Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012-03-23: Just keeping up with past posts to MI Birders:

OK, I just cannot refrain from immediacy. Here is what I wrote to MI Birders on March 23:

After doc appointments today in the same area, we visited Dutton Fields to see if the Horned Larks were still there. It has been a long time since I seeded the area figuring out this year we would never see Snow Buntings or Lapland Longspurs. I was very curious about the Horned Larks that seem to love the habitat anyway!

Initially we saw no Horned Larks, but I was quite rewarded and amazed as we arrived to see a small hawk-thing flying towards me. I did have my binocs out and got great looks at a lifer AMERICAN KESTREL! The camera was still stowed at the time and the bird landed no more than 30 feet from me. Beautiful basically reds and blues! Amazing!!!

By the time I got camera in hand, the bird was off again, but stayed in the general area. It kept landing on the white pipes sticking out of the ground. After pursuit, I finally got a few recognizable pics of it. What a great bird! A lifer! We had only seen a live one before with the falconers who present occasionally at birding events

Check it out:


Do “next” to see white tips on some tail feathers. This detail often seems lacking in bird books.

No, the pics are not the greatest. When I shot the bird, it was at least 75 yards away – a mere speck in my camera view. But I was lucky!

On reflecting on my pics, I need to again thank my mentor Jerry who taught me how to make the best of my pics.

And, then you can go to the next pic to see really horny Horned Larks! Judy and I loved watching his pair for about 15 minutes! Up in the air intimately singing lovely songs within inches of each other, and then back on the ground as if nothing special were happening. Then I guess his posing got to her, and off they went again!


Finally, I walked to get some new pics at home (really got some good ones of female Downy WP and WB Nuthatch), but my favorite was some birdie plants doing what I suspected the horny larks were doing! Siberian Squilla.

Any day birding is better than …

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