Monday, March 31, 2014

Northern Shrike at Belle Isle

Sunday, March 30th was bright and sunny, but cold and windy and Belle Isle still had a wintery look.  The woodland trail still had a thick covering of snowy ice.  I thought I might be able to find some good birds at Belle Isle.  The woods turned out to be pretty quiet.  I hoped to see maybe a Pine Warbler, Brown Thrasher or Eastern Phoebe.  I saw plenty of the resident and expected birds, but none of those.  

So I went to the meadow area on the south side of the island.  This can be a very good birding area in April and May.  Large chunks of ice were stacked up against the island.  

I walked along the south shore and didn't see much until a bird fluttered in a tree.  I was surprised to see a Northern Shrike.  This is the first I've ever seen at Belle Isle.  The photos below are a few of many. 

In these flight photos, the bird was hovering like a kestrel.  I had trouble finding the bird in the viewfinder, but I was still pleased with these.

When it flew from the perch above, I literally did not see where it went over the large meadow and never did relocate the bird.  

Ring-billed Gull resting on one of the few pieces of floating ice that remain.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Wonderful photos, Cathy! Congratulations on the shrike - I wonder if its the same bird we saw on Jan 1st at the Nature Center.