Monday, January 5, 2009

Another Day at Presque Isle

I headed down to Presque Isle SP on Sunday in hopes of seeing some white-winged crossbills that had been sighted along Pine Tree Trail. I told myself that I would start there and then make a few more stops on the east end of the park. That meant skipping my favorite complex of trails, Old Gas Well, Duck Pond and Canoe Portage Trails. Guess what...I couldn't do it! I stopped and hiked out onto those familiar trails. I was surprised to see many foot prints from the day prior. I thought I was the only one to frequent those trails but I could tell they had been heavily traveled recently. I felt like one of the three bears..."Who's been eating my porridge?" Whoever they were, I hope they enjoyed it. Really! Not too far into the trail I heard a very familiar song. It sounded like springtime! I came upon a large flock of robins feeding on a bush covered in red berries. I'm not sure what kind of plant it was.
While I was photographing the robins I kept hearing a loud drumming that I assumed was the pileated woodpecker I've seen along these trails. It sounded like she was down low on a tree behind some brush between her and I. I got up from my spot behind the tree and saw the pileated fly over into a tree down the trail. I followed her for awhile but then told her I'd try and catch her on the way out as I was on my way to see some more cooperative birds. Maybe even an owl, so there! Well, as luck would have it, there were no more cooperative birds down the trail:( I did spot some golden-crowned kinglets and as I was trying to capture (digitally, of course) those little rascals I once again heard the busy work of the pileated WP. I found a good vantage point and waited, and waited, and...finally she popped her head up for a short time and I was able to get a few shots of her. This is an adult female, note the black malar stripe (vs. red in males).
Then she flew off and I headed for Pine Tree Trail for those crossbills...but wait...I had to stop and take a look at the channel where lots of cool ducks had been seen recently. I did see a canvas back duck,a ruddy duck, lots of mallards and gulls.

One ring-billed gull was looking for some ham and cheese to go with the piece of rye he had found. Then there was the herring gull looking for some bread to go with his fish.

I had only planned on being at the park for 3 hours so I headed toward my car...but wait...look at that cute little chickadee...but you can see 100s of those a week in your back yard...oh, but this one is soooo cute!! They are all cute! I'll give you that.

Finally, I made it to Pine Tree Trail in search of the crossbills...of course, I saw none. That's OK though. There's always next week. Right, Mr. Chickadee?!