I loved my first Wildlife Drive, but I must admit the morning began with some grumbling. Somebody might have been grumbling about the necessity of waking at 4:30 and the need to greet the birds shortly after sunrise. Someone might have been grumbling about how we were going to see more birds flying and in the fields on the way to the park than in the park. Somebody might have grumbled again when my navigation directions resulted in my phone telling us to park at the end of the isolated farm road and walk to the park. Gabby might have grumbled when over the next 6.5 miles through the Wildlife Drive I occasionally bumped her in the head with my camera lens. She did not feel a concussion was necessary on top of her other ailments.
All of the grumbling ended when the singing red-winged blackbirds welcomed us to the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Drive.
The deer were the next ones to greet us and did not appear to mind sharing the narrow road with us.
The tall grass along the road made shots difficult at times and it never failed that when we came upon open scenery there was not a bird to be found in the sky.
We encountered more butterflies and dragonflies then I have ever seen in my life and a few wanted to join us in our vehicle, but Gabby refused to accept any hitchhikers.
I was hoping to catch the birds busy fishing, but the birds were in more of a reflective mood.
No little fishies for this Great Blue Heron or
this beautiful egret.
The cormorants were only interested in swimming and showing off those blue eyes.
Another beautiful open area, but again no birds. There were three areas in the park with signs that read in case of flooding return to the main entrance. I will always call ahead for road closures because I have no idea how that would be accomplished easily.
Things were no different in this park than the parks around home. The egrets still had an attitude
and the belted kingfisher preferred to not have his photo taken.
I’m going to blame Gabby for purposely bumping my camera and causing many blurry shots on my side of the vehicle. I think she became bored half way through the park. As usual, there were a few birds I had difficulty identifying. I managed one shot of this bird that surprised us, which I believe is a juvenile eagle,
and somehow I managed this shot of an unidentified bird on my husband’s side of the vehicle.
All signs of grumbling had disappeared and everyone was smiling on the way home after the great Wildlife Drive and the wildlife were happy to see us on our way.