22 June 2019
Miriam arrived back from a week in Iceland on 21 June, and on a beautiful summer's day the following morning we decided on a visit to Grass Lake.
This area at times produces a great diversity of birds, some of which are species not easily found elsewhere in our area. Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis) breeds here, and with a combination of good luck and dedicated searching one can usually find adults with young in June. We were unsuccessful on the day, but images from past successes remind us of what lies ahead for another visit.
Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus) were content to take advantage of any available perch from which to sally forth to pick off passing insects.
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) is a classic grassland species and is easily seen at Grass Lake, often perched on top of a fence post, no doubt proclaiming territorial jurisdiction, but often seeming to belt out its song for the sheer hell of it!
It is an attractive bird, with personality to spare, and a great favourite of mine.
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is a similarly predictable species but is not always as cooperative as Savannah Sparrow and even though it is present may conceal itself in long grass. Today was a good day, however, and several of these handsome and unusual-looking birds, trilled across the meadows and perched to have their picture taken.
An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nest has been occupied for several years and we noticed that the female seemed a little agitated, although we saw no apparent reason for her consternation.
All that was required was for us to turn around and glance in the other direction to detect the object of her ire. The male had caught a fish, and instead of delivering directly to the nest, as I am sure a dedicated Osprey father should, it was snacking nearby, no doubt feeding on the choicest bits, before surrendering his catch to the family.
We left the Ospreys to resolve their marital spat without any further voyeurism from us, and what could have been better as we drove slowly away than another Savannah Sparrow to bid us goodbye?
There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that he was saying, "See you again soon." And so he will!