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A Year of Birds: Sept 2023 Part 2

Because the birds are migrating, and I went to Seeney, there were a lot of photos this month, so I divided the photos up.

My friends and I are going to spend a day at Seeney, during the height of the migration season. On the way there, I saw some mallards sitting by Isaacson’s Bay. I also saw a wonderful bird on a branch, and a thrush on a rock near Presque Isle.

Seeney is a bird-lover’s paradise, and I have to confess that my noises when I got up early in the morning the next day were somewhat intentional; my friends as a result also got up early, and we were able to get to Seeney before 8:30 am. I was greeted first by a beautiful male wood duck floating on the edge of the lake; he seemed undisturbed as I took his picture.

I also saw another duck further down the lake; I’m not sure what kind this one is, but it is beautiful.

At one point, I got out of the car and started walking, and saw a finch in a pine; it was beautiful.

Then, I saw geese flying and honking over the waters; they are certainly on their way south!

I also saw my first pied bill grebe; I recognized it right away from the photos in my ever-handy field guide to Michigan birds; this one was on my personal wish list. When they dive, they literally disappear; I later read that they are there, but when hiding, only their nostrils are above water.

While I was walking and taking photos, I stopped for a moment, and right next to me, where I could almost touch it, was a ruffed grouse hiding in the brush. It started moving as soon as I tried to take its photo.

Then, I saw more ducks; again, I didn’t recognize these -I suspect they are juvenile or female ring-necked ducks, but they are beautiful.

Later, I saw a kestrel perched far away on top of a dead tree. I then saw a juvenile blue heron near some marsh grasses.

Of course, the trumpeter swans were everywhere on the water, and I took many photos of these beautiful birds (soon, I will paint some!).

And, finally, I saw a white-crowned sparrow resting before it migrates south.

I saw many other birds, but these photos show some of the highlights at Seeney -and all within 2 ½ hours (the maximum my friends could handle bird watching).

On the way home, I saw a pair of sandhill cranes with a juvenile on Issaacson’s Bay. They are so beautiful, I had to take a portrait of the mother and her juvie.

I also saw some mallards resting in the sun, enjoying the final days of September.

On the last day of the month, I saw two yellow legs resting on some rocks near what I have dubbed “egret point” off El Cajon Bay, due to the numbers of egrets that like to fish near there during the summer. They are migrating now, stopping here to rest on their way south, a sure sign that fall is here.

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