Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Never Disappoints

Be sure to check near the end of the post for future information on the Hatchery walks! : )

A nice group of folks from all over southwest Michigan met at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery today to enjoy the lovely day. We had fun puzzling over the plumages of fall Mallards and Wood Ducks. The Trumpeter Swans cooperatively showed off their growing cygnet. And the Common Gallinule family was in their usual location. I even managed to get some recognizable pictures this week.

The gallinule chicks can hardly be called juveniles anymore. Immature sounds better!

The single Trumpeter cygnet is thriving on all the TLC it gets from the folks.

Once again, Cedar Waxwings were everywhere, as well as Barn Swallows and a few Chimney Swifts. A male Belted Kingfisher stopped rattling around long enough for us to get some nice scope views. We worked hard over a nondescript sparrow in the grass, finally pretty much deciding it was a juvenile Swamp Sparrow. All in all, the birding is more challenging as the birds have mostly stopped singing and are concentrating on getting ready for the coming migration. And when we do find them, they are often in what the field guides call "confusing fall" plumages. Well, this is the perfect time to get out in the field and get unconfused. Join us on one of the many outings scheduled in various Southwest Michigan localities over the next few weeks. For complete information on  upcoming BBC events look here. Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery walks will continue on Wednesdays at 9am, weather permitting, but the last one will be the first Wednesday in October. They may start up again in November depending on the weather. I will post to BBCchat if/when that happens. Until then, hope to see you in the field. Bird on!


Star, the Basset puppy, recharges her batteries while Mom writes.