Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Today on the Wastewater properties Jamie Krupka saw a young Peregrine Falcon near the west churning lagoon (see photographs in the posts below) and a Northern Shrike at the usual location, the tree line west of the maintenance building on Laketon west of Swanson.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
October 19 Email:
10/8/14 merganser sunning herself on the rocks in the Muskegon Channel-north side,
10/15/14 wood duck at the Bear Lake Channel-North Muskegon,
10/19/14 sanderling at Muskegon State Park
- Carol Cooper
Red-breasted Merganser, Wood Duck, Sanderling
Sunday, October 19, 2014
I saw this hawk at the Wastewater Sunday, early afternoon, in the basins. Did not get a picture of it flying, though under the wings was very white. The bottom shot is from the Audubon website of a dark morph Swainson's Hawk. Could this be one also?
- Don Neumann
Don's hawk could be a Swainson's this time of year, but a dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk would be more likely. See more information in the comments. - Ric
Thursday, October 16, 2014
October 15 Email:
Around 4:23 p.m. this afternoon Mark Wloch had just finished walking the south breakwater at Ludington Harbor. As he drove south on South Lakeshore Drive (a few hundred yards south of the harbor parking lot), he saw a long-tailed bird and pulled over to view it better. It was a gorgeous Scissor-tailed Flycatcher ! The bird appears to be an adult female, as the tail is not nearly as long as an adult male's tail.
Amazingly, this not only is the county's second STFL, but it occurred 39 years and one day after the first bird was found (October 14, 1975 by Gary Worton). This flycatcher breeds in the southern Great Plains, but there are records of at least 44 birds seen between 1962 and 2012 in Michigan. Mark is new to Mason County, but he is quickly discovering why I believe the area to be a birder's paradise in northwestern Michigan.
Congratulations, Mark !
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I spent some time at the Muskegon County Wastewater today and found 2 Greater White-fronted Geese in the east lagoon. They were mixed in with 1,000 or more Canada Geese. In Cell B10, there were 200 Mallards, 7 Northern Pintails, 2 American Wigeon, 3 American Black Ducks and 5 Green-winged Teal.
I counted 20 Eastern Bluebirds on the power lines west of the west lagoon. American Pipits were all over the Wastewater property.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Of eighteen species of birds at Harbor Island this morning, four Guinea Fowl (Escapus domestici) were the only birds of note. (Don't tell Charlie, Feller, Kathryn or Ken that these were foraging north of the soccer fields.)
An hour of hawk-watching from a bench near Pier Peddler (how appropriate) west of downtown Grand Haven produced two migrating raptors: Sharp-shinned Hawk and Peregrine Falcon. Ten of the 14 American Crows, all 75 Blue Jays, and one Northern Flicker also appeared to be migrating.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
I birded Richards Park (north end of Ottawa Street south of the Cobb Plant) and the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning.
Colors were gorgeous at Richards where 15 bird species included White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and a dark falcon (juvenile American Kestrel or Merlin -- see comments) staring at me from a distant pole) ...
...plus this Monarch butterfly in poor condition for a flight to Mexico:
Of the 17 bird species at the nature preserve, Zonotrichia sparrows (White-throated and White-crowned) were frequent along the trails, including both colors (adult and juvenile) of the White-crowned's:
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I wanted to update the nature club on a substantial improvement to eBird relating to Muskegon. As I laid out in our blogposts at the Team eBird Michigan blog ...
... we have been implementing a new set of filters for Michigan, breaking the state from just a handful of filters, each incorporating multiple counties (up to 15!) into a final tally of about 60 filters for the 83 counties.
But the news more relevant to Muskegon is that we just created and activated a new site specific filter for Muskegon Wastewater! This means that users will see far fewer unnecessary flags (things like high counts of Ruddy Ducks and Northern Shovelers [which only congregate in the thousands at Muskegon Wastewater], summering Redheads, and a slew of other species). The best way to view the filter is to begin entering a checklist for Muskegon Wastewater and look through the list of species that come up. Make sure to click the "show rarities" tab to see additional updates.
Some more examples of things I have updated just for the Wastewater filter, but not for the general Muskegon County filter:
Snow Geese - up to 200 allowed in fall
Trumpeter Swan - none allowed now, since it's locally rare there
Gadwall - 300 allowed in winter; used to allow just a handful
American Black Duck - 250 allowed in winter now
Northern Shoveler - 7,500 allowed at fall peak
Ruddy Duck - 13,000 allowed at peak (this is one of the peak sites in the US; counts higher than this will require some documentation of count methodology)
Eared Grebe - 7 in spring, 8 in fall; the only site in Michigan which allows more than 0)
Shorebirds - substantially relaxed filters compared to inland southern Lower Peninsula counties, especially for species like Red Knot, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Baird's Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, etc.)
Red-necked Phalarope - only site in Michigan where allowed - up to 20 in late Aug/early Sept
Common Raven - allowed year round, up to 4 when family groups around
American Pipit - up to 500 in fall, one of best sites in Michigan
Swallows - all species except Purple Martin allowed at exceptional levels in August and into September
Grasshopper Sparrow - up to 35 during breeding season; highest filter in Michigan
Savannah Sparrow - up to 125 during fall when they are abundant on the roadside
Brewer's Blackbird - up to 50 during March -October, highest filter in Michigan
Orchard Oriole - up to 5 during breeding.
I hope you all enjoy this upgrade. Comments and suggested changes are always welcome!
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I spent some time walking Linear Park on Harbor Island this morning before meeting Jeff Johnson for some hawkwatching in downtown Grand Haven.
The 21 species on the island included Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher, Catharus thrush (probably Hermit), four identifiable warblers (Magnolia, Palm, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green) and this mystery bird:
A Yellow-rumped Warbler showed itself nicely ...
... but most of the little birds foraged deep in the thickets and branches like this Magnolia Warbler:
Jeff and I shivered in the cold north wind from 10:00-12:00 recording a local Red-tailed Hawk plus 18 migrating raptors: 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 American Kestrel, 1 Unidentified Accipiter, 1 Peregrine Falcon, and my 182nd Michigan Year Bird: a Northern Goshawk that showed itself twice on the other side of the channel during the first hour, then powered its way south shortly before noon.