Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sedge Wrens No / Connecticut Warblers Yes


I missed my "automatic annual Sedge Wrens" at Hofma Preserve south of Grand Haven yesterday.  The only wrens I heard or saw were Marsh.  I did meet a Celtic Wedding party leaving as I was arriving.  I thought one guy was carrying a tripod and scope over his shoulder, but it turned out to be just a huge broadsword.  Ho-hum.

Later in the day Brian Johnson, answering a bird question I'd asked, added:

" ... but I've otherwise found plenty of time for Muskegon birding.  I've done fairly well this year, but no rarities. Connecticut Warblers at Lake Harbor and Black Lake were notable.  Shorebird numbers have been outstanding, and I'm really looking forward to the final numbers."

These are the times when I'm reminded what league I'm in (T-ball, not Big League).  If I ever see even one Connecticut Warbler anywhere anytime (not to mention two in the same spring in Muskegon), I will consider them at least rarities, I will get very excited, and I will use adjectives more enthusiastic than "notable".  :-)

- Ric

Red- shouldered Hawk Family


A family of Red-shouldered Hawks enjoying the holiday weekend.

Don Neumann





Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Franklin's Gulls at the Wastewater


To Mich-listers, 12:57 pm, May 25, 2016:

I found two Franklin's Gulls at Muskegon Wastewater System.  Right now they are loafing in the middle aeration cell along with Ring-billed Gulls.  They have broad white eye-arcs, large white primary tips and their back and wings are darker gray than the RBGs.  They are also smaller than the RBGs.  Will include photos with my eBird post.  - Laurence Burke

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Birding Updates


Too much to report and too little time.  Apologies to those who sent information that's not posted here.

Our club's annual Big Day Count on Saturday netted 117 species.  Click for details.

That same day Lizzy Kibbey of Grand Rapids was roaming our county finding many of the same birds we did at the same places, but also reporting extras such as these:

Patterson Park: Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush and Cerulean Warbler.

The Wastewater: Greater Scaup, Pectoral Sandpiper, three Wilson's Phalaropes and Clay-colored Sparrow.

Snug Harbor: Chestnut-sided Warbler, White-breasted NuthatchPine Warbler (our Big Day group may have heard this bird as well but couldn't discount Chipping Sparrow) and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Ben Jansen emailed that he had a male American Redstart land on his boat out on Lake Michigan on Friday.  It stuck around for an hour catching and eating flies before continuing its journey.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Whimbrel Sunday Afternoon at WW


Mike Boston photographed a Whimbrel this afternoon in the drawn-down cell at the Wastewater.  I think that is the churning lagoon second from the west.  


- Ric

Sunday Morning


Got these at my ice cream shop this morning: Brown Thrasher, Green Heron and Eastern Kingbird.




- Don Neumann

Friday, May 20, 2016

Looks Like a Peregrine at the Wastewater


Bruce Delamarter sends this picture of a raptor he photographed near the power lines along the north side of the east lagoon at the Wastewater on Thursday ...



... which looks like an adult Peregrine Falcon.

- Ric

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Prothonotary, Willet and Phalarope Today


Prothonotary Warbler at Lane's Landing

Willet in Cell B1 at Muskegon County Wastewater
Feller DeWitt called me and told me about it.

Wilson's Phalarope and Willet at
Muskegon County Wastewater Cell B1

Wilson's Phalarope in Cell B1 at
Muskegon County Wastewater

- Charlie DeWitt


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

103 Species at State Game Area Saturday


May 16 Email to North American Migration Counters:

I just finished all my personal data entry for Saturday.  Here are my results from the Muskegon State Game Area.  I ended the day with 103 species -- exactly my long-term average. My bird count, 549, was by far my lowest ever.  I'll move on to incorporating your lists, and then we'll see what else shows up.

- Brian (Johnson)

Canada Goose4
Wood Duck8
Mallard6
Blue-winged Teal1
Green-winged Teal2
Hooded Merganser4
American Bittern1
Great Blue Heron2
Turkey Vulture3
Sora1
Sandhill Crane2
American Woodcock8
Mourning Dove6
Eastern Screech-Owl2
Great Horned Owl1
Barred Owl2
Belted Kingfisher1
Red-bellied Woodpecker2
Downy Woodpecker3
Hairy Woodpecker3
Northern Flicker7
PIleated Woodpecker1
Eastern Wood-Pewee1
Least Flycatcher1
Great Crested Flycatcher2
Eastern Kingbird1
Yellow-throated Vireo4
American Crow2
Tree Swallow54
Rough-winged Swallow1
Bank Swallow1
Barn Swallow3
Black-capped Chickadee4
Sedge Wren2
Marsh Wren5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1
Eastern Bluebird3
Veery2
Wood Thrush3
American Robin10
Gray Catbird14
European Starling6
Cedar Waxwing11
Ovenbird1
Northern Waterthrush1
Blue-winged Warbler3
Nashville Warbler1
Common Yellowthroat12
American Redstart5
Magnolia Warbler1
Yellow Warbler23
Palm Warbler2
Myrtle Warbler6
Chipping Sparrow13
Song Sparrow23
Lincoln's Sparrow1
Swamp Sparrow18
White-crowned Sparrow11
Scarlet Tanager1
Northern Cardinal6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak5
Indigo Bunting1
Red-winged Blackbird36
Common Grackle17
Brown-headed Cowbird4
House Finch1
American Goldfinch12
House Sparrow3

Cape May Warbler on Sunday


Terra Berry sent several photos from the weekend at her place with the message, "These lil guys stopped by for a quick dip yesterday (May 15)!"  She photographed several species, the least likely this Cape May Warbler


Monday, May 16, 2016

Over the Weekend


On Saturday I birded the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve and an area along Black Creek for the North American Migration Count finding plenty of birds (none unusual, and very few warblers) on a cold, cloudy, sometimes rainy morning.

41 species at MLNP including Virginia Rail, Sora, Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, House and Marsh Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Thrasher, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, White-crowned & White-throated, Song and Swamp Sparrows, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole.

27 at Black Creek including Red-shouldered & Red-tailed Hawks, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Ovenbird, American Redstart and Indigo Bunting.

Swainson's Thrush at Black Creek

Sunday morning Dan Lockard photographed this Baltimore Oriole on his feeder.


Sunday afternoon after searching for the Yellow-throated Vireo singing across the road (#135, but who's counting?), I photographed Mr. House Finch in my backyard.


- Ric

Friday, May 13, 2016

Barred Owl


May 12 Email:


Barred Owl tonight at Muskegon State Park.

- Dan Lockard

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Good Morning in Grand Haven


I spent a few hours this morning at Flahive Park (East Grand River Park) and Harbor Island (Linear Trail, parts sadly whacked away along the power line easement).  I met Dave Elbrecht and his wife, Feller and Charlie DeWitt, and 50 species of birds.  Sixteen were Michigan Year Birds; I'm now at 130, with the DeWitts way ahead.  But who's counting?

Highlights at Flahive included Spotted Sandpiper, Northern Waterthrush, American Redstart, Palm Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler.  The island provided Green Heron, Cooper's Hawk, Virginia Rail, Sora, Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, Least Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, another Northern Waterthrush , Northern Parula, Wilson's Warbler, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows and this Lincoln's Sparrow:


Earlier in the parking lot my car received poop damage from this horrific attack by a crazed Black-capped Chickadee:


- Ric

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Six Rainy Tuesday Yard Photos from Mike


May 10 Email:  "I spotted the gnatcatcher in the yard, so I called it, and the two warblers immediately came and were just as curious as the gnatcatcher!  Might be worth noting if trying to call in warblers sometime."

- Mike VanderStelt  

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

 Palm Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

 Blue Jay

Red-winged Blackbird

Red Squirrel

Two Items from Monday


1.  May 9 to Mich-listers:

Adult Harris's Sparrow seen at 10:45 a.m. today at Harbor Island (Grand Haven).  For those not familiar with this area, from US 31 take Jackson
(main intersection just south of the bridge over the Grand River) west and
continue to 3rd St.  Turn right on 3rd and travel over the bridge.  Stay on
the main road.  After a big curve to the right, there is an intersection
with another road that goes left toward the boat launch.  The bird was seen at this intersection.  Last seen on the ground near the yellow barricades at this corner.

- Chip Francke


2.  May 9 Email:

I had a long email written to you Saturday morning for advice after we saw an owl fall 50 feet out of its hole straight down to the ground.  Thought it might need a rehab center.  Before I could finish and send, the owl had already disappeared again.  We found it later up in another tree being fed a huge vole by its mother.  12 hours later Linda Elenbaas even got pictures of the last one jumping from the nest.  Just thought you might enjoy a few of the pictures from the weekend.

- Torsten Pawlowski






Barred Owls and Scarlet Tanager