Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eagle Marsh Weekend


Hey there.......hows it goin'?

Wanted to get back to Eagle Marsh after the Open House last weekend. So what better time than this weekend.

Saturday Morning

I got up at 6:15 (check local listings) and nudged the wife to see if she wanted to go. A groggy "no" was her response. I went. After a quick stop at DD (America runs on that stuff) I arrived at just about 7am. Decided to do the big loop first. Nothing of note until I got to the back corner of the property, then the birds where everywhere. Indigo buntings, Song Sparrows, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Kingbird, all types of Swallows, and many more I probably missed. A bird explosion I tell ya.

It was very wet from all of the dew. My shoes and socks were soaked. Next I went straight up the middle of the property. Cutting in between the two big wetland areas. Here is where I saw Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Mallards, a TON of Red Winged Blackbirds and Killdeer, yet more Swallows.

Next, I walked the path towards the Engle Road entrance. Here I saw an Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood Pewee, a bunch of Bluebirds. Got to the main entrance and walked up towards the barn. Saw a couple of Dickcissels. Heard a bunch more.

At the barn there had to be a hundred or so Bank Swallows. (I think they are Bank Swallows anyway). All on the electrical wires.

Tree Swallow sitting up on his house y'all.

On the long walk back to the car I took a trail that turned out not to be a trail. Ran into a Belted Kingfisher.

After a few hundred mosquito and horsefly bites, I finally made it back to the car after 4 hours of stompin' around. It was a very good morning of wilderness walkin'.

Sunday Afternoon

Talked the wife into going with me back to Eagle Marsh. We got there a little before noon. Parked at the main entrance this time. Walked the path up to the barn. More Dickcissels and Swallows. And this guy.......

A Spotted Sandpiper.
Never seen one of these afore (a Jake word). We also spooked what was probably a Green Heron, but we never got a good look as it flew away from us and we never saw it again. A Great Blue Heron was nice enough to pose for some pictures.

Went back to the car and drove to the opposite side of the marsh by the Boy Scout building. Walked the path between the hotels and marsh. Saw a couple of Dickcissels (boy.....they're really fond of this place) as well as Bluebirds, Turkey Vultures, Song Sparrows, Indigo Buntings. Oh, and the several thousand Red Winged Blackbirds and Killdeer.

Next, we made it through the middle of the marsh and walked the back side. Here we spotted another Sandpiper. Wasn't sure exactly what it was until we got home, but it turned out to be a Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper. That or the uber rare Common Sandpiper made it all the way down from the Alaska/Russia area.

This lil' fella was unaware of our presence for a few minutes. It was so close I could've kicked it. Well, maybe a step and then kick.

Next we Saw these two. Another Yellow Warbler and a Cedar Waxwing.

The walk along I69 didn't produce much except my wife's allergies kicked in with all the hay they got down. Finally made it back to the car after a total of a 3 hour tour. What to do after such a wonderful afternoon? Zesto! You betcha'

Later for you

Post Script: Photos for you

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eagle Marsh and Summer Tanager (Part Deux)

Had a wonderful, fun filled day today. First, Jake and I went to the open house at Eagle Marsh. Ate lunch first (of course) and then went on a guided nature walk.

At the end of the nature walk, got a somewhat nice picture of a killdeer.

Went to the barn and saw these three fellows next.....

Barred Owl
Red Shouldered Hawk

Jake's favorite was the Screech Owl because he "is sooooooooo cuuuuuuuuuute".

Eastern Screech Owl

Next we took another nature walk. You know, for kids. They netted a baby turtle, bugs, frogs, etc. from one of the ponds. Jake had a lot more fun on this one. He loved the teeny tiny minnows in one of the buckets.

It is a pretty cool place. I can't wait to get back out there when there are less peeps around to do a little birding. They have an impressive bird list already. Check it out online at (FIXED)
and donate some coin while you're at it.

And to top the day off. Kristel, Jake, and I went to Cook's Landing in Allen County to see if we could show the boy his first Summer Tanager. After waiting ten minutes or so........

There he was. Still battling his evil twin brother and still not getting a good shot in.
All in all, a very satisfying day.

Later for you,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Tanager

We went to Cook's Landing off of Coldwater Road in Allen County because of some reports
of a Summer Tanager. We have not seen one of these bad boys yet so we decided to check it out this past Saturday. We got there and waited for a few minutes and...................nothing.
We got out of the car and looked around a bit. Not that big of a place. Got back in the car and suddenly......

He was protecting his territory from his evil twin brother in the side view mirror. Never could quite get in a good shot. It stuck around and bonked into the mirror for awhile until Kristel started feeling bad for it and we left about 15 to 20 minutes later.

Took Jacob back there on Sunday evening.
But no such luck that time.
He really wants to see one, so we'll probably head back out sometime soon.