Wednesday, January 13, 2021

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Waves splashing over the south breakwall at Pere Marquette Park this morning made finding a Purple Sandpiper unlikely, but just a few minutes of binocular-scanning from the beach north of the wall produced one on the rocks halfway out to the elbow.

Three Long-tailed Ducks swam near mergansers beyond the elbow and two House Sparrows (Year Bird #36) perched on a fence near the dumpster behind the restaurant.

- Ric

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Good Birds at Pere Marquette Park Saturday

January 9 Emails:

We located at least three Purple Sandpipers at Pere Marquette Park feeding along the pier before the elbow.  Dozens of Long-tailed Ducks.  Conditions were great!  There was a Snowy Owl on top of the lighthouse that flew to the north pier fifty yards from the end sitting on the rock.  We also saw a White-winged Scoter and the fourth sandpiper fly by.

- Elizabeth Miller

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Red Crossbill on Saturday

January 2 Email:

HAPPY NEW YEAR BIRDING !   I had a Red Crossbill at the Wastewater this afternoon!  Down past the silos on Swanson along the edge of the road along with multiple American Tree Sparrows and Common Redpolls.

- Beth Miller

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas Peregrine: Can It Be Identified?

December 26 Email:

Merry Christmas!   I spent the afternoon at the Wastewater and I thought I would share a kind of cool experience.  I came across a young Peregrine Falcon near a huge flock of Northern Shovelers.  The falcon seemed very comfortable with my presence and the presence of other people in the area.  At one point, it launched from its perch, only to harass a Snowy Owl.  It returned several times to its perch after continually harassing the owl.  (I saw an eagle attack one of the owls last week, so they seem to have to deal with this sort of thing a lot).

After a while, the falcon launched in the other direction, toward the west lagoon.   It proceeded to knock down a Ruddy Duck, and after trying for over an hour to lift the duck from the ice, it gave up and flew away.  I noticed that the peregrine was banded.  I have attached a few images; the light was bad, but hopefully they will be of interest

Have a Happy New Year!   


- Kevin Feenstra

Keven, they certainly are of interest.  A fascinating account too.  Thanks!  That "butt shot" seems to show a silver band on the right leg with black "S" over blue "17" on the left.  Perhaps someone viewing this could give us more information about the bird.  It may be the same falcon I saw there on Nov. 17 (photo below) and has been reported frequently on eBird.  - Ric

Monday, December 21, 2020

Redpolls at the Wastewater

Common Redpolls

There was a flock of 200 plus Common Redpolls on the center dike at the Wastewater today.  They let me get real close.
- Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Birds on White Lake Friday

December 19 Email:

Attached are a few photos of some birds that were seen this past Friday.  Very surprisingly, we saw three separate Great Blue Herons on White Lake.  It was also nice to see the Snowy Owl way out on the ice away from the maddening crowd.

- Phil Willemstein

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Showing Off the Wastewater

I spent this morning "showing off" the Wastewater properties to a pair of birders from Kentucky (communicating car-to-car with walkie-talkies).  We saw a nice collection of winter birds among our 27 total species.

A drive up the center dike provided nice views of a young Snowy Owl and flocks of Snow Buntings (a lifer for one of the Kentuckians) and Common Redpolls.

Through-the-windshield view of the cooperative Snowy Owl

Other species of interest included Northern Shoveler, American Black Duck, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Rough-legged Hawk, two more Snowy Owls and American Tree Sparrow.  

- Ric

Friday, December 4, 2020

Great Egrets at Spring Lake

December 4, 5:21 p.m. Email:

I just saw these 3 Great Egrets at Mill Point Park in Spring Lake.

iPhone image of Great Egrets

- Carol Cooper

Monday, November 30, 2020

Sandpiper and Snowy Owl at Muskegon Pier

Purple Sandpiper

Snowy Owl

I found this Purple Sandpiper and Snowy Owl on the south pier at Muskegon.

- Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Muskegon Wastewater Birds on Saturday

This morning I saw 16 of 18 species reported at the Wastewater today  Four Hooded Mergansers (2 male, 2 female) were on the Clay Pond among many Mallards and Canada Geese.

A flock of 75-100 Common Redpolls foraged and flew near the middle of the center dike.

A young Snowy Owl napped further north along the rocks on the east side of the dike.

A pair of very light Red-tailed Hawks sat in the trees west of the west lagoon. 

Other species of interest included hundreds of Northern Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks on the big lagoons, Bufflehead, Bald Eagle (2 adult, 2 immature), Rough-legged Hawk (dark morph) and American Tree Sparrow.  An interesting old bird was Jim Ponshair looking for birds on Swanson north of the granery.  He had seen a flock of Snow Buntings (a species I did not see).

Back home I read a report from Chip Francke early this afternoon of a Northern Shrike near where Jim and I had talked and a Snowy Owl along White Road between the observatory and the rocket launch drive.

- Ric

Friday, November 27, 2020

Muskegon Wastewater Thanksgiving Afternoon

Common Redpolls

American Kestrel
Photo by Carol DeWitt

- Charlie DeWitt

Friday, November 20, 2020

Redpolls and Buntings Friday Afternoon

Thanks to Mike Boston (see post below) Carol and I drove out to the Wastewater this afternoon and saw 100+ Common Redpolls and 100+ Snow Buntings (one flock being chased by a Merlin).  There were about 10 other cars of birders looking too, so the word got out!

- Ric

Redpolls at Wastewater Friday Morning


November 20 8:13 a.m. Email:

There are currently 100+ Common Redpolls on the center dike at the Wastewater and a similar number of Snow Buntings.   - Mike Boston

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Purple Sandpiper at Pere Marquette Park

 Pictures of the Purple Sandpiper that I located at Pere Marquette Park this morning at 11:35 a.m.

-  Charlie DeWitt

Purple Sandpiper on South Pier Tuesday


November 17 Email, 11:35 a.m.:

There is a Purple Sandpiper at Pere Marquette Park on the south pier almost to the right elbow right now.

- Charlie DeWitt