facing the swans in the photo just below
Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson's Snipe
My next stop is closer to the Kiefer Landfill. Today there were loads of livestock, I think Sheep to graze the grass, and goats to eat any shrubbery.
There was an airshow going on overhead; the odd Northern Harrier, and 2 different amorous pairs of Redtailed Hawks. One pair was being harassed (or maybe I'm wrong and they were doing the harassing) this Rough-legged Hawk.
Hawk's underwing pattern - a bit of it anyway
After watching some Redtailed Hawks flying at each other with their legs fully extended, I went right on to Jackson Road, left to Dillard and left again onto Meiss Road. That's where last week Don and I viewed a Prairie Falcon and Ferruginous Hawk - no such luck this week on the Hawk front. Did notice that the year's first Frying Pan Poppies; last weekend they were non-existent.
I looked for Grasshopper Sparrows and Burrowing Owls, but no such luck yet. Loads of Savahnah Sparrows.
At the end of Meiss Road, its right onto Ione Road, then right again onto Twin Cities Road. Loads of oaks & Lewis Woodpeckers, a host of raptors: Red tailed & shouldered, Ferruginous, Rough-leggedhawks Hawks, Northern Harriers, Prairie Falcons, Kestrels and Merlins. Driving on Twin Cities I took a right onto Desmond Road and found myself looking at a massive flock of wild Snow Geese. Crummy shot here, but the birds were quite a distance off. I spotted at least one nice blue phase goose, but no way I could accomplish a shot of it.
I decided that at 4.17 a gallon of gas, I'd gone far enough for one day. I headed back, hitting a few odd spots along the way. For example, on Michigan Bar Road I managed the best photo to date I've managed of a beautiful Lark Sparrow. I recall they used to be so exotic to me, and now I see this species at least a few times a week.
I haven't said much about Michigan Bar in the past but it is beautiful and full of great country birds. I only did a quick drive down to its bridge and back. As I came back over the bridge I spotted my first California Quail of 2012 - a cock and a hen out for a stroll.
They both took off when they realized I was there. I followed the cock to his little hiding spot where he hunkered, quite certain the evil, fat human couldn't see him. Right!
I made a v. quick stop at Sailor Bar where for once, the Common Merganser hens were close enough to get reasonable pix of. Love the sharp demarcation between their rusty heads and their nun-gray bodies. Live to get a photo of Red-breasted Merganser hens like this.
Earlier today I saw the Mute Swan - way far off - on Kiefer Road. I was tickled to see no less than 3 mute swans near a housing complex just off Sunrise Boulevard; exotic and oh-s0-pretty.
In the same pond were numerous American Widgeons, a ton of Coots and several nice floatillas of Ring-necked Ducks.
Totally enjoyed my little Grand Tour. Loads of birds, and one mammal; a coyote that I'd spotted, not far from a dirt stretch of Kiefer Road. The coyote stared at me glumly, then trotted on.
you something to stare at!