Great Egret

Great Egret

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mitchell's Bay Cattle Egret, etc

A couple of days ago I got a message from a photography friend who has a trailer unit right adjacent to Lake St. Clair at the north end of Mitchell's Bay. The Cattle Egret which had been reported earlier was back again (Thanks, Bill!). I hadn't caught up to this species yet this year, so off I headed. No doubt the hunting activity throughout much of the area gave the Cattle Egret, as well as a few others, an incentive to stick around this small area of marsh which is not hunted.

It actually spent more time on the grassy slopes of an inland pond than it did in the marsh proper, which is not surprising. They are often seen in a pasture with cattle, searching for grasshoppers and other invertebrates that are scared up by the hooves of the cattle. There were no cattle around here, but it was having success catching grasshoppers and crickets.

In the semi-open cattail marsh along the lake, there were other birds of interest. A young Common Gallinule is still hanging out. There is a Pied-billed Grebe partially hidden at the lower right hand side of this image. The gallinule hatched from a very late nest, in August, right near by.

Common Gallinule (l), Pied-billed Grebe (r)
Here is the adult gallinule, taken back in mid August near the nest.

And a better view of the Pied-billed Grebe.

This area is great for viewing marsh birds. Being adjacent to a trailer park, they are relatively unperturbed about human activity. A bit earlier in the season, the broken off aquatic vascular plants that washed ashore were attractive to shorebirds. Here a Least Sandpiper pauses from its gleanings.

It was within a literal stone's throw from this vantage point where as many as three Marbled Godwits were observed about a year ago.....when the water levels were lower and there were some exposed mudflats for them.

Marbled Godwit--2013

Green Herons are seen in the area.

Great Egrets are regular, even common place. However these next two images were taken along nearby Bear Creek.

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