"Selfie!" - 5 Apr 2018
Even the birds are doing it now...
With snow forecasted this evening and cold weather expected for the next week, I decided to make an evening ride out at Pt. Mouillee to look for shorebirds. Skies were clear (but clouding up fast), and winds were calm (but picking up fast).
At 5 pm I started out from the Mouillee Creek parking lot and quickly saw how flooded the creeks and units were. I could expect to see no shorebirds... Waterfowl numbers were light in the Lautenschlager and Bloody Run Units, and the Humphries Unit was hosting only a few dozen American Coot. My only highlight was watching a Great Blue Heron go after a Great Egret out in the field adjacent to the Bad Creek Unit.
Winds were picking up and coming out of the south-southwest, which was somewhat foreboding, since I'd be riding into the teeth of it coming back. Sure enough, as I reached the Banana Unit and headed south I was riding into the teeth of a cold 25 mph wind. A few Canvasback, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Common and Red-breasted Merganser, and Redhead were swimming in Cell 4 while a couple of Herring Gulls soared overhead.
I managed to get within 50' of the bird and digiscope the crap out of the bird for 20 minutes. I alternated between stills, 4K video, and Slow-motion video captures. The bird dozed between head rotations, and occasionally scanned in alarm as passing Canada Geese and Mute Swans flew overhead.
As I rode out past Cell 5 I spotted a second Snowy Owl roosting on a log inside the dried pond just across from the NE portion of the Vermet Unit. I decided not to stop, and continued on toward the North Causeway and back to the car.
A WARNING for anyone heading down Haggerman Rd. and the Antennae Farm: the road is deeply rutted and has huge mud holes. I had to drive as fast as possible through it the entire length of the road in order to keep from getting stuck. Through mud-covered windows I did not see any birds of note.