June, Part 2
Today, while out by Birdsong Bay, I saw something amazing. At first, I thought it was a woodcock flying, but when I got home, I was able to identify it as a Wilson’s Snipe; this beautifully marked bird flew out of the grassy areas surrounding the marshes.
On the way home, I saw some mallards in a marsh across from Misery Bay. I watched them, then heard the distinctive cry of a blue heron. The heron flew in, settled with the ducks and began ruffling his feathers, which made a very distinctive look! He then settled down, stared at me a minute, then began wading and fishing in the marsh.
A couple of days later, I saw a sandhill crane in the marsh, hunting for food. A bit later, when it was full evening, I saw another blue heron wading in the bay. I loved the way he turned purple in the pink and yellow light of a summer evening.
My friends and I went on a combined medical care trip (to a famous cancer center for my friend near Chicago), and vacation to Door County, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
On the drive out, on Route 2 in the UP, I saw an osprey on a nest. I didn’t get too close, because I didn’t want to disturb it, so the picture isn’t very good. The nest was HUGE, sitting on top of a platform, like many others that can be seen scattered near the waterways in Michigan. I love seeing an osprey, since it shows that a formerly endangered bird can make a comeback when people and organizations make an effort to protect them.
While in Illinois, I visited a nearby wildlife area near the shores of Lake Michigan. I heard a birdcall that I wasn’t familiar with, and then I saw an Eastern Towhee, a bird I have never seen before. Apparently it likes southern climes more than the weather off Lake Huron in northeast Michigan!
I also saw American White Pelicans while visiting Door County in Wisconsin. Apparently, about five years ago these large birds that seem to enjoy flying in unison returned to this area after having disappeared for a time. They were lovely, and I got several pictures of them near the beaches.
After Door County, my friends and I traveled northeast and had some of the best pie ever in Oconto, WI. Then, the next day we went north to visit Munising, MI, where the pictured rocks are. They were amazing; the cliffs look as if God took several cans of paint, and literally created pour art over them. They were absolutely beautiful.
After this, we visited what for me was the highlight of our vacation: Seeney wildlife sanctuary, located in the heart of the UP off of route 77. I wish I could have spent all day there, but my friends are not as avid about birdwatching as I am, so we only had an hour and a half.
First, I saw a loon; while watching it, I realized that on her back was a small, dark object that was a baby! It was incredible to see this. Apparently, the small chicks hitch a ride with mom to protect them from predators like large fish and eagles. Later, I saw another loon (the male) come by and bring her a fish to eat.
Later on, I saw another loon with its slightly older chick swimming by her side. They are beautiful birds, with their distinct markings and sleek shapes.
I also saw a pair of wood ducks in the marsh. They swam quickly into the long marsh grasses. Later, I saw a female wood duck floating on another marsh. Apparently they love the quiet and marshes here.
During our drive through Seeney, I also saw a pair of trumpeter swans with their cygnets in one of the lakes, floating by. Later, I saw a pair of trumpeters that were much closer, and got a nice picture of one as it was beginning to come out of the water.
This was a wonderful trip, and a fantastic end to the month.