On the evening of Mother's Day, we dined at the Maumee State Park lodge;
we had a window table overlooking Lake Erie. We tasted such yummy fare as
hot German potato salad (more like a soup) and jalapeño cornbread ~ so delicious!
The next morning, we were up bright and early ~ on the way to the Ottawa Refuge to catch a 7:00 a.m. bus tour
to the Cedar Point Refuge, which is not open to the public, except a few times a year on these bus tours.
The bus only held 14 people ~ mostly avid birders and a spouse or two who just rode along for the fun of it ~
At the place that is called Cedar Point, the bus stopped so we could all debark, walk ahead of the bus,
gaze through binoculars and try to capture photos to our hearts' content ~ it was a beautiful morning.
~ yellow warbler ~
One lady seemed disappointed that we were spotting so many yellow warblers
instead of something a little less uncommon. She said, "They are almost becoming a 'trash bird'!"
I was actually just glad to be able to figure out what they were! :)
I believe this to be an Acadian Flycatcher, but am awaiting validation of that from Cornell.
*edit ~ Cornell agrees that it is most likely an Acadian.
Much of the time, this is the type of vegetation at which we were gazing,
trying to figure out where the bird we heard was perching ~ almost impossible to spot sometimes.
On the bus again, just as we passed a stand of trees, I spotted a pair of sandhill cranes very near the bus.
My fellow birders were ecstatic!
We see them often near our area, as they migrate through, but some of the people
on the bus acted as though they had never seen one before ~ a thrill for them.
A thrill for me was to spot their one lone baby tagging along behind them ~ awwww!
The bus driver paused for a bit so we could try to photograph this belted kingfisher;
I wasn't very successful ~ the ornery thing decided to move too soon for me.
~ spotted sandpiper ~
~ great blue heron ~
There were many great blues at the refuge ~ but I never tire of seeing them.
A great blue heron was perched atop a muskrat's hut and a bald eagle can be seen
standing at the edge of the water on the far side. Our driver told us that when
any of the multitude of muskrat dens in the refuge stop being used by their builders,
geese or herons sometimes take them over and build their nests on top of them.
This photo was shot from a very great distance ~ the eagle looked like a dot to us.
~ Baltimore orioles ~
~ Eastern Kingbird ~
It stayed around quite awhile for photos . . .
. . . but finally decided to move on.
I have no idea what this bird was, but just liked the way the picture looked.
~ juvenile bald eagles ~
They were perched high above the trail ~ the driver stopped to show us, but we were not allowed off the bus;
Since we were in the front seat, I was able to capture several shots through the front window.
If you look closely, you can see an adult bald eagle on its nest.
The driver wasn't even allowed to stop at all after a certain point ~ just shot this photo on the fly.
Seven bald eagles were perched in this tree ~ mostly juveniles.
We were not allowed to stop; this is the best I could do through the bus window ~ so blurry ~
~ juvenile bald eagle ~
You may have to look closely to see the deer nearly hidden in the brush.
These were not so hidden ~ I just love the serenity of this scene.
After the 4-hour tour, we again drove to Magee Marsh, then hiked a trail which wound out to Lake Erie.
It was fun to see a mama yellow warbler on her nest.
~ hubby heading toward the lake ~
~ common terns ~
On the return hike, a crowd of birders were gazing into the top of a very tall tree,
because someone said there was an orange-crowned warbler up there somewhere.
I could see it flitting around, but it looked larger than a warbler to me ~ more the size of an oriole;
I shot about a dozen photos of the top of the tree, trying to capture it with my lens,
but when I brought the pics up on the computer, it was nowhere to be seen.
I am still pretty skeptical that it was actually the bird they thought ~ not sure how anyone
could have seen the little orange crown on top of its head from that distance, but who knows!?
I've seen one close up before ~ in Texas ~ so I wasn't hyperventilating like some of the others ~
I was more excited about finally getting a picture of this bird. It was staying in the underbrush,
only venturing out for a few seconds at a time, and insisting on turning its back to us.
Fellow birders said it was a gray-cheeked thrush ~ they are so difficult to spot ~ was glad for one decent photo.
As we headed for our motel, hot and tired, Clayton suddenly pulled the car to the side
and asked me to photograph this sweet little family ~ yep, the babies are downright cute!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times . . . and the crane and the swallow
observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD."