My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

My Week…Lucky me! Wednesday


Before I even start on today, last night, as I was coming home from work right around midnight, I saw a heron hunting in the pond at the entrance to the apartment complex! At least I assume it was hunting. That pond is very well lighted at night, but I didn’t know herons were at all nocturnal. I should have parked somewhere and investigated further, but I didn’t want to bother the heron. I’m not positive which species of heron it was. It looked small for a great blue, but didn’t look like a green heron as far as how it was positioned. I’ll have to go there and see if it is still around.

Who knows what today will bring? The sun is out, sort of. There’s a layer of high thin clouds, a perfect day for photography! After the last two, one with bright direct sunlight, the other a cloudy dreary day, and taking well over 200 photos, what do you want to bet that I’ll return with very few today when the light’s perfect?

I am in a terrible predicament, I step out the door, and critters are coming at me from every direction at once, and I don’t know when to stop shooting photos.

Today, it starts with a fox squirrel, then, 4 different hawks of two species soaring overhead, swans and geese getting along, a swan using tools, mallards, chickadees, I don’t know what to do.

On top of that, I got a healthy raise at work! Not as much as I would have liked, but enough to actually live on.

Like I said, my walk today started out with a fox squirrel stalking me.

Fox squirrel

OK, so it wasn’t stalking me, it just looked that way when I first saw it. Then, it decided to perform a few tricks for the camera.

Fox squirrel hanging under a branch

A little farther into my walk, I was thinking that I seldom saw any wildlife in that particular area, when one of the sharp shinned hawks went soaring past me.

Sharp shinned hawk in flight

That shot was actually taken on one of its other passes past me, none of the shots from the first pass it made turned out well, and I had an idea that they weren’t going to be worth posting. I was some what bummed about that, and the fact that the hawk seemed to be going places and wouldn’t be back, when I saw a red-tailed hawk that was circling.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Then, it gets really confusing, because as I was photographing that one, I saw its mate also circling low.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

And, both of the sharp shinned hawks were back and circling as well! I was going crazy, trying to pick out which one of the four hawks was on a pass that would bring it the closest to me, get the camera on it, get a few shots, then pick the next one to shoot. My back and neck got a great work out with me looking up and swiveling around to get these, I completely lost track of which hawk was which, other than the species.

Sharp shinned hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Sharp shinned hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Needless to say, I shot dozens of photos, until all four of the hawks eventually moved on, so much for never seeing any wildlife in that area!

The cloud formations were quite beautiful, so I snapped a few photos of them.

Clouds and blue skies

Snowstorm on the horizon

That’s the snowstorm we were predicted to get, but it stayed well south of here.

There was nothing more than a few mallards in the first pond I came to, but in the second one, the swans and geese were getting along today, nothing like yesterday at all.

Mute swans and Canadian geese

The two swans are the original couple that have been around here for some time now.

Mute swans

Mute swans

The mallards were all sleeping.

A flock of mallards sleeping in the grass

I think that they were depending on the geese to be their early warning system.

Canadian goose

But, neither the geese or the swans made a sound. Maybe they had already had a conversation before I got there and had all decided the quiet was the rule of the day, unlike yesterday.

Eventually one of the mallards heard the shutter of my camera going or something, he woke up and alerted the rest of the flock.

Mallards waking up

Then I saw something I’m not sure what to make of.

Mute swan with stick

The female swan would pick the stick up from the bottom of the pond, move it around a little, then drop it.

Mute swan, no stick

Then she would feed in the area where she had dropped the stick for a short time, then pick the stick up again.

Mute swan with stick

She did that repeatedly.

Mute swan dropping stick

Every time after she finished her little feeding binge, I could see her looking for the stick again, then pick it up.

Mute swan with stick

Mute swan, no stick

It sure looked to me as if she were using the stick as a tool to stir up stuff from the bottom of the pond for her to feed on. This went on for ten minutes or so, in the meantime, another male mallard joined the flock.

Male mallard landing

Male mallard landing

Male mallard landing


9 responses

  1. Once again, great photos! Very interesting with the swan and stick! Love it!


    February 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm

  2. Pingback: My Week…Lucky me! Thursday to Saturday « Quietsolopursuits's Blog

  3. Love hearing about the swan and stick, cool! Nice photos.


    February 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm

  4. Zelmare

    A cornucopia of opportunities! Beautiful photo’s! 🙂


    February 24, 2012 at 12:30 am

  5. Lovely images. 🙂


    February 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    • Thanks Mike, love your tales from the marsh also!


      February 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

  6. Very nice photos!


    February 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm