New Years Day birding

Kathi and I started 2010 by spending the morning birding around the north shore of Lake St. Clair. We revisited some areas we had spent time in on the Anchor Bay Christmas Bird count.

The day started off with Kathi spotting a gorgeous adult Bald Eagle on fresh ice along the lakeshore. It had a smaller dark female duck which we couldnt get a firm ID on. This also turned out to be the first photography lesson of the year. Why? Well when I grabbed my camera I couldnt get it to focus in either auto OR manual. After struggling and wrestling with the lens the eagle eventually got tired and flew off. Subsequently I discovered that I had left an extension tube on the camera... I decided to post the picture of the EMPTY ICE where the eagle WAS to remind myself not to do this again.

The lesson? Always unpack your gear from previous shoots and always prepare BEFORE you head into the field! Despite this humourous gaff we decided this should be the 'year of the eagle'.

We also checked in on the Gray Catbird we had found on the Anchor Bay CBC a few weeks prior. It was in exactly the same rose patch as before. I managed to get a crappy image of the bird hiding in the thickets, but you can at least tell what it is. This was one of a number of catbirds seen on CBCs in southern Ontario and Michigan this season. In fact, the Pelee count tallied four individuals!

It was pretty chilly this morning but we spent about a half hour walking around the trails of Algonac State Park. It was quite birdy and at one point we encountered a large group of birds including more than 20 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 60 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 2 ROBINS, 4 HERMIT THRUSHES and 3 NORTHERN FLICKERS. Other birds of note we found this morning were two LONG-TAILED DUCKS on the river, and four PIED-BILLED GREBES. All in all a great start to the 2010 birding year!

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