Monday, December 31, 2012

Spurs, Snows and the Cove

I spent some time around Lake St. Clair this morning getting an idea of what was around.  The CBC for the area is tomorrow.  It was actually a productive morning and lots of birds were out there.
I first stopped at Mitchell's Bay.  Some open water with many ducks to the north, but they were too distant. Lots of Canvasback anyway--something not on the St. Clair River right now.
I headed towards the St. Clair NWA.  Along the road was a flock of Snow Bunting/Horned Lark/Lapland Longspur.  Turns out they were mostly longspur!  There were at least 20 according to the photo I took. (others went off to the side).

Five minutes late I came across a Merlin having breakfast on a post!

Next destination was Jeannette's Creek.  More roadside spurs/larks/buntings along the way.

The road to the ramp on the river can be good in winter.  Not much today, but a Carolina Wren was making some noise.
Lighthouse Cove was the next spot.  Along the way were several small flocks of Brown-headed Cowbirds.  I watched for blackbirds, as this area is good for Brewer's in the winter.  Perhaps some will be found tomorrow.
The Cove was hopping with birds.  This time of year with a little ice is usually excellent, and today was no exception.  Hundreds of gulls, ducks and others.  Many Bald Eagles were out on the ice.  Some very distant, but after several scans, I came up with an amazing 27.

Gulls were plentiful, especially Great Black-backed.  As I put my scope up for the first time on the gulls, I managed to zero in on a darker-mantled bird.  It appeared to be an adult Herring X Great Black-backed.
There had to be at least ten Glaucous Gulls out there, mostly younger birds.

Ducks included were mostly Common Mergansers, but about a dozen Hooded Mergs were in the river.  Also about 20 Ruddy Ducks, some Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye and at least one Ring-necked.

I saw at least six Double-crested Cormorants.
A Horned Grebe was present as well.

And no Great Blue Herons.  Where are they this year??  One lonely young Tundra Swan.

On the way back I noticed a flock of something in the air....Snow Geese!  There was actually 21 because 3 were on the ground when I took this photo.

Today I probably saw upwards of 40 Lapland Longspur.  Maybe a Smith's is out there........!

That funny goose is still hanging around.  You snooze, you lose!

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