Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pelican/s at White Lake

Earlier today Caleb Putnam posted this:

Taken from Mich-Listers Facebook page yesterday - seen at Goodrich Park on White Lake in Whitehall at an unknown time yesterday.  If anyone has a chance to check on this bird today, please do! Spots to check would be anywhere on the circumference of White Lake from Lake Michigan to Whitehall and potentially on the impoundments between the causeway and US-31.  Please update us all right away if you confirm the bird as a Brown Pelican.

Now it's noon.  Carol and I headed up there this morning.  We were unable to find a Brown Pelican.  However, on the Montague side from the Maple Grove Yacht Club parking lot we observed this American White Pelican flying and then landing along the shore a few hundred yards east of us.  We totally lucked out to be at the right place and the right time for Year Bird #169 (if I were counting).  We kept looking around White Lake but could not find another pelican.  - Ric

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Late Report: Kinglets at Black Lake Park

On October 18 I counted 12 Ruby-crowned Kinglets at Black Lake Park.  Some were very tame and gave me a chance to photograph them up close.

- Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Evening Grosbeaks Etc. on Saturday

Ted Ogren had five or six Evening Grosbeaks on his feeder about 2:30 this afternoon!

Only three raptors north of the channel at Muskegon State Park this morning (2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Bald Eagle).  The path up to "Jeff's Dune" held several of these "digger wasp" holes(Thanks to anyone who can tell us more specifically what animal creates these "perfectly-drilled" holes.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Lillian Remus's 100th Today !

Richard Mullally's email and photos regarding longtime nature club member Lillian Remus are posted on our homepage.

Red Phalarope and Little Gull

October 23 Email:

I saw this Red Phalarope at the Wastewater on Sunday afternoon.  I didn't know about the Little Gull* so I missed that, but this was a nice surprise.

- Mike Boston

A Mich-listers report says the Little Gull was still at the same location as in Ken's post below after 5:00 p.m. today (Tuesday 10/23).   - Ric

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Little Gull Sunday Afternoon

Ken Sapkowski reports that the Little Gull first reported by Steve Minard yesterday was still at the Wastewater this afternoon.  At 1:00 it was in with a flock of Bonaparte's Gulls near the easternmost aeration cell (Number 5) behind the administration building near the north end of the center dike.

Mergansers and Siskins on Saturday

Had 2 pair of Hooded Mergansers on my pond this morning, and just before the rain moved in a group of Pine Siskins flew by.  Don Neumann

Thanks for the report and photos, Don.  Our group was birding in Ravenna at that time.  A short report with photos is posted on our homepage - Ric

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

White-fronted Geese and Eared Grebe Remain

October 15 to Mich-Listers:

The previously reported White-fronted Geese at Muskegon Waste Water were seen this afternoon by myself and Robert Bochenek.  We viewed them in a field below us on the dike road in with say 130 Canadas.  We picked out three of them.  We also saw an Eared Grebe from the central causeway.

In brutal weather we tried for the Mew Gull at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River without success. The waves were washing over the break walls and nothing could rest on them.  


- Karl Overman

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Kinglet, White-fronted Geese and Eared Grebe

October 12 Email:

This must have flown into the glass door at a store we are at in Grand Rapids.  Just moved it over and set it down.  - Mike VanderStelt

Golden-crowned Kinglet by Mike VanderStelt

October 14 to Mich-listers, 10:30 a.m., from his iPhone:

At the Muskegon Wastewater facility just past the viaduct between the two pools there are 4 Great White Fronted Geese in a farm field with Canada GeeseThe Eared Grebe was near the landfill corner.

Ed LewandowskiMacomb County

Friday, October 5, 2018

Migrating Hawks on Thursday

Jeff Johnson, back in West Michigan for awhile, phoned yesterday (October 4, 2018) with these numbers of migrating raptors after a couple hours on "Jeff's Dune"* at Muskegon State Park north of the Muskegon Channel

Turkey Vulture -  2  (counted as "raptors" by hawk-watchers)
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 5
Cooper's Hawk - 2
Red-shouldered Hawk - 1
Red-tailed Hawk - 6
Unidentified Accipiter - 1  (either a sharpie or a Coop)
Unidentified Raptors - 3

Jeff noted that these numbers are unofficial.  The flight was very high on a mostly blue sky, so a few numbers are "best estimates".

He also observed many Blue Jays, three migrating Sandhill Cranes, three non-migrating Bald Eagles (2 adults, 1 immature), and one non-migrating Red-tailed Hawk.

 The dune with the trail post northeast of the ranger station.  In the fall of 1998 Jeff conducted an actual hawk-watch from that location which was followed to a lesser degree in subsequent years by members of our club.  Those counts indicated that an east-wind element is not necessary for a raptor migration over Muskegon.  (I think some of the migrating raptors fly lower on an east wind and are thus easier to see.)  Yesterday during Jeff's count the wind was from the north.  - Ric

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bugs, Birds, and Deer from Newaygo

October 1 Email:

Hi Ric:

Here’s a few pics from the Muskegon River around Newaygo.  Every year we have a tiny mayfly that hatches on the cloudy days in the fall called a Blue Winged Olive.  To give you an idea how tiny they are, look at the picture of the Spotted Sandpiper.  The birds are drawn to the river when this happens and there are a lot of smaller birds by the edges of the river.   
Have a great week…

- Kevin Feenstra

Kevin, always good to see your pics, and you have a great week too!  Those smaller birds look like what birdwatchers call "Empy flycatchers" (in the genus "Empidonax").  If so, they're very hard to tell apart unless they sing.  Probably Least, Willow or Alder, possibly Acadian, and even Yellow-bellied is possible during migration.  If anyone seeing these has other thoughts, please comment.  - Ric

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Blue Jays Migrating; Hawks Not

I spent an hour this morning near the east end of the Muskegon Channel.  Despite no east in the wind, I was hoping a few hawks might fly by.  They did not.  460 Blue Jays did.  I also counted 10 other bird species plus a few butterflies.

Outbound Lake Express

- Ric

Friday, September 21, 2018

Two Plover Species at the Wastewater

September 20 Email:

There were four American Golden Plovers and one Black-bellied Plover on the center dike Thursday evening.

- Mike Boston

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Birds, Bugs and a Game of Tag

Previewing next weekend's field trip I walked around some trails at Black Lake and Hoffmaster Parks this morning.

Sunlight filtering into the woods at Black Lake Park.

Black Lake was birdy (18 species including Cooper's and Red-shouldered Hawks, Belted Kingfisher and the usual backyard birds); Hoffmaster was not.  So long as I kept moving, bugs weren't bothersome, but stopping for even a second brought swarms of mosquitoes, some even landing on DEET-treated skin.  Hopefully there will be fewer next week.

At 9:45 on the Christmas tree field south of Judson east of Wood, a small group of American Crows harrassed and were harrassed by a large juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  All started on the ground, then flew after each just above the saplings, then landed, then flew up and chased again, several times for several minutes.  One of the crows crawked like a raven during these confrontations, and the hawk or one of the crows bill-clicked like an owl.  It was fun to watch! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

White-fronted Geese at Wastewater Today

September 13 Email:

While birding at Wastewater today I found three Greater White-fronted Geese mixed in with many Canada Geese. They were on the west side of Swanson Road south of White Road. Got a picture of one of them.

- Jim Zervos