and found the male trying to hide, before it went running down the side of the field.
So I teased about the Pelicans earlier.
We were lying in bed one morning and our phone beeped with a bird group message. Someone had 40 Pelicans just off his back yard. Back and forth messages followed finding out where, and it was 3 minutes from our house. After receiving permission to go visit his back yard, we flew out of bed, threw on our clothes, grabbed a cup of tea to go and zipped over. We missed the large group but were quite entertained by the dozen or so that were left. The next day, they were there again, and off we went again. Sadly most had left by that time, but we managed to find a small group out on the lake just a short walk away. Later we heard they were in the marsh at Holiday Beach. We zoomed over there and found 4 of them close to the Hawk Tower where we spent so much time in the fall.
Quite a different experience than we had last year, when we had seen a few in flight, but couldn’t get any photos until the very end with only 1 directly overhead at Pelee.
EASTER IS CANCELLED…?
Due to a hungry Eagle spotted by local photographers (My Lady and I), it has been confirmed that the Easter Bunny has met a sad demise.
Initially spotted in a farmer’s field, the young Eagle quickly flew into the trees in a guilty attempt to hide from prying eyes, but was soon again found enjoying a satisfying lunch of pulled rabbit. A basket of coloured eggs magically disappeared as the photographers tried to focus on them.
Considering that they breed like rabbits, we can only hope that at least one of his multiple offspring is willing to take up where this poor bunny’s place ended.
WARNING – GRAPHIC PHOTOS FOLLOW
So, that’s pretty well it for March, we are trying to see whatever we can, and hopefully April will start to bring in some of the warblers.
In the meantime, I am still trying to figure out how to take a few shots of the stars, and since Orion is the most prominent constellation in the sky from my back yard right now, the Orion Nebula has been my target of choice. One day I’ll be able to post something really cool, but for now, here’s Orion.
Thanks for reading. Glad you are still with me.
Till next time.