Sunday, June 18, 2017

Unsuccessful search for Yellow-crowned Night Heron

I've seen Yellow-crowned Night Herons in Maryland, Florida and Texas.  But, never in Michigan.  So, yesterday evening when I heard of one present at Rouge River Bird Observatory, just a hop, skip and jump from my house, I should have jumped in my car immediately.  But, I didn't.  Shame on me because I wasn't even doing anything - except being lazy.  In birding, there is no option for laziness.  

Of course, when I did get out this morning, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron could not be found.  Again, Mike O'Leary found this bird and his photos on eBird show a beautiful bird perched on an open tree branch. Later when others arrived, it was hidden in the leaves of a tree and they reported that it was hard to see - even with someone pointing out its location.  So, it is possible that the bird is still present in the same general area.  

It was reported to been seen eating a frog, so there is plenty of food here.  I am hoping that it will be reported again.

In the meantime, I went to another RRBO location to look for the bird where I know there are a lot of frogs.   

Above, a tiny Leopard frog.

Above:  An unidentified spreadwing (genus Lestes).  Often there are dragonflies at this small, weedy pond, but today only the spreadwing for me.

Above, these guys were everywhere and vociferous this morning.

Above and below:  My first Indigo Bunting of the season seen only now in mid-June.  I heard one at Crosswinds Marsh a couple of weeks ago but did not chase it down.  This time I forced myself to be more patient and was rewarded.  Nearby, there was also a singing Eastern Towhee.

Above:  male Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) found when I circled back around the lake for a second look.

A search of other spots that I thought might be good for Yellow-crowned Night Heron came up empty.  There is so much suitable habitat for them in this area that, by now, the bird could be anywhere.

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