Tuesday, May 10, 2016

DAS field trip to St. Clair Metropark

On Sunday morning, 05/08, I arrived a little early to look around the park.  This is not one of my usual birding areas but I have been honored to lead a spring and fall trip here for the Detroit Audubon Society.  The thing is, in the three trips I have lead here so far, not one has stepped up to the plate with regard to sightings.  Truthfully, I had high hopes for this sunny, May 8th morning, but on the evening prior the weather was growing colder and the wind really did seem from the north - generally not good traveling conditions for spring migrants. 

I liked this song sparrow framed by yet unbolted pink buds.

My first catbird of the season.  It was the only one I saw here and it did not present itself again, in voice or in person, for the trip participants.

Above and below:  baby mallards - so cute!

Could have been better by a close shot of a red-winged blackbird.

The ever handsome tree swallow.

Above and below:  A somewhat distant, but photographable, Baltimore Oriole.  Its bright orange breast stood out against the more or less leafless background.  I saw my first Baltimore orioles of the season on Sunday morning.  When I got home and downloaded my photos I noticed that this bird was banded.  There is a banding group that operates in the park.

We heard Sora and Virginia Rail in the marsh areas of this park.  These are common birds here and they were vocalizing up a storm - but, we did not see even one.  That's always frustrating.  We saw, up-close, swamp sparrows in a wooded area along one of the trails.  Later we spotted this singing male.  I liked this photo with the singing swamp sparrow blending into the cattails.  Also, vocalizing were a couple of marsh wrens.  All of these birds were the first of the season for me and the other trip participants.

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