Saturday, April 25, 2015

Purple Finch Invasion

At 6:00 this evening four Purple Finches (3 male; 1 female) appeared on our backyard feeder.  These photos were taken through our back window; by the time I got outside, the birds were gone.

- Ric

Friday, April 24, 2015

Godwit Replaces Avocets at Wastewater Today

Marc Miedema planned to bird all day.  I accompanied him from 6:15 until 11:40 from Lane's Landing (34 species) to the State Game Area headquarters (38 species).

Highlights at Lane's included an American Bittern (not the one above; see sidebar) "thunder-pumping" as it peeked over the grass tops, Virginia Rail, Sora, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and a pair of Great Horned Owls whooting at each other at 8:45 a.m.! and several Blue-winged Teal.

At SGA we heard what sounded like a Common Loon calling from the "snipe field" west of the headquarters.  A Wilson's Snipe winnowed over the south end of that field.  We also saw Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Hermit Thrush, and at least three Red-tailed Hawks.  

Marc continued on to the Wastewater while I went home and found Terra Berry's email including several photos from yesterday at the Wastewater including this Horned Grebe and American Avocet:

Finally, at 3:15 Feller DeWitt phoned to report a Marbled Godwit in the same aeration lagoon that the American Avocets had been in yesterday.  He said the avocets were gone.  I don't know if he and Marc saw each other out there.

- Ric

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Avocets and Solitary Sandpiper at Wastewater

April 23 Email:

I saw 6 American Avocets & 1 Solitary Sandpiper at the Wastewater today.

- James Fyfe

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Avocet Photos on Wednesday

April 22 Email:

I was at Wastewater today and was able to find the American Avocets that Feller saw yesterday. There were eight of them around noon on Wednesday in the western most drawn down aeration cell.  This was a life bird for me.  Pretty exciting, and what a beautiful bird.

- Travis Dewys

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Avocets at the Wastewater Tuesday Afternoon

Feller DeWitt just phoned to report five American Avocets in the drawn-down aeration lagoon this afternoon at the Wastewater.  Also several Bonaparte's Gulls and Ruddy Ducks.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Egyptian Geese at Wastewater Saturday

April 19 Email:

Hi Ric,
Mary Poort and I saw these two Egyptian Geese in the grassy cells at Wastewater on Saturday.  As I understand, they are considered escapees and not countable.  However, still cool to see!  Do you know if anyone has seen these around the area before?  Feel free to post this on the nature club's website if you think it's of interest.
Marc Miedema

Occasionally domestic geese show up on the lagoons at the Wastewater.  Several years ago there was one that brought many comments from people seeing it for the first time.  Some of the domestic geese are shown here:

Yours aren't included, but I still suspect that they came from a nearby farm.  Yes, they're interesting, no matter where they came from, and especially if from Egypt!  - Ric

Saturday, April 4, 2015

MLNP - The Usual Suspects

I walked around the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this chilly morning hoping for a new year bird but finding only the usual suspects.  Of the 22 species recorded, a Brown Creeper was probably "best".  There were still several American Tree Sparrows on the property. - Ric

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tundra Swans at Wastewater

March 31 Email:

Tundra Swans at the Wastewater today. - Dan Lockard

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Woodcocks Back at Blueberry Patch

American Woodcock returned last Thursday or Friday evening to the field by the blueberry patch near my house.  There were two or three peenting and flying tonight when Mike Boston came over.  Conditions were not good for photography, but Mike was able to get this shot before dark.

- Ric

Muskegon Channel Waterbirds Monday

March 23 Email:

I saw this Horned Grebe in the Muskegon Channel at the Silversides parking lot and one Long-tailed Duck and two pairs of White-winged Scoters.  - Carol Cooper

Monday, March 23, 2015

Roughleg and Bluebird at Wastewater Monday

March 23 Email:

Good morning.  Here are a couple shots from our trip to the Wastewater. 
- Terra Berry

Light-morph Rough-legged Hawk

Male Eastern Bluebird

Snow Owl Sunday

March 22 Email:

Snowy owl at the Wastewater today.  - Dan Lockard

I hope you didn't approach it.  - Ric

Sunday, March 22, 2015

15 People and 44 Bird Species Yesterday

See a brief report plus photos on our homepage from yesterday's Ottawa County field trip.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Killdeer and Ring-necked Duck at Wastewater

 I counted 5 Killdeer at the Wastewater today.

I also found this female Ring-necked Duck.

- Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hemlock Crossing This Morning

I birded Ottawa County's Hemlock Crossing Park from 9:00-10:00 this morning, then spent the next hour in the Nature Education Center watching Curtis Dykstra run his final Coffee with the Birds program of the season.

I recorded 20 bird species including Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Siskin and my first-for-this-year Red-winged Blackbird. Unfortunately yesterday's Rusty Blackbird did not make an appearance today.  This Gray Squirrel has figured how to eat from the park's "squirrel-proof" feeder.

Our field trip next week will conclude at Hemlock Crossing. Click here for further details.

- Ric