Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cranes and Links

I went to Grass Lake again the other Sunday, hoping to catch the Sandhill Crane colt before it can fly and the parents start traipsing around the country side foraging through the hay fields and grazed, hilly pastures where they like to wander.

This adult was already checking out this alfalfa field, possibly scoping for the future... I was able to get relatively close.

Sandhill Crane in alfalfa field with lots of dandelions

Sandhill Crane takeoff
The colt and it's noisy parents were there, however, the young one was never very well in view.  Not surprising, but I had hoped it would repeat the nice show it had put on the week before, wandering into the water a little.

Sandhill Crane colt and adult pair

Sandhill Crane trumpeting
The cranes must have been near a Red-winged Blackbird nest, because one was very persistent in verbally and physically making it known that the cranes were not welcome there.  The bird would often land and sit on it's back, pecking away until a jab of the long, pointy bill would send the bird circling to start the aerial assault again.

Red-winged Blackbird pestering Sandhill Crane
Red-winged Blackbird assault
This Red-winged Blackbird was more content to put on a display for some hidden female somewhere.

Red-winged Blackbird

Here's my birding buddy for the afternoon...


The Eastern Meadowlarks were singing away again, but what got my attention this time was a very unique call... Bobolink!  They are a provincially threatened bird, and it's a new life bird for me.  The call is described as being "bubbly" which sort of describes it.  It almost has a tight echo built into the sound.  Hard to describe but when you hear it, it's hard to forget that ID.  

Male Bobolink still in breeding plumage.

There were at least 5 or 6 of them flying around, appearing out of the long grass as I walked around.  They nest on the ground so I was sure to be careful of not stepping on anything.  They would fly up out of the grass, circle me a few times and the drop down to the cover of the long blades, leaving just a dull yellow head barely visible.

Bobolink collage - in flight

Bobolinks migrate a huge distance.  Travelling from their summer region of the northern states and southern parts of the provinces, down to central South America.

Bobolink in flight

I have to say, Grass Lake has been quite the spot to visit.  It's not far from my house, and somewhat secluded.  I'd love to explore the back part of the lake more when there is more time than I usually have between our church services.  My brother Dan will want to join me on that I'm sure.

1 comment:

  1. How neat to see the Red-winged Blackbird with the Crane! Congrats on the Bobolink too :)


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