Friday, May 25, 2018

Another Franklin's Gull on Friday

May 25 Email:

Attached are two pictures of a Franklin's Gull I photographed today at the MWS.  This is obviously a different bird than the one seen Wednesday by Mike Boston (posted below).  Notice the full hood vs. the partial hood on today's bird.

- Chip Francke

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Big Day 125 Species, Locations, Times

If you're interested in the 125 species our group found last Saturday May 19 on our annual Big Day Count, click here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Franklin's Gull on Wednesday

May 23 Email:

I saw this Franklin's Gull in the large, drawn down cell at the Wastewater on Wednesday evening.

- Mike Boston

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Big Day Count Final Total = 125 Species

There are pictures and a few details posted on our homepage about yesterday's Big Day Count.  We counted 125 species, a very good number especially considering the slow start due to the weather.

After we had left the Wastewater properties we heard a report of three American White Pelicans having been there while we were there!  Soon afterward it was reported that the pelicans had departed, so we never went searching for them.

However, today Mike Boston saw them in the middle of the big west lagoon.

- Ric

Friday, May 18, 2018

Birdwalk After the Potluck Thursday

About 24 people birded the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this evening after our potluck picnic meeting.

Among the 38 species we found were Great Egret, Green Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow ...

photo by Glenda Eikenberry

... Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Baltimore Oriole.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Birding on Wednesday

 Yellow Warbler
I was looking for the Prothonotary Warbler
at Lane's Landing but didn't find it.

 Blue-winged Warbler

 Cerulean Warbler
I found this and the Blue-winged along the south side of
the Maple River in the Muskegon State Game Area.

 Grasshopper Sparrow

 Upland Sandpiper

Eastern Kingbird*

I found these three birds on the Muskegon County Wastewater properties.

* Not that it matters but the Eastern Kingbird is Year Bird #183 for me.  Don't worry, Ric,, you will catch up to me on Saturday.

- Charlie DeWitt

Not a chance, Charlie.  - Ric

Tuesday Morning on Harbor Island

 Blue-headed Vireo

 Flycatcher (sp)


 Gray-cheeked Thrush

 Swainson's Thrush

 Blackpoll Warbler

 Cape May Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

I was only going to stay an hour first thing in the morning.  When the rain stopped, the birding got good, so I stayed till noon.  There are some tall mounds of dirt in some of the trees.  I picked out the tallest and just stood there and let the birds come to me.

- Charlie DeWitt

Lamoreaux Park Field Trip

This morning Mark Moerdyk led an abbreviated field trip around Don Lamoreaux Park north of Grand Rapids.  Nine people attended and were rewarded with 39 bird species.  Due to high water on some of the trails, we were unable to access more than half the park.  The half we walked, however, was impressive.

Species of note included Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Wood Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Prothonotary Warbler*, American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole

The weather was lovely.

- Ric

* Year Bird #129 if anyone was counting.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Afternoon at Harbor Island

Green Heron

 Blue-headed Vireo

 American White Pelicans

Baby Canada Geese

I spent some time on Harbor Island in Grand Haven this afternoon and found these birds.

- Charlie DeWitt

Saturday Morning North of Muskegon Lake

I accompanied David and Lisa Foran and David's sister Amy at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve and Muskegon State Park today.  Despite cold, cloudy, windy conditions we found many birds at both locations.

Notable among the 40 species at the MLNP were Great Egret, Spotted Sandpiper, Chimney Swift, Great Crested Flycatcher and Nashville, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Unlike last Saturday, not many warblers!

From the Snug Harbor parking lot out to Lost Lake we found 41 species including Great Egret, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Solitary Sandpiper, Yellowlegs (sp), Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Swainson's Thrush, Ovenbird, American Redstart (pair), and Black-throated Green Warbler (several).

- Ric

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Prothonotary Warbler Wednesday

May 9 Email:  Prothonotary Warbler on Harbor Island today.
- Mike Erickson

Monday, May 7, 2018

Kentucky Warbler Yes; Chat Maybe

Ken Sapkowski phoned this afternoon that he'd heard a reliable report of a Yellow-breasted Chat at Lake Harbor Park.  This evening Mich-listers reported that the Kentucky Warbler was still being seen at Flahive Park (East Grand River Park) in Grand Haven. 

Thanks to Dave Herdegen for pointing out the Kentucky when I first arrived at the park this morning.  The bird was quite cooperative for many local and outstate birders, singing, calling and showing itself occasionally in the low shadowy areas all around the boardwalk.

Caleb Putnam points at the Kentucky Warbler.

I saw 28 other species including Warbling Vireo, Purple Martin, Swainson's Thrush, Black-and-white, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scarlet Tanager
- Ric

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Very Birdy Saturday !

Quality and quantity today!  Marc Miedema reported a LeConte's Sparrow this morning at Lane's Landing and others the Kentucky Warbler continuing at Flahive (East End) Park in Grand Haven at least until this evening.

Mike Boston emailed this afternoon: "I just had what appears to be a Yellow-headed Blackbird at the Wastewater right by the orange port-a-jon overlooking the large drawn-down cell."

Yellow-headed Blackbird by Mike Boston

Charlie DeWitt also had a Yellow-headed Blackbird today on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.  

Meanwhile I encountered lots of birds at two locations this morning while censusing for the Global Big Day Count (posted below by Brian Johnson).  

The Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve was literally crawling with Palm Warblers; they were foraging everywhere in the park, sometimes on the ground.  

Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve, Muskegon, Michigan, US
May 5, 2018 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
Comments:    Global Big Day Count - Site 1
45 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  7
Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)  2
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  6
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  3
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  8
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  3
Sora (Porzana carolina)  3
American Coot (Fulica americana)  8
gull sp. (Larinae sp.)  2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  3
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  4
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  3
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  10
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  4
Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis)  1
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  3
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  14
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  4
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  1
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  3
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  8
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  9
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  29
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  24
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  2
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  3
Sparrow (White-throated or White-crowned)  20
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  5
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)  3
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  7
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  44
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  3
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  14
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1

Sora (one of three at the MLNP this morning)

Later on private property near Black Creek I found this Great Crested Flycatcher:

Black Creek BBA Area, Muskegon, Michigan, US
May 5, 2018 10:25 AM - 11:50 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments:    Global Big Day Count - Site 2
33 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  1
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  1
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  1
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  2    Pair being harrassed by crows
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)  2
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  3
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  3
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  3
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  8
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  5
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  3
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  5
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  4
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  1
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  8
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  4
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  6

- Ric

Piping Plover at the Wastewater

May 4 Email:

I saw this Piping Plover Friday evening in the large drawn down cell at the Wastewater.  - Mike Boston

Friday, May 4, 2018

Common Gallinule on Harbor Island

 White-crowned Sparrow


Caspian Terns
(4 of the 14 that were in the boat launch parking lot)

I didn't get a picture of the Common Gallinule.  It was in the thick cattails and very shy.  It was seen from the boat launch parking lot.  I waited 45 minutes for the gallinule to return with no luck.  While waiting, I had the Sora come next to the road and provide a good picture.
A word of caution about birding in the high winds like today.  Some areas have a lot of dead Ash trees and they have been blowing down in this type of wind.  One is Black Lake Park and another is Hofma Preserve.  I am sure there are more areas like these.

- Charlie DeWitt