Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 02 Feb 2018

We arrived home from dinner and was greeted with this lovely site out the back window. An adult Sharp-shinned Hawk roosting just 20' away! I had to belly crawl to get the camera from the front of the window and back away to get some pics without flushing the bird. It spent about 10 minutes just looking around and allowed me time to get photos w/ the camera and digiscoping equipment (through the window).

The small size (~Blue Jay size) and gray head / nape area makes it easy to differentiate it from a Cooper's Hawk.

It showed one eye very much dilated, which made me wonder if it suffered a recent head trauma. Window strike?

It eventually flew off, but not before allowing me a few videos through the window with the Sony a6300. One is 4k while the other is Slo-Motion 1040p.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pine Siskins! - 21 Jan 2018

One of 18 Pine Siskin that flooded the thistle feeders this afternoon here at Brownton Abbey.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pine Siskin - 20 Jan 2018

Finally, the first Pine Siskin of the winter has arrived here at Brownton Abbey. My bird-dar went off and sent me to the back window where I saw what I thought was a pair of House Finches. The male popped bright red in the back bushes while the duller brown bird was presumed to the female. But, when I put the scope on her she turned out to have green-gold wing bars and the tiny siskin-y bill!

A Few Pics from this Week - 19 Jan 2017

Ice flows on the Detroit River have scattered the ducks, so I was just looking for something to photograph while at the foot of Ecorse Road. Common Mergansers, Ring-billed Gulls and Mallard were the only subjects.

A 4-Snowy Owl Day - 14 Jan 2017

Phil Van Daele reported an all-white Snowy Owl just east of Britton, MI in Lenawee Co. yesterday. Since it was too cold for an outside bird trip Robin and I decided to take a drive to look for it. A swing through Willow Run Airport on the way gave us our best looks at a Snowy Owl; it was perched on the fence along the south end service drive. It flew off as we were pulling up behind another photographer who was out photographing it from across the road.

We continued on past the entrance to the airport buildings and found another Snowy Owl perched on the roof of a building just on the other side of the fence. I digiscoped it from 50-70 yards away.

We then headed down US-23 to M-50 and headed west past Cabelas to 1.8 miles just east of Britton when I spotted this Snowy Owl way out in a field next to a pair of marking stakes. I digiscoped it from about 100 yds at full power on the scope.

We failed to find the all-white Snowy Owl, so we headed back to Cabelas to have lunch at the Great Lakes Eatery and Bar. There, we ran into Bruce Smith and Sue Kuroda and they told us where to look: Hoagland Hwy just south of M-50, then turn right on Centennial Drive. The bird was about 200 yds out in the middle of a plowed field. I was able to digiscope it again at full power on the scope. Video was necessary due to wind, heat shimmer and snow. A record frame was all I could muster.

Along the way to see the Snowy Owl(s) we had flushed a dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk from the ditch next to the road. On the way back to Cabelas we spotted it soaring to the north of M-50, so I turned down the closed road and grabbed a quick photo before it disappeared into the next fields.

Great day!

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