Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Redtail Captures Muskrat?

March 19 Email:

Saw this guy this morning.  I think he had a muskrat.  - Carol Cooper

"This guy" appears to be a young Red-tailed Hawk.  Carol took the photo with her iPhone.  - Ric

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Rusty Blackbirds Saturday Afternoon

March 17 Email:

We had at least 4 Rusty Blackbirds calling past the Muskegon County State Game Area headquarters at the yellow gate at the end of Messinger Road shortly after noon today.

- Ken Sapkowski

Saturday, March 17, 2018

46 Species at the Wastewater This Morning

Noteworthy among the 46 species counted on our field trip to the Wastewater properties this morning were Snowy Owl, Wilson's Snipe, Pine Siskin, Rough-legged Hawk (one dark, one light morph), Sandhill Crane, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Shrike.  More details are posted on our homepage.

Afterward Marc Miedema saw five Greater White-fronted Geese west of Swanson Road north of the Musketawa Trail.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Quiet Morning East of Muskegon

With visions of longspurs in my head (Ken's report below), I drove around some farmland east of Ravenna this morning before heading to the Wastewater.  Very little bird life out there; a Wild Turkey, some Killdeer, etc., but no longspurs.

I counted 19 bird species at the Wastewater, nothing remarkable.  An American Tree Sparrow, a few Song Sparrrows and three Horned Larks on the southside.  No shrike.

I'm guessing this piece of equipment on the southside
has to do with windmills?

A male Belted Kingfisher was on the landfill fence by the East Lagoon and this male Hooded Merganser (and a pair of Common Mergansers) were far down the White Road ditch east of Swanson.  Two visiting birders said they'd had Eastern Meadowlarks in the cells between White and the West Lagoon this morning.

- Ric

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Lapland Longspurs Reported

March 8 to Mich-Listers:

NE corner of Ottawa County.  8th Ave 200 yds north of Truman.  Homogenous flock of 150-200 birds.  Look for a yellow post and a small area to pull off and point your car east.  Some of the corn rows have bare ground today and they were in there thick.  About 60 yards out.

-  Ken Sapkowski

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Hawk with a Headache

March 4 Email:

This morning we heard a loud “thunk” on one of our windows and looked out to see what was going on. We saw a raptor lying on the deck, so I went out, covered it with a towel, wrapped it up, and put it into a large shopping bag. The bird started stirring before I could even get back into the house, so I opened the bag and the bird fluttered out and landed on the railing. It appeared to be an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk.  I took these pictures.

- Jim & Tracy Zervos

Thanks for sharing the experience and the pictures!  - Ric

The Migration Is Underway

I was down in Ohio last week with limited time on the computer.  Several people sent me information about Muskegon birds: Greg DeWeerd a light-morph Rough-legged Hawk southeast of Muskegon, Ted Ogren a Great Horned Owl and Northern Shrike on Harbor Island in Grand Haven, Ken Sapkowski waterbirds on the fields near the Musketawa Trail along Swanson Road (see Mike Boston's report below) plus a Killdeer, and this Friday email and photo from Jim Zervos sent from his iPad:

Ric, I was out birding today and found a large raft of mostly Canvasbacks and Greater Scaup on White Lake at the dead end of White Lake Drive.  The most Canvasbacks I have ever seen in one raft.

Fortunately Charlie DeWitt posted the stuff below last week so the site stayed "active".   

At my son's place north of Dayton the robins and vultures were already everywhere and I was able to distinguish his Carolina Chickadees (from the Black-capped's we have up here) with some good views.  

The migration seems underway everywhere!

- Ric

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Great Morning at Grand Haven North Pier

 Long-tailed Duck

 White-winged Scoter

Snowy Owl

This morning on the Grand Haven North pier 99% of the ice was gone so I could go out to the end where this owl was.  Yesterday I had a pair of Killdeer fly over.

- Charlie DeWitt

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Shrike, Siskins and Fighting Geese Monday

 Northern Shrike
In the open field just north of the Black Lake Park parking lot.

 Canada Geese
From the north viewing stand I saw these two geese fighting.
It went on for about two minutes.

After Black Lake Park I went to Lake Harbor Park and found ten Pine Siskins along the trail leading to Lake Michigan.

Pine Siskin

Common Goldeneye by the icebergs

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Waterbirds Congregating East of Muskegon

February 24 Email:

I took a ride down Swanson Road this afternoon, and the flooded fields on the west side south of the Musketawa Trail are filling up with geese and ducks.  Along with the hundreds of Canada Geese and Mallards there were several Snow Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese, as well as Northern Pintail and American Wigeon. There were also Sandhill Cranes along the north side of the trail and Red-winged Blackbirds along Moorland Road.

- Mike Boston

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Birding

Greater Scaup and White-winged Scoters

I birded the Grand Haven Channel today and found 6 White-winged Scoters and about 100 Greater Scaup.  Then I went to the Muskegon Channel and there were no waterfowl at all in the channel.

Redheads and Ring-necked Ducks

On the way home I stopped at Little Black Lake (east side) and found at least 200 Redheads and a few Ring-necked Ducks.

- Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday at Muskegon Wastewater

Horned Larks
Photo by Carol DeWitt

Carol and I took a quick trip the Wastewater so I could look for a Snow Bunting, ( #61, Ric, not that it matters).  We saw at least 50 Horned Larks, 3 Red-tailed Hawks and 1 Cooper's/Sharp-shined Hawk (I couldn't tell which one it was)  Same old ducks and geese. What was surprising was no gulls on the dump or the large lagoons.

- Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, February 17, 2018

February 17 Field Trip Report

Details regarding today's 32-species field trip are posted on our homepage.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cedar Waxwings at Grand Haven

 Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

At 9:00 this morning there were 10 Cedar Waxwings by the Snug Harbor Restaurant along the Grand Haven Channel.

- Charlie DeWitt

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

White-winged Scoters at Muskegon Channel

 White-winged Scoter

There were two White-winged Scoters at the Muskegon Channel at the east end by Muskegon Lake.


These two Redheads were at Lake Harbor Park.

- Charlie DeWitt