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A Year of Birds: June 2022 (part 2)

The egrets can be seen in the marshes, but are quite shy, and will fly off as soon as they see me. I will keep trying, though.

Birds enjoy the warmer weather, too!

I also saw a sparrow on a log enjoying the sun. I love their markings and songs, which are so cheerful.

As I was driving to the store the other day, I saw a ruffed grouse with her fuzzy chicks, right by the road. The chicks dove for cover, but she stood there, so I got a quick photo of this beautifully marked denizen of the thick cover near the woods here.

Photograph of a female ruffed grouse in Michigan
This female ruffed grouse looks as if she is glaring at me. Her chicks are fine, and she soon walked off to join them

On the way home, I saw a pair of sandhill crane eating in the marsh. These elegant birds always lift my heart, and this pair is most likely mated for life.

This sandhill pair is feeding in the marshes next to the bay

Finally, in the evening, I saw an egret standing in the marsh near Misery Bay. He was beautiful with the sun hitting his feathers.  There seem to be less of them this year than last year, and I wonder if the unusually cold spring has something to do with the reduced numbers on the bay.

Great egret walking in a northeast Michigan marsh
I think egrets are so beautiful, and this one is busy fishing in the shallow marsh waters

There have also been fewer blue herons visible so far this year; they don’t seem to be in their normal “hangouts” near the bay. But on the way to going out to dinner with some friends in Presque Isle, I saw one at the end of a small pier. He didn’t seem afraid at all (unlike the ones on Squaw Bay!) and I was able to get some good closeup photos. Fortunately, my closest friends are also avid birdwatchers, so we all had fun observing this beautiful bird catching fish and eating.

I wonder if this friendly bird gets fed by the local fishermen on the lake? He seems to have no fear of the camera

The gulls fly by constantly overhead over the lake, and there are two that seem to enjoy sitting on a rock to survey everything around them. I call them the “two guardians of the bay” just for fun.

two gulls on a rock on Lake Huron
These two seem to enjoy overseeing the activities in this section of the bay

As June passes, and there are warm days, I see a lovely sight: several swans swimming out on Lake Michigan. I realize that mute swans are introduced, and seen as a nuisance by some, but they are still beautiful birds, floating like small icebergs on the undulating waves.

Three mute swans on Lake Huron in Michigan
Swans on Lake Huron

On one hike on the bay, I saw a female merganser and her babies. The merganser Mom quickly took her babies into the reeds, where they were well hidden.  I backed away so that I wouldn’t stress them.

Female merganser duck and babies swimming in a Michigan marsh
Mama merganser is taking her babies into the reeds to hide

When I got home, I saw a flicker in the yard, sitting on a rock, it’s bright red spot showing on the back of its head.

photo of a flicker hunting for food in the grass
This flicker is looking for ants in the yard; they are one woodpecker that ground feeds like this

Finally, each morning, I am greeted by the constant chorus of a little phoebe giving her call. She is nesting near the house, and calls all day long, as if she is telling other birds that this is her spot, and hers alone. Today, she was on a deck rail, looking at me right through the window, so I decided to take her picture. Right afterwards, she began preening, then flew off to hunt for food.

Photograph of a phoebe on a deck rail
Phoebe has become quite friendly, and often perches near a window to look inside the house!

June has had some wonderful bird sightings, and I am looking forward to what July will bring.

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