Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sharp-tailed Grouse

PIRO/Seney continued 

(Who knew a four day trip to the UP in June would last me until mid-August? I promise I'll be on to something else soon. This is just what happens in the middle of art show season!)

There were other animals and birds at Seney NWR besides loons, although they certainly get a lot of attention. We spotted a pair of beavers swimming poplar branches back to an unseen lodge somewhere near the road.

Just past that we saw this bird strolling down the edge of the road. It was in the shade so the light was poor and the vibration from the van engine didn't help. She was far enough away (this image is cropped) that we weren't sure what it was.

We noticed she had thick looking legs. Someone said a rail, perhaps a Sora. It didn't quite fit, though. Even when she lost her nerve and scooted down the road with her tail lifted we didn't figure it out.

Fortunately we came across another farther along the drive in bright sunlight. Looking at her short, chicken-like beak we realized that this was a Sharp-tailed grouse. A first for my list!

 Her legs look thick because they're feathered. Pretty little bird.

She too eventually moved off the road but I was happy to get a few good images first.

Next and last: Ridiculously cute baby swans.

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