Scott Jennex and Andy Dettling reported Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at the north end of Brownstown Twp! I counted 14 birds in a small retention pond in a small subdivision off of Pennsylvania Rd. and Beech Daly Rd. This is only the 5-6th State Record for Michigan!
Digiscoped a pair of male Long-tailed Ducks in basic (winter/mating) plumage. Soon they will be actively molting into their summer alternate (non-breeding) browns. I was hoping to see some in pre-alternate molt but I missed the thousands of birds that were here just days ago. Today there were only a few dozen to be found.
Robin and I just left record low temperatures (-4F) in Michigan to spend a week in Orlando, Fl to celebrate our 23rd Wedding Anniversary. By Wednesday the 4th we'd be experiencing record high temperatures (88F) for the Orlando area. We got home this evening (the 5th) just in time to experience another possible record low (0F) for this time of year. Awesome...
I managed to get a little digiscoping in while we stayed at the Pop Century Resort at Disney. Boat-tailed and Common Grackles were actively singing and nest-building, while Northern Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers sang from treetops. Cypress trees are starting to leaf out, so hints of spring are in the air. Flocks of Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers were everywhere!
I found this Green Heron hunting along the shoreline of the large lake separating the Disney resorts of Pop Century and Art of Animation. I was able to get some nice closeups from just 20 feet away, but was happy to capture a 3 second high-speed video of the heron catching a minnow. At 400 fps the 3-sec clip is slowed to 40 seconds. Very cool!