Thursday, August 18, 2011

2011-08-11 Wetzel SRA

2011-08-11 Wetzel SRA

OK, even after writing in the last post that I needed to record my memories as I get them, I am again behind on my blog. I wanted to post a blog on our recent rrip to Pte Mouillee, and see that I missed a few trips. Some are OK to miss, but I am trying to keep up with a few special places - like Wetzel SRA in Macomb County. I think few people are recording memories there.

Judy and I saw that Thursday, Aug 11, would be a much cooler day than usual this time of year, and I immediately thought of Wetzel. It is so exposed and so normally very humid we avoid it in summer - bugs aside.

After walking around a bit, we realized that indeed we had never been there in August! All of the sedges were now flowering and drooping over the path. All of the other vegetation was intensely lush as well. It was a very different place from spring!

From a view of photographing birds, it was not so good. We spent a lot of time saying  "there he goes ... I mean went". No birdies sitting atop plants and singing and advertising their need for mates. Plenty of places within mid-level of the plants to feed. Whoosh - gone!

Yet fascinating! It is so good to see annual changes in the places we frequent. On the other hand, even on a "cool" day in August (73 to 80 degrees), after a walk around the main lake (making a circle from the southern parking lot) we were dripping and relished the air-conditioning of the car.

Notably, we saw no "shore birds" as we had hoped - the water was too high and the normal exposed island flats were minimal. We saw no bobolinks - did they leave after breeding, or just are making like all the other birdies by staying in the midst of the brush?

We did not have our "hearing" birding companions. Yes  - we heard several birds, but Judy and I are severely "audiornith" - impared (if you need a hyphen in the unusual word, put it wherever you want - I just made up the word)!  I just "gotta get my ears on" for summer birding!!!

It WAS possibly the kindest and best August day to venture there. Temps were reasonable, mosquitoes minimal, and we collected no ticks. Oddly, we did not see as many b'flies and d'flies as we might have suspetcted given the large diversity of flowering plants, but we shot a few.

And, no, I have not worked on the pics yet. We have been busy with family events as well as birding so I am way behind.

Here is the sadly irrepresentative species list.

Canada Goose 2
Mute Swan 6
Mallard 6
Pied-billed Grebe 3
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 4
Great Egret 12
Green Heron 2
Cedar Waxwing X
Common Yellowthroat X
Song Sparrow X
sparrow sp. X
Northern Cardinal X
American Goldfinch X

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