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Presque Isle and Scott Park Migrating Birds

I didn’t realize I hadn’t updated my blog since last May! Oh, my! Well, these past two weeks have been great for birders. My husband and I have come across new warblers we hadn’t seen before, the Nashville Warbler and Cape May Warbler. We’ve seen a lot of warblers these past couple of weeks as well as other birds. The list includes:

Palm Warblers (Scott Park and Presque Isle. They were so numerous last week but not so many now.)

Black and White Warblers (lots of them) (Scott Park and Presque Isle)

Magnolia Warblers (Scott Park and Presque Isle)

Canada Warblers (Scott Park)

Hooded Warblers (Scott Park)

Nashville Warbler (Fry’s Landing at Presque Isle)

Cape May Warbler (Thompson Circle at Presque Isle)

Northern Waterthrush (Thompson C at Presque Isle)

Baltimore Orioles (Scott Park and Presque Isle)

Black-throated Green Warbler (Scott Park)

Indigo Buntings (Scott Park and Presque Isle)

Common Yellowthroat (Fry’s Landing at Presque Isle)

Great Crested Flycatcher (Scott Park)

Cedar Waxwings (Scott Park)

Bluebirds (Scott Park)

Last year we saw lots of Black-throated Blue Warblers but we can’t seem to find them this year. I’m hoping we’ll come across some this week before they are gone.

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Magnolia Warbler

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Indigo Bunting

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Female Magnolia Warbler

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Cape May Warbler

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Chestnut Sided Warbler

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Great Crested Flycatcher

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Hooded Warbler

Most of my photos are from my camcorder.


Warblers Everywhere

My husband and I had a great time on Presque Isle Saturday and Sunday.  The warblers are everywhere! We saw two lifer birds, the Black-throated Blue Warbler and the Great Crested Flycatcher.  The rest I’ve seen before but I still got excited seeing them again.  Most are around such a short time and if you don’t get out there to see them you probably won’t see them again until the following year.  They do migrate back in the fall but the colors aren’t nearly as pretty as they are now in their breeding feathers.

Saturday we hung out at Fry’s Landing.  That’s where we saw the Yellow-throated Warbler the weekend before.  This time it was filled with Palm Warblers.  We also spotted some White-throated Sparrows in the bushes and a few Chestnut-sided Warblers. The little Gold-crowned Kinglets were there to greet us.  They are so small and bounce around and seem curious.  I heard some bird calls that I couldn’t place and recorded them.  I’ll try to find out what birds I was hearing. It got a bit chilly with the wind blowing and it sure didn’t seem it was nearly as warm as the forecast had predicted.  We left hoping that the forecast for Sunday would be wrong. On the way out we stopped at the parking area for Dead Pond Trail, across from the Thompson Bay parking.  The bushes along the parking loop were full of Yellow-rumped Warblers (butter butts.)

The forecast wasn’t wrong, it rained, but there were several hours in the afternoon it stopped or just spitted drops so we went out to look for more warblers.  We stopped at the different parking areas on the way at Presque Isle and watched the ducks.  Not many left but we still saw two loons out there.  We spotted a canvas back, some scaup and small group of ruddys are still around.

We pulled into the Niagara Launch area and walked behind the bathrooms to where they band birds.  We didn’t see much except White-throated Sparrows and Palm Warblers.  My husband spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak but it was gone by the time I got there. A Downy Woodpecker let me get really close to it.

The wind was blowing a pretty good clip.  But between the paved path and the road at the entrance to Niagara Launch we spotted Chestnut-sided Warblers and a Black-throated Blue Warbler.

The Black-throated Blue Warbler was a lifer for my husband and I.  We just never happened to see one before. So this was exciting to me and they are really handsome birds.

We moved on to Fry’s Landing and spotted a pair of Wood Ducks leaving the area.  My camera just started to focus as the male was almost out of sight.

Again the bushes were full of Palm Warblers.  We spotted an Osprey in a tree and watched it fly away.  We took the little paths around the area.  Where we saw the Yellow-throated Warbler the week before,

we didn’t see any birds except for the Gold Crowned Kinglets.  The birds must have moved into the more protected areas to get out of the wind.  We headed down a path under a canopy of trees and then spotted another Black-throated Blue Warbler.  Some bird was calling out and we couldn’t figure out what it was.  We finally spotted it and looked it up in our bird book. It was a Great Crested Flycatcher.  That was another lifer for us.  We’ve probably seen them flying around and but never questioned what they were.  It wasn’t shy about making it’s loud call near us.  Just as we were getting ready to leave, a most vivid male Redstart bounced on the bushes in front of us.  I love Redstarts!

We left Fry’s Landing and parked over by Thompson Bay again.  It was spitting light rain drops but we decided to take a walk in on the trail to see what we could spot.  The Yellow-rumped Warblers were all over the bushes again near the parking loop and some White-crowned Sparrows eating some cracked corn someone had piled on the side of the parking area.  We didn’t spot much along the trail except for an Eastern Towhee.  We headed home but I can’t wait for a day without rain to go again.


Yellow-Throated Warbler

My husband and I ran around Presque Isle today during the sunshine break between rainstorms.  It was warm and awesome on the peninsula.  The loons were still seen on the bay and there are still some red-breasted mergansers and ruddy ducks to entertain people.

We drove back to Fry’s Landing and walked the little trails back where they bird band.  After several minutes the birds started moving around again in the trees and bushes and we spotted the cute golden crowned kinglets.  We saw one yellow-rumped warbler and later spotted a yellow-throated warbler.  I was able to get a few photos.  I’m just loving that the warblers are starting to come through the area in their migration.  Though the yellow-throated warbler is a bit far north of its normal summer territory.


The Loons

Each year about this time we see loons in Presque Isle Bay.  We saw 7 of them (one was in juvenile plumage) last Sunday.  It was pretty cloudy and gloomy so I didn’t get the best video.  I should have brought my still camera with me.  The Red-breasted Mergansers in the background were so much fun to watch.  It is like watching cartoons. This video was taken last Sunday.  I sure hope they are still there tomorrow.


Full of Glee

I don’t think I’ve been happier than these past few days.  I find myself giggling all the time even when I’m alone. I don’t think my husband knows what to make of it.

We had the most wonderful vacation this past fall and I can’t seem to get my photos sorted and resized to post because I get lost in reliving the dream-like days of  our vacation whenever I go through the folders.  But I decided that will be OK  because when I do post the scenic photos and videos it will be when we are waist deep in snow and the promise of next year’s scenic sights and sounds will still be a long time coming.  It will be a welcome change to seeing snow everywhere.

Winter coming is normally a real downer for me, just depressing.  This year is different.  I have the biggest part of my restoration of the main level of my old house  (see This Old Erie House)  done and now the finishing touches will be added.  That’s a huge weight off my back, still a lot of work ahead but not so much tedious woodwork.  And now I can take my time in finishing the rest.  I’m already starting to plan our next national-park vacation in Mt. Rainier National Park.  That always makes me happy.



Bald Eagle, Spruce Grouse, Scenery

My last post had a short video of Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.  The road started out in a burned area which was very stark and dark. We reached an area where more light came through and new growth was abundant but still very young.

On the way we stopped to get some scenery shots and look at some scat on the dirt road. It looked like elk scat.  We were the only ones on this long, narrow dirt road for quite a long time when a truck pulled up and the guy started talking to us.  He lived not far from the border of Glacier NP.  He directed us to where we may see some wolves.  He also told us how his wife was hanging some clothes when a big grizzly came near and she ran for the house. I saw wolves up near Bowman Lake on a Youtube video.  I was sure hoping we’d see some.  We didn’t, but the scenery sure looked like a pack could come out of the woods at any moment.

There was a light snowfall the evening before we went on our day trip to Bowman Lake.  Along the road we spotted an osprey nest in a burned out area of the park.  As sad as the burns are, the new growth is so vigorous. A bald eagle greeted us at the turn from one dirt road to another where it head up the mountain side to Bowman Lake.

When we got into some thick evergreen trees toward the top of the mountain a Spruce Grouse wouldn’t get out of the road.  This was our first time seeing a Spruce Grouse. They are beautiful birds.

After all the wonderful sights we saw on the way up, nothing compared to turning the corner and seeing this.

No wonder so many people take their camping gear and hike  for a week into those mountains in Glacier National Park.


Wilderness-Bowman Lake-Montana

On the edge of true wilderness is Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park. It takes a good long drive up a bumpy, narrow dirt road to get to Bowman. Others hike across the wilderness from other locations and make Bowman their destination. It is beautiful. We happened to be there when no one else but two hikers were around. We saw a car or two back in the parking lot of people probably out on hiking trips. This really was getting away from it all.


Along “Going to the Sun Road”

It was raining, sunny, cloudy and foggy as we drove along the “Going to the Sun Road” in Glacier National Park. We left Many Glacier Hotel on the north east end of the park and was taking Going to the Sun Road down to Lake McDonald which is on the western edge of the park.  Logan Pass, which is so beautiful, was under construction which kind of ruined so many pictures and videos but the scenery was like something out of a movie.  It is as close to Rivendell (Lord of the Rings) as you can get. Waterfalls everywhere, steep mountains, glaciers, valleys, wildlife.  Gorgeous! After finishing “the loop” we came upon this river.  It had unbelievable color, like an emerald.  The clean water has minerals in it that gives it that color.  I couldn’t stop taking videos of it.  We also stopped at the boardwalk trail in an ancient cedar grove. I left my camcorder in the car because I just wanted to look at the trees for once, not through a view finder.  Mistake!  How I wished I had brought my camcorder.  There is a river coming through the huge smooth rocks crashing into emerald pools lined with mossy cedars in filtered light.  I can’t share it with you as it lives in my memory but I do have a video of the clear emerald creek along the road. I embedded the video to play in HD and if it is jerky or stops from a slower connection speed, just pause it and let it load before playing.


Glacier National Park

Our three national-parks vacation started with Glacier National Park. We stayed part of the week at the Many Glacier Hotel and the second part at the Village Inn at Apgar.  The only place I have been in the US (and I’ve been to 42 of our 50 states) that rivals these views is Inspiration Point in Yosemite.  Glacier’s beauty is something else!

We watched a moose family from our room’s balcony frolicking on the shoreline across Swiftcurrent Lake with the backdrop of majestic glacier-formed mountains and valleys.  Mountain goats were high up and seen with our scopes, binoculars and my zoom-in camcorder. When we first arrived, mountain goats had come down to munch on the hotel lawn and then was gone only to be seen as small white dots on the mountain tops. The lake is gorgeous and the few times the sun came out while we were there, it was truly breathtaking.

I’ll post two videos, one is a panoramic video looking out from our balcony and the other is of the moose family.  A baby moose appears toward the end of the moose video.  The cow moose plays in the water and swims under water and is playful with the bull moose in the video.  Parts of the moose video is under 50x magnification so it was hard to hold it perfectly still without the use of a tripod (and the wind was blowing.)  Excuses!


Purple Mountains Majesty

We  returned from our 16-day cross-country drive to Montana and Wyoming a couple of weeks ago.  Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park were so awesome that if I had the talent, I’d write my own song about these national treasures. What is really striking about all three of these national parks is the contrast when driving there.  Sagebrush and what appears to be worthless scrub land suddenly turns into majestic mountains, not unlike a jack-in-the-box popping up.

This was our first vacation in years that I didn’t have a laptop along.  Our laptop can’t handle all the graphics of the modern internet and thus gets hot trying to load it all and shuts down.  We didn’t want to put the money out for a new laptop and wondered with the data plan I have on my phone if it was even necessary.  I pretty much used the laptop in the past to transfer my photos off my cameras but the laptop can’t handle all the HD video I take so it was left home. I bought an extra 16G memory card for the camcorder and extra batteries so I wouldn’t have to worry about transferring the photos off until we got home.  Besides, after reading all the literature, there was no internet (so I couldn’t use the laptop for that,) cell phone service or TV where we were going. What if someone needed to get a hold of us because of an emergency?  The lodging in the national parks we stayed at didn’t give telephone numbers for the actual hotels online, just reservation telephone numbers.  I guess they didn’t want to be bothered.  I left a day to day itinerary with family members to know exactly where we would be on any given day, just in case.  I warned them that they wouldn’t being hearing from us for days at a time  because of the lack of cell phone service and internet.

It turns out the information was partially wrong.  There was no TV or WiFi or ethernet internet but there were many places that we did get cell phone service which meant I did have internet through the cell phone.  In Glacier we had great signals at most of the ranger welcome centers we went to.  I took advantage and uploaded photos to Facebook and sent emails, checked the news and weather, called my sons, and felt connected.  In Yellowstone, Mammoth Hotel had cell-phone service as did Old Faithful Inn area.  I started to get service around the Thumb area in Yellowstone.  There was no service at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, though, nor the Canyon Lodge area.  We heard a guy complaining to the Canyon area ranger that there was no cell phone service and he read that they were suppose to have service in the area within 2 years (which was up.)  I guess something went wrong.  I didn’t think we would get ANY service while we were there so I was happy being able to drive a few miles and get cell service when we wanted to.

I did find out that there is some use for transferring your photos to a laptop while on vacation.  Even though I had plenty of memory left on my memory cards when we got home, I transferred them to the computer and realized that a whole lot of the snapshots taken with the camcorder didn’t turn out very well.  I had it set on a scene setting that whited out a lot of the background.  Had I transferred the photos day to day while on vacation, I would have known to change the setting back to automatic.  The thumbnail view you see on the camcorder makes everything look pretty good when it is that small.

I’ll be posting photos and videos in the coming weeks.


Geocaching with Tornado Warnings

Thunderstorm warnings didn’t stop us from taking off Saturday and Sunday to the Ohio/PA border area.  There were geocaches in and near the state game lands.  My goal was to hit my 200th geocache by day’s end on Saturday.  That didn’t happen. I way overslept so we got a late start (like early afternoon) and only found 9 geocaches and quit early because the last one we did drained me.

Our first geocache took us to/near the old potters cemetery. I had not heard of the place before.  There is a nice monument describing the history of the place.  Next came one that was a tiny camouflaged geocache placed in plain view.  I don’t know how my husband saw it but he did and we signed the little rolled-up log paper and were on our way.

We found one near the Battles Museum of Rural Life on the trail. I really enjoy these kind of geocaches.  You have to get out and walk the trail, see huge ancient trees, listen the all the thrushes fluting their song and hear the sound of a babbling creek nearby. For this one we had to make our way down a steep muddy crevice towards the end of the trail.  I didn’t bring my hiking stick so my husband made his way down there with my GPSr unit. The GPS accuracy was low with the overcast skies and tree cover so he searched a wide area.  I found a large stick and decided to get down there and give it a try. When I got about 3/4 of the way down, he had already found it. DOH! We didn’t have to resort to the clue.  The history of the canal, the dam, and rural life at the Battles farm was really interesting.

We found several cemetery caches and with that came lots of historical facts.  Several grave markers were of participants of the War of 1812.

We found our way to the state game lands where there were a few geocaches. We sprayed ourselves with some repellent and headed down the dirt road.  We spotted American Redstarts (little birds) and lots of butterflies and wildflowers.

That was a very pleasant walk. When we got to ground zero of where the cache was suppose to be, we had to do some real searching.  This was a really clever hide.  The clue was “get bent.”  I didn’t know if it meant you had to get down and lean over the edge of the creek or if it meant it was in a place that was bent, like a tree limb or bent metal. Maybe it could mean both.  I won’t tell you as it would give it away but my geo-sense kicked in and I asked my husband to check one more time in a place I thought it might be and sure enough, he came up with it. We had never seen a geocache container like that before.

The next geocache was a ways off the parking area .  It started off really nice.  The area was mowed and very pretty.

After walking awhile my GPSr pointed off the path.  It looked swampy so I wanted to continue on the path and see if it wrapped around later up the way. Sure enough, it did.  It curved around and was probably going to take us back towards the geocache.  The closest we could get on a path was about 100 feet from the geocache.  We were going to have to bushwack our way in.  The growth was so thick and the humidity was pretty bad.  I got my clothes and hair caught up in the undergrowth.  Some places were impassable.  I had sweat dripping into my eyes blinding me and the mosquitoes were thick.  My husband made his way ahead and found the cache.  I came in behind whimpering, exhausted and bug bitten.  We signed the log and noticed the marshy area we had seen when we were first on the path was right next to us.  It wasn’t wet at all.  We took that way back to the main path easily.  All that bushwacking was for nothing.  I was drained and we headed home.

I stayed up late Saturday night organizing the cache routes for the next day.  I didn’t want a bunch of  backtracking on the road as gas isn’t cheap.  We got another early afternoon start on Sunday.  I still needed 9 geocaches to hit my 200 mark. We headed for the Ohio line again but this time south of I-90.  We found some caches near covered bridges and cemeteries.  The thunder was rolling and the skies were dark. Severe thunderstorm warnings were being sent to our cellphones. I wanted to get my 200th. What was suppose to be my 200th cache turned into a “Did Not Find” or DNF.  We searched and searched and the bugs were so bad.  The air was hot and muggy.  We both put on long-sleeved shirts and had long pants on because of the thorns and mosquitoes. I had a head net on my head to keep the bugs out.  It was miserable and I felt heatstroke was upon me. I was ready to faint and had to give it up.  DNF.  I did get my 200th at one called “Stop at the State Line” and another where we stopped to get gas.

I had planned to head back to the state game lands up near Lake Erie.  The weather warnings were coming faster.  We reached the area before the rain started. We saw an immature bald eagle and a buck.

The sky was spitting a bit but nothing we couldn’t handle.  We hiked down a trail in the woods where  a geocache was hidden. It was getting pretty dark in there.  We couldn’t see well and it was slick and steep.  Lightning started lighting up the sky really close by and we hurried back to the car.  Another DNF. We’ll have to come back to this one as we didn’t get a chance to really search well.  It was about 6:30PM and quite dark. On the way out we stopped and watched the lighting over the lake.

If you look closely at the photo you can see a lightning bolt hitting the water (behind the memorial rock.)  I know, but in the original size photo it was quite impressive.  It was quite a show. On our way out of the game lands the rain started coming down so heavy our windshield wipers couldn’t keep up.  Tornado-warning texts started alerting our cellphones.  It was a wild and scary ride home.


Heritage Fest-June 26 10am-4pm

Guys Mills Heritage Fest featuring Erie National Wildlife Refuge Open House – Saturday, June 26, 2010 – 10:00am-4:00pm

Kids love this Heritage Fest! They will love the games, crafts and petting zoo and more. There is plenty of fun for the adults, too.  Last year I really enjoyed the guided bird walk and the Tamarack Rehab birds and the beautiful artwork on display. There will be hot dogs and hamburgers for sale.  Get away from the big city and enjoy this quaint little town of Guys Mills and see the Erie National Wildlife Refuge.  You ‘ll find out why we enjoy going there so much.

For a map and more information on what you will find at the Heritage Fest visit this webpage,  http://www.friendsofenwr.org/Heritage.php


My First Geocache Placed-Disgusted

I wanted to put out some geocaches because I didn’t want to be one of those who hunts but doesn’t hide. I already have 161 cache finds and hadn’t yet put one out. My husband bought me some geocache containers for Christmas and I couldn’t wait to put them out.

Trying to find a place that is approved is another story. My first try was rejected by geocaching.com and I was so disgusted. I searched for the perfect spot, hid it cleverly, got the coordinates average so it was right on and sent it to geocaching.com. I got a refusal notice. It was too close to another cache. They use “as the crow flies” measurements to see how close the other one is. I was instructed to move it a bit farther away from that cache. We went back and retrieved the cache and looked the area over. Unless I was to place this cache near a raging creek or near a big power box or busy road, I wasn’t going to be able to do it. This place had meaning to me and I wanted it there, it was the perfect place but they’d have you put it in a substandard place just to meet a measurement. There is so little urban green space left to hide caches and I’m not a fan of urban caches where you have to use stealth and worry someone is reporting you because they think you are hiding drugs or placing a bomb. I finally got a different one approved elsewhere but it’s not in a good spot.

I read that the Pennsylvania State Parks are charging $25 now to put a cache in their parks. Forget that! I heard Ohio state forest lands were now off limits to caching but on a groundspeak forum I saw that it wasn’t decided yet and that it wasn’t off limits at least not yet. Whatever. It’s getting harder to put caches out and get them approved. Between Geocaching.com’s ridiculous saturation rules (which makes you use more gas and pollution than you should have to retrieving caches) and the government’s long greedy fingers which are growing like Pinocchio’s nose, I wonder how long geocaching will be popular. Ohio has so many places that require permits before you can hide a simple little geocache. We are drowning in regulations, permits and fees. You can’t do anything anymore without a permit. Yes, I’m still disgusted. Geocaching is a fun, wholesome time outdoors and it is being ruined by bureaucracy.


Soaked-geocaching

My husband and I participated in an experimental geocaching program that may be implemented around the nation this past Saturday. We hope it is successful because, to us, nothing other than fishing is more fun in the outdoors.

I kind of ruined our trip because even though it was raining pretty hard when we left home I figured the clouds would break here and there and an umbrella would be all I needed. Well, the clouds didn’t break and the umbrella wasn’t all that I needed. I was soaked to the skin on my legs and my shoes were filled with water and sloshing with each step as we hiked around the countryside and through the wet brush as the rain poured on us. Other participants were seasoned outdoors people (apparently) because they had full rain gear down to their ankles. I’m still a west-coast girl (10 years removed) that hasn’t gotten “it” when it comes to weather out here. After Saturday, I think I finally got “it.”

There were 3 trails we were to take to find all 19 geocaches but I wanted to go home after we completed the first trail because I was soaked and was chilled. Even though it wasn’t all that cold out my teeth were chattering. My husband had warned me to wear my weatherized shoes and bring extra socks and even tried to give me a rain poncho which I didn’t want to wear. It’s too bad and I regret not being prepared. One of the trails we missed going on was one we had never been on before and we were looking forward to it.


Red-headed Woodpecker Presque Isle Video

If you want to see a Red-headed Woodpecker walk the Ridge Trail at Presque Isle State Park. We spotted this one not far from where Marsh Trail and Ridge Trail Cross. You can park across from the lighthouse and take Sidewalk Trail until you come to Marsh Trail, turn right, cross through the marsh (on the trail of course) and as the trail starts to go uphill, turn left onto Ridge Trail. It’s an easy walk and not very far. Keep your eyes open. We saw lots of different kinds of warblers in the thickets on the sides of the marshes on both sides of Ridge Trail. I’ll talk about them in a future post. Below is the video I took of the pretty Red-headed Woodpecker. You may have to pause the video and let it load. I just posted a smaller, lesser quality video below the HD video (if you click on the 720HD option on the player) for those with slower connections, see bottom video.


Geocaching, Lake Erie Bluffs, Waterford Eagle (video)

My husband and I took a drive down to Waterford on Friday to do a little geocaching and to check in on the eagle. We saw one baby poking its head over the nest and one adult in the nest when were arrived. We found a couple of geocaches in the area and then went fishing at Oil Creek State Park where my husband caught 2 nice trout. I got skunked, I need to work on my fly casting as I’m scaring all the fish away.

Saturday we geocached and hiked near and inside Erie Bluffs State Park. What beautiful views from the bluffs! We spotted our first-of-the-year Yellow-rumped warblers, Towhees and what I believe were some palm warblers near the edge of the park near the RR tracks. The trilliums were in bloom like a carpet across the floor of the woods. We just had a wonderful time. It won’t be long and it will be a bit buggy. Bring your repellent.


Video of Presque Isle Bay Loon

Last year was the first time my husband and I saw a loon on Presque Isle Bay. We had heard they are there but we had never spotted them. We both were thrilled to see them. Saturday we finally spotted them again. There were two but they didn’t seem to be together and they were both males. They dive so it is hard to keep track of them as they can come up quite a distance from where they went down. That head profile is easy to spot if they aren’t too far out in the water. We returned Sunday and took this short video.


Playful Red-breasted Mergansers

Saturday there were many Red-breasted Mergansers playing in Presque Isle Bay. Sunday they were just a few. Here is a video of the mergansers displaying and being playful. I love how they have that burst of speed. They look so comical.


The Wicked Gull and the Little Ruddy Ducks

Pymatuning State Park, PA – April 11, 2010

We saw several immature American Bald eagles at Pymatuning State Park last weekend. The Purple Martins are back and making noise over their nesting holes but what we spent most of our time watching were the Ruddy Ducks.

I’ve never seen so many Ruddy Ducks! I saw 5 at Presque Isle Bay the weekend before and got excited. Previously, I had only seen one a couple of years ago. But this was Ruddy Duck Day at Pymatuning State Park and it was fun watching them. And then came this gull.


Great Blue Heron Rookery

We heard of an eagles’ nest site in the west county area and on Saturday we packed up our gear and headed out. We didn’t find the eagles in the nest, just Great Blue Herons. Dozens of them in the eagle nest’s tree, a pair on what we believe is the eagle’s nest and many nests in surrounding trees. I had just mentioned to my husband last week that I’d like to see a Great Blue Heron rookery so this was a welcomed surprise. But I wonder about the eagles. I assumed that for some reason they didn’t use that nest this year or abandoned it. A lady stopped when we were peering through our binoculars and told us she saw the eagles the day before, Friday so we were confident we were in the right area. I’m not sure what is going on with them but I got to see the rookery, which was fascinating.


Great-Horned Owl (video) at Presque Isle State Park

Every weekend we visit Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.  As the seasons change so do the animals and birds we see.  My husband and I saw the Great-horned owl nesting last week but I didn’t have my camera with me.  This time I brought it and got a little footage.  She is just sitting on the nest, looking a bit bored.  But for us, it is always exciting to see these wonderful birds.


Swan Pair Still Around

The swan that died that I showed you video and photos of in my last couple of posts is not one of the pair we see at Presque Isle (unless there are more than one pair that has been hanging around.)  We cruised Presque Isle today and saw there was some open water near Beach 11 and took a look.  There was a pair of swans in the water.  I’m glad the dead swan wasn’t one of this pair.  We really enjoy watching them.


The Swan is Dead

We went back today and found the swan was dead about 50 or so feet south of the Thompson Bay Circle on Presque Isle.  It was laying in the snow.  It doesn’t look like the park did anything to help it.  Maybe they just let nature take its course.  There was no blood on the bird when we saw it yesterday or today when it was laying dead.  Maybe disease, starvation or age was the reason for its death.  I’m not sure if this was one of the pair that we saw often at Presque Isle.  If it is, we’ll really miss it.


Video,Swan Just Sitting on Road-Presque Isle

My husband and I like to take a drive on Presque Isle at least once each week.  We always see something interesting.  Yesterday we came upon a swan sitting in the middle of the icy road near Thompson Bay circle.  We stopped the car and I got out to see if I could coax it to the side of the road so it wouldn’t get hit.  It really blended into the road and snow.  It slowly walked to the side and couldn’t get far off the road because it was injured or too weak to get across the snow.  It was a beautiful bird.  We don’t know our swans too well but it looks like it was a Tundra (but it didn’t have that yellow mark on his bill) or perhaps a young Mute Swan that didn’t have it’s hump on the bill yet?  Let me know if you can identify.  We reported it to the park ranger.  We don’t know its fate.