Two Visits to McGinnis Slough

Even though I never go to McGinnis Slough these days prepared to see a lot of birds – which would require bringing my scope – I invariably see something interesting. It used to be a great place for hundreds of Great Egrets and multiple Great Blue Herons, but for the past several years the numbers have dwindled to a few individuals. During waterfowl migration it’s still a place to see good numbers of several species. My last two visits were sort of before and after spring migration. But I like the fact that it’s not crowded. You can’t your bike through it, so that likely keeps people away. And you could miss it driving by at 50 mph on LaGrange Road, even though the entrance is newly paved and there’s a lovely wrought-iron fence, maybe to keep the deer from crossing the highway.

So these photographs are from April 4 and June 7 of this year. From grays and browns in early April to greens and blues in June. April 4 was a good day for Tree Swallows, even if they look washed-out on a cloudy day.

Tree Swallow and a Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal

The gray and brown was enhanced by a little low-lying fog on the April visit.

I haven’t seen an awful lot of Eastern Phoebes this year. I think flycatchers in general have been scarcer, which I can only assume speaks to the lack of insects. I hope they can recover somehow.

Eastern Kingbird, another flycatcher

In the tail end of waterfowl migration, some Lesser Scaup were close enough to photograph.

Those white blobs are actually American White Pelicans on the far shore.
The slough was quite marshy in June.

The June visit featured Warbling Vireos chasing around at eye-level, and then one sang for me. I managed to record a bit of his song below after having him pose for all these pictures.These guys are hard to spot normally so I indulged.

I often see Wood Ducks lined up on this fallen log. The June visit was no exception.

Wood Ducks

Baltimore Orioles aren’t advertising for mates anymore so they’re a little harder to spot.

Going down the path to the north, I encountered a couple does.

There were a few Cedar Waxwings in the same general area as the Warbling Vireos.

This White-breasted Nuthatch would have been even better if he had turned around.

Red-winged Blackbirds abound.

And in the flying-by department…

Herring Gull
Double-crested Cormorants

I’m used to seeing rose mallow, and maybe it will appear later in the summer, but I think this wild iris is new.

Thanks for making it to the end of this long post! We are in for a long, hot, sunny weekend around here. With luck, I will find more birds to share with you.

9 thoughts on “Two Visits to McGinnis Slough

  1. What a wonderful gallery of birds… and deers! Seems like you’re enjoying good times with birds. Isn’t it glorious when you find plenty of birds? Great job, Lisa. Enjoy your 4th of July! 🙂

    • Thanks, H.J.! I really loved the deer – they just stood still, and so did I, and we had a little staring contest until I told them I was moving forward and they took a side exit. Yeah, I love seeing numbers of birds, and that’s one thing McGinnis is good for. Have a good 4th too! 🙂

    • Yes, Jim, I remember it well, and for the longest time I kept wondering if I was going to see you again. The place has changed, but in some ways it’s still the same place. Tucked away in the middle of the sprawl. 🙂

    • If it were my filing system it would never happen. Lightroom automatically saves my photos in a folder by date, and then I go back and rename them with the place, and they sit on my laptop until I either use them or decide they’re too outdated (no one wants to look at snow in April, for instance). I dream of retirement and blogging in a more timely fashion.

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