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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let The Migration Begin!

Well, to be perfectly honest this title is a bit misleading because the migration is well underway already and will continue for a bit yet.  And then I guess we should clarify which migration, the fall or the spring.  These pictures were just taken this weekend so it's kinda' obvious this is from the fall migration.  It goes without saying that the Peninsula which juts out into Lake Erie is a hotbed of activity during the nice weather.  There's swimmers, boaters, bikers, hikers and rollerblader's pretty much from one end of the Peninsula to the other.  As fall gets into full swing gone are most of the sun lovers and it's time for many species of migratory birds including waterfowl and shore birds.  Most people aren't aware that the Peninsula is an annual stopping point for migrating birds making their way to their winter nesting grounds.  In fact it is on the direct route of the Atlantic Flyway.
There is gobs to write about the Atlantic Flyway and the importance of the Peninsula as a stopping point.  At the risk for boring you silly let's just say that there have been over 320 different species of birds recorded on the Peninsula.  Many of the migratory birds travel long distances on their southern journeys.  Unfortunately their idea of catching a flight is somewhat different than their human counterparts.  Many of these birds begin their journeys from Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Baffin Bay and all across the Arctic.  There are some incredible looking birds to be sure.  On this trip we decided to kayak out to Gull Point which is a protected area for the migratory birds.  On this particular trip we ran smack dab in the middle of the American Coot migration as they were everywhere.  We also had the pleasure of spotting at least 5 Tundra Swans, and a male Bufflehead.  The Peninsula is a totally different place this time of year but never fails to amaze us and hold our interest.  I'm including a couple  images from our recent outing.

These are Tundra Swans and they typically migrate in family units from Alaska.  They stop here for rest and nourishment before continuing to their destination.  In the case of the Tundra Swans they are most likely heading for the Chesapeake Bay area.  It was getting close to dark as we watched these beautiful birds so we couldn't be certain of the total number but we glassed 5 for sure.

This is a male Bufflehead and it's colors and patterns are far more eye catching than the female Bufflehead.  This is always the way it is as the males are always much more pleasing to the eye in the bird world.  This isn't the case in humans.  Night was approaching quickly as we fired off the last few images.  It's so common to have beautiful sunsets on Lake Erie and this evening would be no exception.  The reflection of the beautiful sunset is quite apparent in this image.

I need to find out what these puffy plants are because they pretty much border the lagoons, ponds and the shores of the bay.  I couldn't help but fire off a few images and thought having one in this Blog would be appropriate.


Willard said...

Excellent work as always, Tom. I enjoy the waterfowl photos (have never gotten a good photo of a bufflehead yet).

I think the lighting and the subject are exceptional in the last photo. I have checked this blog quickly for a few times before commenting and I have found that periodically I see this picture in my mind when I am thinking about photography--there is just something about it.

Coy Hill said...

Just love the bufflehead shot Tom. The fall migration doesn't amount to much for me as the ducks don't hang around with all the shotguns blasting away.

Unknown said...


Nice write up and nice pictures!!!