Thursday, July 2, 2020
A MARSHY RE-VISIT
North of Elk Rapids, there’s a large marsh that I discovered about a year ago. I decided it was time for a re-visit.
I noticed it was much denser with algae growth than before, perhaps due to our hot weather. At first glance, there didn’t seem to be much going on.
When I settled in to the quiet of the place, I began to see some things. There was a group of mallards but it was especially exciting to catch the colorful Wood Duck on the far right.
A pair of Trumpeter Swans were floating at the back of the marsh with their young cygnet. I wondered if there had been more little ones.
Then I spotted my mystery duck. It resembled a mallard, but the bill was a dark blue-black.
I turned to my local Audubon friends for identification, and got four different answers. Finally, the consensus seemed to be the duck was a Blue-winged Teal. It’s always exciting to spot a new species.
As I drove forward, I flushed a Sandhill Crane from the marshland, and it took to the sky immediately.
I followed it across the sky until it came in for a landing on the far side of the swamp, in a more protected area.
I was hoping to see a heron in this area where I’d seen many others. Luck was with me as I spotted this Green Heron in a tree.
It spotted me right away and turned in my direction so I could get this front on, goofy-looking shot.
It turned back and I thought I’d have more time with the Green Heron. They are pretty common here in the summer and I was excited to photograph this colorful bird. It’s smaller than a Great Blue, but still lovely in appearance, although not so statuesque.
It didn’t stay long, though, and soon took to the sky. It was fun seeing critters in a different habitat and I’m always looking for new spots in the Traverse City area to explore.