Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New yard bird - Sandhill Cranes. And the GBH are back at Holland Ponds!

Yesterday I was really lucky to see a new yard bird flying over my yard as I went to the door to take my daily pic of the yard. Three Sandhill Cranes flew over. They came from the southwest, and over the Clinton River behind our yard, they turned north. Maybe they were heading for Seven Ponds? Wow! What are they? Large graceful out-stretched birds with long deep breast strokes. Not believing my eyes I checked four bird books – no doubt! Cool! A new record here!

BTW, I try to take daily pics of the yard with my older Kodak hoping to someday make a video of the changing seasons I see. Sadly even with camera in hand, I could not zoom and focus fast enough to shoot the cranes. Geez! If I had not chosen THAT moment for the daily pic, I would have totally missed them!

Today I received a post from Hiking Michigan that said some Great Blue Herons are back at the Holland Ponds rookery:

Here is a pic I took previously (2009) - much later in the season. What a "trip" to see huge wading birds nesting in tree tops! This pic has a bunch of hungry kids looking for "take out" food from parents!

Great Blue Herons nesting at Holland Ponds
 Sadly the HM post noted that one of the trees in the closest rookery (where we shoot most of our pics) fell over during the winter taking 6 nests with it. Yet, it sounds like the far rookery (and I add quite far from the proposed new bike path) seems healthy. For us it means we cannot shoot pics. You will need a scope or a long lens. But as of last year, the far rookery was quite visible from the bench farther down the rookery path.

Note, the path continuing beyond the main rookery gets quite muddy, so it is better to walk down the "main road" to Waterfowl Pond, go left and backtrack on the middle road, and take the "first right" into the forest; then in the forest, take another right. There used to be another sign to the rookeries there but vandals trashed it ...

A report of the 2012 GBH nesting is at:

A previous video (2010) of the herons is at:

Indeed think Spring! Not only RWBB, but also the big birds!

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