Saturday, November 16, 2019

Gyrrr... - 16 Nov 2019


A gray-phased Gyrfalcon was refound yesterday at Gotfredson and Vreeland Rd in Superior Twp. It was originally found at Grace Lake (Vision) just 10 miles away. Today I decided to spend the day looking for it. Not only would I fail miserably, but I would miss it twice at Willow Run Airport; first time missing it by 30 minutes, and 2nd time missing it by 5 minutes.


I would see a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Grace Lake. I'd also see an American Kestrel at Willow Run, but get horrible images from inside the car.  Turns out that there was enough moisture in the cold air that heat shimmer would destroy autofocus. All. Day. Long.


Out at the Superior Twp. location I managed to see a nice Red-tailed Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker. The Red-tailed Hawk required manual focusing since autofocus kept locking on the branches in front of the bird regardless of mode.


Horned Larks and Snow Buntings were flying across the field while folks waited for a Gyrfalcon that would not show.


I decided to drive down to Pt. Mouillee to see if I could improve on my photo opps. Nope. A Pied-billed Grebe was swimming in the canal just outside the car and I couldn't get a clean image from inside the car.  So, I'll just have to make sure to get out of the car if I'm going to get any bird pics this winter.

To make sure the camera was working ok I stepped out on the deck at got a few sharp images of the Screech Owl poking its head outside the box mid-afternoon. The camera works fine, but autofocus is rendered useless in areas of strong convection currents (car windows).


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