Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Waterloo Recreation Area

...continued from the Ann Arbor posts.
With only an hour in between hockey games, I didn't have much time to look for birds, but I hit the road anyway. According to Jill the GPS Girl I was only 12 minutes away from Waterloo Recreation Area, so I thought I'd check it out. I'm glad I did. The place is huge (20,000+ acres)...and gorgeous! Jill led me to the Waterloo Headquarters easily enough, and after parking, I walked up to the large trail map posted outside the building. A trail picked up right off the parking area and looked like a perfect place to begin--until I saw a sign mentioning that "this trail goes through hunting areas." ----"Yikes!" Needless to say, since I was not wearing orange, I high-tailed it out of there and admonished Jill for taking me into the danger zone, recommending she did a little "recalculating..." of her own! Going the opposite direction fast, I followed the signs to the Eddy Discovery Center, happy to see lots of "No Hunting" signs posted along the way. The Discovery Center was closed, but the trails around it were beautiful, and I couldn't resist starting down the Hickory Hills Nature Trail.

...as soon as I stepped on the trail, a family of Black-capped Chickadees started calling all around me. Their call was sweet and noticeably different from our Carolina Chickadees, and as they sang their song, I could hear the differences there also. They were larger than our Carolinas (the tails especially seemed longer), and they had more white on the wings. Both Carolina and Black-capped Chickadees are reported to live in Cincinnati, but I've only seen Carolina Chickadees around our house.

Leaves were still mostly green, but here and there you could see chlorophyll production had stopped, draining the green from the leaves and letting the yellow, orange and red pigments of autumn show through.

The forest floor at the trail's edge was dark, stained even darker by the rain, highlighting the chartreuse green leaves of saplings.

...did you notice the name of the last trail? It caught my attention quickly! After seeing the spectacular array of birds at the Pinckney Island NWR this summer, anything with Pinckney in it had to be good. :-)

24 comments:

The Early Birder said...

Reminded me of various locations along the south coast (UK) when the red flags are flying there is live firing in progress so keep your head down! I guess you'll be going back to explore the Waterloo-Pinckney trail? FAB.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
It looks like you found another new nice place to bird and walk around.... The shot of the black-capped chickadee is very nice and remind me of Dave kind of shots :-)
You know what we also got a blackpoll warbler around, but it is on the Westmann Islands. I can of hope we will get some on the land too, but it happened only once in the whole birding history of Iceland!!!

So did you get time to go to the Pinckney trail?

Craig Glenn said...

Hi Kelly,

Really enjoyed this post. Great photos!

You can see your post on twitter if you search #CraigsPick

Have a great day,
Craig

Bill S. said...

You made a great choice to slip out to go birding. I love chickadees and how they use language to warn other birds.

Great blog.

dAwN said...

Good thing you ducked out..pun intended..of the hunting area..YIKes..
nice chickadee dee deee!

Wren said...

You made good use of your time here - I'll be there this weekend crane-watching myself.

Laure Ferlita said...

I love that you pursue birding in between the games! I would have done the same thing!

Lovely images too!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kel, I'm so glad you are getting to check out all of these neat places---even if it is between games. This Waterloo area I'll bet is a place where you'll return sometime. Beautiful!!!

Love the Chickadees. We only have the Carolina ones in our area... Tiny ones!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy--who is on her laptop in Dillard, GA

Nature As Is said...

Kelly wonderful post...I also loved the post of your water images below very lovely indeed. Nice work my dear. :)

Rob Ripma said...

That looks like and awesome park to explore and it sounds like you had a great time!

Elaine said...

More gorgeous shots!

Tammie Lee said...

it is scary to hike during hunting season! a friend gave me a bright vest last year and I shall be donning it soon! Your arch of leaves photo is quite lovely!

holdingmoments said...

Seems you've found another great location Kelly.

Ginnymo said...

You sure have a lot of great spots for bird watching Kelly!! Pretty photos. I see a couple Chickadees here every day but the weather hasn't been nice enough to get any good shots. The leaves are falling fast here.

Mary said...

Good to see the leaves changing...they have been a little slow this year. Cute chickadee.

Roy said...

I thought this was going to be a horror story for a while there Kelly.
This computerised technological murderess "Jill" trying to lead you into danger to get shot at and take over your car. Anyway it worked out OK int the end. {:)

Heather said...

I wonder if the chiggys you saw know Shelley? I bet they do - ha! You definitely have some magnet in you that draws you to locations with the name Pinckney in them. Can't wait to hear more!

Warren Baker said...

Blimey Kely,
Look out, we don't want our ''wildlife lady'' shot at!

Re- the Green Woodpecker: Their habits are much the same as your Flickers, feeding on the floor looking for ants and grubs.

Kelly said...

Frank...we will definitely go back. Maybe I can get Rick and Matty up there for a long weekend this summer or spring. If we're lucky, we might be able to go the first weekend in November.

Chris...I spent a little too much time on the trail and missed the first period of the game. I saw the last 2, though...so that was good.

Craig....thank you! and thank you for the Tweet!! That's pretty cool..... I'm going to have to sign up for Twitter and join your daily list thing (I don't know the Twitter lingo yet....)

Bill...oh yes.......I can't stand sitting around in a hockey rink when gorgeous woods are 15 minutes away! The chickadees were so cute!!

dAwN...hahaha...good pun.....I'm definitely chicken during the duck hunting season...

Wren.....have fun and take lots of photos!! I'll be sure to visit your blog to see what you saw!

Laure....thank goodness for birding. I'm not that keen on sitting and watching games!! (I'm not a super-duper hockey mom--ooops! The funny part is trying to tell the other moms why I'm leaving....why I like to look for birds....you know the story).

Betsy.....yes....I definitely use these trips for birding!! I think we're going to Nashville in February. That might be interesting....and Bloomington in December....

Crista....thank you very much!! I want to take some more water images, and with the rain we've got today....(too bad I have to stay in and clean and organize a bit this afternoon).

Rob....it's huge and looks like it has a lot to offer. Wetlands, lakes, meadows and prairies....

Thanks, Elaine!

Thanks, Tammie! It is scary. I don't want to be one of the statistics....."local birder hit with stray bullet intended or a deer!"

Keith....wish it were closer. Four hours is a bit of an effort, but next spring...and next summer to see baby cranes!

Ginny....here...the trees are really just starting. Between yesterday and today there was a difference. The reds are showing...and the yellow and oranges. Too bad it's raining today..and tomorrow...

Mary....they have been slow!! We were saying the same thing. Although last year and the year before with the drought, we mostly had just brown leaves, so I'll take slow!

Roy....hahaha...Jill the Murderess...can you imagine?? It does have movie fodder written all over it! ;-)

Heather...ha! You're probably right!! Those chiggys probably fueled up at her feeders! I couldn't help but wonder if the two were related. Two major birding places with the unusual name Pinckney....

Warren...hunting season is nerve wracking! I should probably just stick to the Little Miami Trail for a while! Thanks for the info on the woodpecker.









Bill....

Natural Moments said...

Your photography brings out the richness that the colour of the world has to offer.

Natural Moments said...

Your photography brings out the richness that the colour of the world has to offer.

Allison said...

Oh I love the sweet little call of the Chickadee. I will never forget the way my son says it to me when we are talking about the birds at the feeders!

Chad said...

I really like the picture of the Chickadee... backside but the colors are very bold! Nice job my friend... you take some nice pics. I really need a better camera. I am getting jealous of all you professional photo takers.

Kelly said...

Natural....thank you! That is really nice...

Allison....hi!! Always glad when you stop by. Ahhh......isn't it amazing how our little one's voices can melt our hearts. There were so many words Matty used to say that will be within my heart forever.

Chad!....thank you! I'm hardly professional.....just love what I see and can't stop taking photos!!