Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Two Photos from Saturday

Thanks to two members of the Barry County Audubon Club (see post below) for sending these photos taken on Saturday during their field trip:

White-tailed Deer by Maive

Cell phone image of Greater White-fronted Goose by Gayle

- Ric

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Gloomy Saturday Morning with Many Birds

I birded the Wastewater properties Saturday morning, most of the time with 14 members of the Barry County Audubon Club on their field trip.  Despite dodging raindrops, we found a good number of birds, and they were still looking when I left.

Among the 15 species I saw were 7 Gadwall at the Clay Pond, 36 Snow Buntings along the southern half of the main dike, 24 American Black Ducks and 2 Green-winged Teal in Aeration Cell #5, 15 American Pipits, 6 Dunlin and a Pectoral Sandpiper in the south Rapid Filtration Basins,  2 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Bald Eagle, and a Partridge in a Pear -- uh, no.

One of many Ruddy Ducks on the West Lagoon

Just before I joined the group, a member of their club had taken an excellent photo of a gigantic White-tailed Deer with a huge rack!  If she sends me that photo, I will post it here.

- Ric

Friday, October 18, 2019

Black Lake Park Today

 American Robin

 Cedar Waxwing

 Song Sparrow

 Black-capped Chickadee

 Swamp Sparrow


Wood Ducks

These are some of the birds I saw at Black Lake Park this morning.  I had a total of 26 species on my two- hour hike.  There were 21 Pie-billed Grebes on the lake.

- Charlie DeWitt

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Monday Sandpiper and Thursday Migrants

The last report I saw of a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper sighting at the Wastwater was on Monday the 7th.  

This morning I spent two hours at the south wall of the Muskegon Channel Blue Jays continued to stream by (1st hour ~730, 2nd hour ~200 = ~930).  Their behavior is fascinating.  Southbound crows (100) outnumbered northbound crows (50).  So what are they doing?

Only 21 migrating raptors (16 sharpies, 2 kestrels, 1 harrier, 1 Coop, 1 peregrine), 3 migrating woodpeckers (probably red-headed's), 5 Monarch butterflies and ~200 non-jay migrating songbirdsWouldn't it be nice to know more!

- Ric

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper on Sunday

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was still being viewed by several people in the Wastewater C-1 cell at 11:15 this morning.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Avocet and Migrants

At 11:00 this morning Mark Moerdyk reported the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and an American Avocet on the Muskegon County Wastewater properties.

There were considerably more "raptors" migrating* over the Grand Haven Channel this morning (25 in 20 minutes) than the Muskegon Channel yesterday morning (13 in 110 minutes).  Plenty of Blue Jays southbound over both (30 at Grand Haven, 280 at Muskegon).  

- Ric

20 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 7 Broad-winged's, 4 Turkey Vultures, 2 Redtails, 1 Cooper's, 1 Bald Eagle, 3 unidentified raptors, 310 Blue Jays.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Two More Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Photos

Here are two more photos of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper emailed to us from Bruce Delamarter.  

Thanks, Bruce.  As you can see from the posts below, it's also been photographed by others!  Thanks, everybody!

- Ric

Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was still in the same cell as of 6:00 p.m. Friday, 10-4.  And, oh, by the way, he has a friend.

- Don Neumann

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Still Here

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
photo by Carol DeWitt

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was still at the Muskegon Wastewater as of 11:30 a.m. 10-04-2019.

- Charlie DeWitt

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

- Charlie DeWitt

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at the Wastewater

Thanks to Glenda Eikenberry and Ken Sapkowski for calling to inform us of a confirmed Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at the Wastewater this morning.  It was in Section C of the rapid-filtration lagoons; i.e., the center area of the grassy fields south of the entrance road (White) and north of the aeration lagoons.

A quick check of eBird indicates this is only the third sighting of the species in Michigan, the second in July 2017 at Point Mouille State Game Area near Detroit and the first in August 2016 at the Muskegon County Wastewater Management System.

It's an Asian species, similar to a Pectoral Sandpiper, a rarity along the west coast of the United States.  If you get a photo, please email it and we'll post it here.

- Ric

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Swainson's Hawk and Rambi

Catching up after being out of town for a week:

The "dark redtail" we watched on our Ottawa Sands field trip September 21 proved to be a Swainson's Hawk ID'd by Charlie DeWitt's beautiful photo on our homepage.

Mike VanderStelt has not seen Rambi or his Mourning Dove friends since last week. 

- Ric

Friday, September 20, 2019

Rambi Updates

Mike VanderStelt sent a couple more "family photos" and some updated information this week:

September 18:

In a couple weeks Rambi went from his ruffled-up, off-the-rack suit to his Armani with tails.

Sept 19:

I have noticed, as you can see by the pictures, that Rambi's tail feathers have grown probably close to two inches.  Along with that, the whooshing sound when he comes and goes has gotten noticeably louder.  I wonder if it has something to do with moving air from his wings compressing and curling around the tail?  His wings don't look any longer but do look a little more "organized", for a lack of a better word, but not different in size where you would assume they would be compressing more air volume.  Just an observation; whether it warrants any merit is another thing altogether.  LOL

The last few days there has been another Mourning Dove, probably about two to three weeks younger than Rambi, coming in with him every time he visits.  It will go from the branches, to the feeder, to the birdbath, etc, and stay here the whole time Rambi visits me. Sometimes it shows up a little bit after Rambi comes to visit, but it always sits and waits for him.  Has the student become the teacher?   Hmmm.

Sept 20:

Red-tailed Hawk

This un-invited friend has been around for the last four days.  Funny, none of the smaller birds have warmed-up to it.

Also, an adult Mourning Dove landed on my deck yesterday and started foraging while I was sitting out there.  All of a sudden Rambi made his first appearance of the day, coming in like a missile, and attacked the adult, then immediately flew onto my lap.  I guess the deck and myself are "exclusive" Rambi property?  LOL

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Swainson's Thrush, Hoverfly and Rambi

I counted 15 bird species including a Swainson's Thrush at the Hofma Preserve south of Grand Haven this morning.  Also present was this "bee fly?". 


Checking online I've found that this is some form of "hoverfly".  If anyone knows more about them, please comment.  Thanks!

Meanwhile Mike VanderStelt returned from Alaska a couple days ago and wondered if Rambi would still recognize him.  His photo this morning answers the question:

- Ric

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

MCNC Program on Thursday

Disclaimer: All photos recently sighted while preparing the program.

It must be fall as the club meetings resume.  Click here for time and place details.  Hope to see you there! 

- Don Neumann