Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday migrants and nesters in Dearborn

Easter Sunday morning came bright and sunny, a perfect day to attend my favorite church; that is, in the field birding.  Because it is close to home and does not require a long time commitment, I went to the channeled Rouge River just off Rotunda Drive and walked along the TPC golf course.  Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) were present and living up to their name.  One of the reasons I don't bird here often is because the Killdeer, which nest along the stony edge, become so upset at the presence of someone walking.
This photo of two Vesper Sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) is very sharp and bright in the larger version.   I was thinking that I would find Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) but I was thrilled when these two flew up to the golf course fence.  
When leaving the channel I came across just one Vesper pecking in the stony edge.
Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were plentiful over the river and the golf course pond.

So were Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe); at least two were already paired up with a nesting spot.

Yesterday while walking in my neighborhood I found half of an American Robin's (Turdus migratorius) egg, so robin's are already well into their first nesting.  This morning a pair were working busily to build their nest.  Waiting and watching patiently was this phlegmatic opportunist.
Female Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater.)
Brown-headed Cowbirds were plentiful on the channel this morning.  They also had their eyes on the phoebes and nesting Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia.)                   
Tree Sparrows (Tachycineta bicolor) and Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) (shown above) were active over the water.
A singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula), with crest raised, was in the swampy woods.  The Ruby-crowned's song has to be one of the best.  While watching the Ruby-crowned, a Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) appeared in view working up a tree trunk.  Wood Ducks were flying around.  One Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) was present among a large group of American Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea).  I think our winter resident Tree Sparrows have already left and those now present on the channel are migrants from the south.
Finally, when the opportunity presents itself for a good photograph, no matter how common the bird, like this Mouning Dove (Zenaida macroura), I don't to pass it up.

Happy Easter

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Terrific post, Cathy! And congrats on the Mtn. Bluebird - glad you got to see it!