Harlequin Ducks, Snowy Owl, Yellow Warbler (not) - SE Michigan
amazilia1 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 29 15:13:34 EST 2006
I had a fairly productive morning today (December 29) birding from Port
Huron south to Detroit.
At around 8:30 a.m. at Port Huron, St. Clair County, I found the three
Harlequin Ducks, 2 males (one adult) and 1 female, found yesterday by Andy
Dettling. The birds appeared close to the rocky shore about as far north as
you can walk along the St. Clair River. I watched them, sometimes as close
as 50-feet, as they drifted down the river as far south as the Bluewater
Bridge. I then left to look for other birds, but could not relocate them in
a quick search about an hour later. It pays to check the rocks closely, and
a wooden deck at the International Flag Park provides a save way to do this.
There were 75+ Long-tailed Ducks in the mouth of the St. Clair River as
well, but they kept flying out into Lake Huiron so didn't come very close. A
little to the north, at the east end of Riverview Drive, there was a
Thayer's Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull, both first-winter birds, among
a bunch of Herring Gulls.
Around 10:30 a.m. at the Sunshine Point DNR access, just north of Metro
Beach Metropark, Macomb County, I found a Snowy Owl. It was first seen on a
lamp post on the south side of the parking area until an oblivious gentleman
with his child flushed it (they never even looked up when the bird flew).
The bird then went to the roof of a large house that is under construction
on the north side of the point. The bird also went down briefly to sit on
one of the white plastic "pier" posts which are hidden from view by a brick
wall if you don't get out of your car. As this bird was moving around a lot
today, but since there are a lot of ducks still in the area, I give this one
a 50/50 chance of lingering. A female Long-tailed Duck previously reported
from this locale was also seen today (but not by me).
I arrived on Belle Isle, Wayne County, around 11:30 a.m. to try and see (and
photograph) the Yellow Warbler found by Andy Dettling on December 27, and
refound by others yesterday. I searched the area for nearly two hours,
pishing until I almost passed out, but the bird did not make an appearance.
The Northern Saw-whet Owl remained on its "usual" roost today, and there
were 82 Hooded Mergansers on Blue Heron Lagoon along with a few hundred
Canvasbacks and a few dozen Ring-necked Ducks.
amazilia1 at comcast.net
1442 West River Park Drive
Inkster, MI 48141
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