Nice Prairie Mix - 05 Jun 2021
I drove out to Willow Run Airport in Wayne Co., MI this morning to look for a reported Blue Grosbeak that is apparently nesting in the same spot as last year. I would dip on the bird, but had a nice assortment of prairie birds that are nice consolations for this area.
Eastern Meadowlarks were plenty. As were Savannah Sparrows. But, I heard a distinctive "Tslik" of a Henslow's Sparrow at the south corner of the service drive. I would hear another Henslow's at the entrance to the airport terminal at the other end of the service drive.
Just a bit farther along the drive I stopped when I could make out the faint wolf-whistle of an Upland Sandpiper. I then saw a pair of birds fly across the road from inside the airport field to the landfill to the south, where a third bird was seen atop a pole. I would see a fourth sandpiper fly across the road from the opposite direction in a span of just seconds.
As I continued on I came upon several American Crows along the fence that were being harassed by nesting Killdeer.
I turned around at the airport terminal and headed back. I stopped to photograph the Upland Sandpipers when a pair flew into the field to my left and foraged among the meadowlarks in the fresh-mowed fields.
Back at the south corner I listened for the Henslow's Sparrow but heard nothing. Instead, I heard the buzzy "Tsit-ser-tsiiiii" of a Grasshopper Sparrow that was perched on a post in the field to my left. I could only manage a distant pic w/ the 200-600 lens.
I would find an American Kestrel hovering at the entrance to the airport off Tyler Rd. as I was leaving. I took several images but all were backside pics, so I settled for a flight shot as it left the area.
The Blue Grosbeak would be reported by Bobby Irwin who was there when I left.