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A Year of Birds: August 2022

This has been a very busy month, but I am trying to find time to go birding. The sandhill pair is still hanging out near Misery Bay in the marshes, but I haven’t seen the baby. I hope it is okay, I will check on them to see.

Sandhill Cranes are beautiful birds, and they seem to like this marshy area across from the bay

While hiking, I saw a young merganser by itself on the bay. It seems as if this protected bay is a favorite spot for the loners in the nest. It is beautiful, and understandably a bit shy about being photographed. I often see this youngster bobbing in the water when I go kayaking as well.

This merganser is giving me a wary look

I went to a potluck, and the host had the most amazing chickens ever. I never knew that people raised chickens with special colors! Growing up on a farm in Virginia, our chickens had three plain colors: red, white and black, and we were most concerned with how many eggs they would lay. But these chickens I saw today are real beauties: some are golden/peach in color, with large fluffy feathers; others had beautiful brown and black patterns, and the black chicken was iridescent with colors in its feathering. This has caused me to revise my opinion of chickens a bit.

These are “fancy” chickens indeed

I saw a hawk while driving near Misery Bay. It looks like it might be a young harrier, but I will check with a local birding group to see what they think. He is beautiful.

Just like last year, I am starting to see more herons in the nearby marshes. I suspect this is because as the chicks grow into juveniles, they are all looking for more territory, and begin spreading out to the bays to eat and gain energy and weight prior to migrating.

Herons like to hang out in the marshy areas near Misery Bay

But I occasionally see the heron that I call the “old man” because he is definitely mature, and was here the past two summers. His neck feathers look like a beard, adding to his air of age.

Doesn’t this heron look like he has a beard?

One Saturday in mid-August I saw another egret in a tree near Squaw bay. He just sat there looking at me. Later, I saw another one flying over the bay.

On one warm day, I went kayaking with some friends and saw a tern fishing. These are beautiful, graceful birds and epitomize summer on Lake Huron to me. Terns were endangered for years, and while they have made a comeback are still competing with the gulls for territory.

Terns are graceful and excellent at fishing

On the way home, I saw some Canadian Geese resting in the sun on the beach. They are starting to gather together now that it is later in August, and I can see them practicing taking off together in the water.

The ducks are flying while the yellow legs walk

I saw a yellow legs when visiting Presque Isle. It was wading in the water. I also saw a kingfisher again there, but there weren’t as many as earlier in the summer.

And of course, the egrets in the evenings are a peaceful scene, as August comes to an end and the great fall migration draws nearer.

The egrets are only here for a few more weeks, and I enjoy each sighting

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