Saturday, May 11, 2013

Grass Lake Nesting Activity

A couple Sundays ago (starting to notice a pattern of posts being made weeks after the outing?) most of the kids were away at friends between church services so I headed to Grass Lake for a couple hours.

My first stop was an Osprey nest which a pair of raptors has built on top of a hydro pole right at the corner of Brant Waterloo Road and Shouldice Side Road, just south of Grass Lake.  The funny thing is, some generous souls had built a nest platform just a couple poles down the road.  The Osprey pair must not have approved, and built one on a narrow double plank wire support instead.  When I arrived, one was on the nest fussing around with the nesting material...


...while the other one was keeping watch from a tree across the open field.



The Sandhill Cranes did not disappoint, and arrived shortly after I did.  It had been reported that their first nest attempt had been flooded out, but I soon found their new nest location in the middle of a thick clump of bulrushes within a mild view of the road.  Last year they had nested in a more secluded location, but not at all sheltered from view.  I was able to skirt down to the bottom of a bank and to the water's edge and when they raised their heads to look about, provided this view.

Sandhill Crane pair on nest. 
(note the second bird's head below)

Sandhill Crane

It's a mystery as to what gets the birds going, but with no notice or apparent cause, they will both stand up and begin their very loud, trumpeting raucous with great flourish.

Sandhill Cranes calling

It was also fun to meet Dave V there unexpectedly, and it was nice to share a unique spot down by the water compared to the view his friends had.  Did they see the results of the great location yet Dave?

Sandhill Cranes claiming their patch?

On the way out, another couple had found a Northern Water Snake which had made its way up the bank, a good ways from the water.  It posed for a long while which was helpful given I only had my large lens with me.  The sky was quickly darkening with heavy clouds which were soon to let loose some rain, so the lighting was hard to get a shot with enough depth of field to show much of the snake's markings.

Northern Water Snake

As I headed home, I did the usual, "one more stop" as I spotted a Horned Lark winging back and forth between the grassy field and the fence posts guarding the antenna field to the west.  I got off the first shots with a messy background and a single piece of grass in the way, and when I moved to change the background, I got one picture of the bird turning it's back in preparation to flee.  But the last shot nicely shows the "horns" it is named for.

Horned Lark

Horned Lark

I hope to return here soon to see both the Osprey and Sandhill Cranes sitting on nests full of eggs.

Keep enjoying HIS handiwork!

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots Brian. I love the way the Crane is looking over the grass I haven't posted my Crane shots yet. I seem to be taking photo's faster than I can edit them. I was told the Cranes had been scared from there nest by some nut in hip waders but I can't confirm this. I am also wonder if it happened earlier than when I visited. Do you know if they are still in the same nest that we saw them in? Also, any news on babies? I will probably make another trip down there once the babies are out and about

    ps thanks for showing me your secret spot :-)


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