September 13, 2009

Mink, Monarchs, and Many Birds

Late this afternoon I went down to a local wetland area to do some exploring in hopes of finding birds and any other creatures that inhabit the place.
As soon as I got there a Mink, a member of the weasel family, ran across the road a ways from our car.
While I was there I took a hike one mile each way down a mowed path along a dike there. This path gets you way out into the marsh where most of the birds are. The Monarchs were hard to ignore as they were all over in the goldenrod stands, fueling up in order to make their journey southward to the mountains of Mexico.
At first, the birds were scarce and almost non-existence but as I got further away from the road they began to become more numerous. Savannah Sparrows and Bobolinks were beginning to show themselves along with the Eastern Kingbirds (pictured in a flock below) and Red-winged Blackbirds (ditto). All of these birds were in flocks, most likely gathering before they journey south together for the winter season.The first real marsh bird that I saw outside of some Wood Ducks was a Sora that was right near a small pond. I saw it fly and then quickly run back into the weeds on the other side. I sneaked up on a small group of Blue-winged Teal and managed to get a photo of them before they flew. Besides a blade of grass in the way, the picture turned out nice.After that I managed to sneak up on a Great Egret which let me get fairly close before it flew off.
On the way back to the car I had a close encounter with a Northern Harrier that flew over me at about 10 ft! It was so close that I had a hard time getting a photo. Despite that I got a neat shot of it before it left.The real surprise of the trip was a flock of four ibis (most likely white-faced) that flew over! I am glad that I was able to get a photo. I really liked the lighting and how they are all silhouetted in flight in the photo. I wonder if there is a Glossy in there....

After that there wasn't much else that was of much interest. I managed to photograph a flyover Great Egret in good light before my hike at the marsh was over.

1 comment:

Jann said...

Real nice photos! I just got a few shots of a great egret myself today, here in N Calif, my hometown, while I'm visiting my folks. Enjoy driving; be safe!