Birds of a feather …

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I’ve decided the balance of this Summer, I won’t make weekend excursion plans in advance, since rain keeps intruding.  Even though we’ve been blessed with about four weekends in a row with no rain, what is problematic are the rainy days preceding the weekend.

We had two days of rain, and today, at 5:00 a.m., it was 70 degrees and 93% humidity, with a breeze barely worth mentioning.  We are still entrenched in those dreadful “Dog Days of Summer” until next Thursday, the 23rd.

So, in picking today’s Saturday morning excursion, I decided the planned wildflower walk at Lake Erie Metropark would be soggy after two days of rain, plus it would be buggy and muggy, since it is near a marshy area.

I’m itching to get to Hines Park since six miles of that park is closed to traffic from 9:00 to 3:30 every Saturday through the end of September, but this park is prone to flooding after any rain … no telling if that happened, since the traffic report was full of construction detours and warning about the burgeoning traffic jam for the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Heritage Park is still hosting the Junior League Baseball World Series.

So, I stuck with my tried-and-true, old standby, Council Point Park.

I’ve collected a few more pictures of Parker and his pals noshing on nuts and fully intended to share those photos for today’s post , but I’ve decided to crow about my goldfinch and heron sightings instead.

The rain left pools of water in the street as I made my way down to my favorite nature nook, and there was a huge puddle in the parking lot at the Park.

PUDDLE

The perimeter path was still damp from the trees shaking off their water droplets, or maybe from that oppressive humidity – whew!

WET PAVEMENT.jpg

I chatted with a few walkers as we paused along the trail and we decided that this Summer definitely was a disappointment.  I think we need a redo, but of course it’s too late for that now.

Discovering the goldfinch was a delight because I’ve been looking for them all Summer and they’ve been elusive.  This one first peeked between the bushes at me.

GOLDFINCH FAR

I inched closer and might have had a better shot of him, but just then someone walked by and spooked him, so he flew away.

Likewise, the Great Blue Heron was spooked on two different occasions.  Perhaps it was ornery from the heat, or hadn’t caught any fish for breakfast, but both times it flew off, making a screeching noise like something was in hot pursuit of him.

HERON

I was happy to see a few mallards were back, even though they were paddling through the algae bloom that was in some portions of the Creek.  The picture looks almost as murky as the thick muck the ducks were swimming through.

DUCKS

I almost didn’t see them, as they made no sound, and they are still wearing their drab brown eclipse plumage, so I couldn’t tell the males from the females, unless they were a contingent of females who were headed to a kaffeeklatsch.  The group swam along noiselessly, which is so unlike them because they are usually a raucous bunch and their voices carry in the still of the morning.  I’ve really missed the ducks and geese as they add a little more character to the Park.

Lastly, I can’t forget to include these hawk pictures.  They are not great images, that much I know, because I shot blindly since I was in the middle of the second loop where there were few trees and the sun was right in my eyes.  They look like fly specks, but if you look closely, you’ll see how many there were.  I have been scanning the sky for predators at the Park ever since the Cooper’s Hawk swooped down on Stubby.  I won’t feed my peanut pals if a hawk is looming nearby.  There are never many squirrels in this part of the Park.

So, on one of my glances to the sky, I saw a collection of birds gliding around.  I suspect the three large ones were hawks, maybe juvenile bald eagles.  But, there were smaller, similarly shaped birds, with wide tails and a large wingspan, just gliding aimlessly while dipping in and out of the clouds.

BIRDS MANY.jpg

It was eerie and reminded me of an old black-and-white Western movie where a group of buzzards were circling overhead.  Finally, I reached the area where a row of pine trees stand, so I dipped behind one and at least got a couple of blurry shots of the bigger birds.

BIG1

BIG2

This steam bath weather is for the birds, but at least it didn’t rain, and I added six more miles to my total walked in 2018.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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59 Responses to Birds of a feather …

  1. AJ says:

    It sounds like a good idea to just play your walks by ear. Hopefully you’ll make it to those other parks soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I hope so too because it has been tough trying to plan anything since mid-April. They said it would be a beautiful weekend and people were all worried for this big Dream Cruise. It poured raining for about an hour and this happened a few hours ago. Some people will not take their classic cars out if it is raining … maybe convertibles or rag top roofs and might destroy them. Also, if it is too hot, sometimes they don’t ride in the cruise as the engines overheat. I’m not near the cruise – this one is about 25 miles away and it is a zoo with all the traffic there – most businesses close down the entire weekend, Friday too, and they will continue tomorrow, but not big of a crowd or vendors, etc. It is the biggest classic car cruise in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Wow I would be avoiding that area for sure! Sounds like a zoo!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It was I believe the 24th annual cruise and originally the idea was to have people congregate in this street cruise for a cause … I don’t even remember the charity or how they “collected” but that is how it started. I heard this morning that they had a torrential rainstorm and a short storm that wreaked havoc for a short time, but didn’t seem to dampen the car enthusiasts, or the drivers of the classic cars’ spirits. They had 40,000 cars – imagine that and it encompassed 17 miles going through several cities. People who live in that 17-mile stretch of Woodward, usually opt to be out of town on vacation, or they have to use a bike to get around or take a bus because it is so jammed and that was all last week. The business owners, with the exception of restaurants/bars pretty much are shut down because the customers won’t go there – too much traffic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Wow that is a lot of cars! I can only imagine the amount of havoc it causes

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was surprised they said only three arrests as it was hot outside and alot of times the heat causes tempers to flare but they don’t allow drinking along the route, unless you are in a restaurant. People will stake their site along the route and put a canopy up – but to avoid problems, supposedly no drinking along the highway … that is what they attributed to no brawls, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Probably a good policy when you have that many people in one area!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, otherwise they lose crowd control. The 1984 World Series and the Detroit Tigers won and fans went crazy. They overturned cars, set cars on fire … SMH

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Wow that’s crazy! We had riots in Vancouver after a hockey game

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        This episode made the news all over the U.S. as they did a lot of damage; wow I didn’t know about your riots.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Yrs it was really something!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………we have about 75 ducks daily at our pond…………………..maybe some of them are from your Ecorse Creek running through Council Point Park ………………………….yes we felt the heat walking the last few mornings

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Really Ann Marie – that many? Are they all still with their brown plumage? I was surprised to see these ducks yesterday – there have been no ducks or geese for several months now as they are molting and lost their flying feathers. Even though the geese get fitful sometimes, they lend some character to the Park. Is Mr. Meany gone since he is molting as well, or does he just stay at the Park? It was hot this morning and I understand the storm on Tuesday will bring in some cooler weather, less humidity, but, potentially severe weather. Not liking that one bit.

      Like

  3. Fred Bailey says:

    A Goldfinch! One of my favourite little birds, and seldom seen here on Vancouver Island.
    Great stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Goldfinches constantly come to the birdbath on my deck for water. I didn’t see them often in NY, but they are easily spotted here. John and I saw two great blue herons at the creek this morning. One flew over the bridge, but the other almost crashed into it. He doubled back and flew under it. It happened so quickly, there was no time to get the camera out.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Love seeing your US Goldfinch as you commented on my post a little while ago so different to a UK Goldfinch. https://a60716357.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/woodland-birds/ think your Goldfinch’s name is more appropriate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      They are so bright and colorful aren’t they Andy? I was going to send you my “Golden Boy” post to see the Goldfinch I saw last year, but noticed I already sent it and you “liked” it. And do your goldfinches sing? This guy was singing up a storm, so beautifully when I heard him in the tree, then he got engrossed in eating so he stopped singing. I am also surprised when I see the European Robins as opposed to the American Robins … what a difference there is as well.

      Like

  6. Love the pictures of your birds. We are fortunate to have Gold Finches and a Heron living in our yard. Our Blue Heron is named Harold, he visits a couple times a week and is such a treat to watch. I must admit, I am jealous of the rain you received recently. We have not had much at all up in Dryden and the brown grass shows it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They are both delightful to watch and a real treat when I see them at the Park. My neighbor Marge, that I wrote about earlier this week, had birdfeeders all over her back deck and she had those niger thistle socks out for the Goldfinches so they were always around. The heron at the Park is quite skittish and usually bolts as soon as I see him on the cement landing. That is the clearest picture I’ve taken of him to date I think. We are supposed to have rain on Monday into Tuesday plus off-and-on storms through Tuesday. Now the word “severe” is creeping into the Tuesday forecast – well if that is the case, I’ll keep the heat and humidity which I don’t really care for. The grass here has not really recovered after the drought in July when we had no rain almost the entire month – it surprised me since we had so much rain April through June how everything could dry out and the grass could get so crispy.

      Like

  7. Uncle Tree says:

    YaY! 🙂 Glad to see you finally got your finch from the gold mine.
    We have a few visiting several times a day, now that we have
    thistle housed in a feeder. They let me get 15-20 feet away before
    they flinch and fly off. Females are much harder to spot, but they
    also appear along with many a sparrow and wrens aplenty.

    We’re set to get a day and a half of rain starting soon. Oh, boy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      This little Goldfinch was pretty skittish as well Uncle Tree. I was lucky to get a few shots and the best shot cut off part of his tail, but I went with it as it was fairly close up. Those niger thistle socks will bring the Goldfinch in – I know that is what Marge used and they were always bopping around her deck – I do miss seeing them there as well as the hummers, as she had several hummer feeders. I am hearing we have rain starting Monday and through Tuesday and now the word “severe” is creeping into the Tuesday forecast – not happy to hear that but this is a cold front guaranteed to bring in some cool and refreshing air – could we just fast forward to Wednesday morning please?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. John says:

    Love that picture of the great blue heron!😊 I remember that you had a rainy and cold spring that I think is not so common in Michigan? Michigan is located in same latitude as where I live so we should have similar weather But we got high summers right after the winter with record heat. But we live in different parts of the world …

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      That was a lucky shot John – I am glad you liked it. I think that is the closest I have seen that heron without it bolting and it was anxious about something yesterday as twice I saw it in the air shrieking its head off. I am going to mention this in my blog post today when I finish writing it that the national news reported that this “Heat Dome” that the Northern Hemisphere has suffered through with the extreme heat should be considered “the new normal” … that doesn’t make me happy and you neither. The weather has not been anywhere near normal since the beginning of the year – I long for the normal weather when you at least knew what season you were in. This prolonged heat and humidity, even in what we call “The Dog Days of August” is still not normal. Now, we are having bad storms on Tuesday and the cold front will bring in cooler weather but we have to deal with the storm first – and why is all weather just so violent anymore? Also, I heard an interesting story this morning per your comment on plastic material and aquatic animals – the new threat is disposable contact lenses because a lot of people don’t put them in the trash and they will never break down. Interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • John says:

        I never thought about contact lenses. I ware contact lenses, it’s 24/7 lenses so I have them quite some time before I throw them. But I think always throw them in the garbage can. ut now I will think that never fluss them in the toilet that is so easy to do with everything.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’d have never thought of it either – I was surprised … I mean, they are not that big that they would be harmful, though they are bigger I think than hard contact lenses, which is what I wore for years. I stopped wearing them when I started working from home, and just started wearing glasses instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like
    going with the flow is a good option with such unpredictable weather. The great thing is there will always be wildlife somewhere waiting for you which is so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. we have zero Goldfinches over our way Linda. Hope your weather gets better! Goldi-Loks weather is what you want!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That is too bad as they are bright flashes of color but don’t stay in one place very long and are skittish. But they sing like a canary … all that sound from a tiny little bird! Goldi-Loks weather sounds good right now – we are having potential bad weather this Tuesday to break the heat then perfect weather the rest of the week. I will track the radar thanks to your tip. I’m going to finish my post I was writing earlier and in it I mention that this “Heat Dome” will become the new norm going forward. Groan! We have hazy skies now and attributed to the wildfires.

      Like

      • move out to the coast! Much cooler.It’s 60 F right now & when I go out in my boat it gets much cooler.I have to wear a wool sweater with several layers under & a thick nylon coat to cut down on wind penetration.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well, I still haven’t changed my citizenship – once a Canuck, always a Canuck. See that surprises me as I would assume being on the West coast it would be warmer, but is it dampish and cool like San Francisco then? Right now at 8:30, it is 77 degrees and 66% humidity and dew point of 65. The dew points have been high all weekend contributing to this clammy feeling.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Very nice shots, Linda! 🙂
    We have a lot of Turkey Buzzards in our area, besides hawks. The Turkey Buzzards can look like large hawks from a great distance. They were never in this part of Illinois years ago, but now they are expanding their range and are very common here. They look very graceful in the air; they are true carrion-feeders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Tom – I was happy to get the Goldfinch and Heron reasonably up close. These birds appeared out of nowhere and circling around – today I found evidence of a fight with a bird but don’t know that it was one of them, or a cat. I’d be happier knowing it is just carrion and not attacking my squirrel buddies. I don’t like to think I make the squirrels sitting ducks by putting peanuts out for them.

      Like

  12. ispnignisoffashion says:

    Very lovely post! I‘ve got also a weak spot for animals and their natural surroundings! Just met a cute stray cat at the beach that has been getting really attached to me ☺️. Maybe you wanna check out my blog too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi – I just tried to check out your blog and it said it was not active – do you have another link as I know this happened before with another blogger – she commented from one blog, but actually that one expired and she had a newer blog. I’d be happy to follow you as I enjoy nature and I also have a soft spot in my heart for animals. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. How could you not like walking with all the nature you see! You could lose some the rain days though! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ellie P. says:

    Wow, I never saw a goldfinch before – lovely photo.
    The heron’s no slouch either! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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