On the move.

This morning was very calm. This screen grab from the Detroit Michigan National Weather Service radar shows circles, or rings, at the top centre, just right of centre, bottom centre, and a small, partial one at bottom, right of centre.

The radar picked up – hundreds of thousands? millions? – of birds fanning out from these overnight roosting areas, on the move and looking for food, fattening up for migration.

First visit.

I happened to be sitting on the deck when this Baltimore Oriole made its first visit of the season to my backyard hummingbird feeder, which it prefers to the larger oriole feeder.

Tundra Swans.

Tundra Swans gather by the thousands in the corn- and potato-fields near Grand Bend Ontario as they start their journey to their nesting grounds in the far north.

Were fortunate to be able to detour last weekend to see the swans. It was an overcast day with light snow falling. These two commuted from a field on one side of the road we observed from, to a field on the other side of the road.

Spring is here.

Tundra Swans are on the move. I drove by a field and hundreds were flying, standing, resting.

Spring is here. I’m blessed to witness its arrival.

On the move

Migratory birds are on the move here. Robins are no linger tut-tutting, killdeer are scarce, have not seen or heard orioles and grosbeaks for a while.

On a recent grey and gloomy day, during an outing that took me to the north shore of Lake Erie, I saw this group of Turkey vultures on the move, headed west along the lake shore to the nearest way around the lake instead of over it. Such graceful birds.

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Squadron

During a recent trip to Windsor we took the scenic route, travelling on Highway 3. Route 3 rarely strays far from the Lake Erie shore. Since this is migrating season we were privileged to see hundreds of migrating Turkey Vultures including and this squadron of 17 individuals. What graceful birds, swooping, soaring, and riding the wind!

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Shy

Tundra Swans, Cygnus columbianus (link to allaboutbirds.org), are majestic, breathtakingly marvellous birds to watch. As they migrate through our part of the world on their way to their breeding ground, many stop and rest in harvested corn fields. When resting they congregate in large flocks that sometimes number in the hundreds or thousands.

They are also wary of humans, flying away when we become too intrusive. I was fortunate to approach within about 100 meters. After taking this photo I withdrew to leave them in peace.

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