To see all the details in some of the pictures, right-click them. From the mini-list choose "Open link in new window". In that window click the picture for actual size, often too big to fit your monitor. Scroll around to appreciate all the details. Then click again to see the entire picture.
Over 45 people in 21 vehicles followed Caleb Putnam on his Michigan DNR Field Trip around the Wastewater lagoons this morning. It was by far the most vehicles I've ever seen driving together while actively bird-watching.
There were not as many birds, particularly waterbirds, as we had hoped for. Among the notables were a young Bald Eagle panicking the duck flocks over the east lagoon, two American Black Ducks, a Long-tailed Duck and hundreds of Snow Buntings foraging on and flying around the center dike.
Following some recent Ottawa County eBird reports of Fox Sparrow, I drove down to Hemlock Crossing this morning with hopes of seeing one. No such luck. I did, however, see Phil Willemstein, Marcia Fellows, and a few dozen birds of ten species at the feeders including five American Tree Sparrows.
Before the rains I enjoyed a walk around the south half of Black Lake Park this morning. Besides the usual species there were two Trumpeter Swans out on the lake. One gave the "trombone mouthpiece" call before the pair flew off to the northeast.
I was at the Wastewater yesterday and came across this and another Eared Grebe. They were in the southeast corner of the large east lagoon.
- Phil Willemstein
Never assume woodpeckers are on your siding just looking for bugs. Our Downy Woodpecker knows it's warm in there. Beyond the blue styrofoam insulation is the fluffy stuff. That's where it's cozy. This guy started the hole last year and I boarded it over as a temporary measure. I have not gotten around to replacing the board. The cover board fell off and the bugger resumed his project.
I had looked at a site for a brown recluse and found a picture of one, but it wasn't a website from a university or such. Somewhere at that site there was an ability for people to put in their own pictures which caused me to mis-identify this spider. After more research I have come to the conclusion that this is a "Carolina wolf spider" the largest spider in Michigan. I should have put a saddle on it and tried to ride it! - Mike VanderStelt
I think this might be a Brown Recluse spider. Its legs are curled because it is dead. I sprayed it with some automotive brake cleaner, but I got a good picture of it. I didn't want to do it while it was alive because I didn't know how fast they could move, and I didn't want to "p--- it off" with my hand down there. 😲
- Mike VanderStelt
I don't blame you! Thanks for the photo. I don't know if it's a recluse or not. Maybe someone will post a comment or send an email. - Ric
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Just a quick note and a photo to let you know that the Short-eared Owls are back at the Wastewater facility.
- Jerry Vis
Jerry, that's good to know. Without Mike Moran anymore, we're not as informed as we used to be about Short-eared's out there. - Ric
Today was the third time this season that I'd hoped to see some hawks migrating; the first two times were disappointments. This morning I watched for 90 minutes from the south wall of the Muskegon Channel east of the USS McLane.
I counted 39 migrating raptors (29 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 8 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 American Kestrel), 47 migrating Turkey Vultures, plus 13 probably-migrating Canada Geese and ??migrating Blue Jays (220 total, most probably migrating, but due to conditions only ~75 visible streaming southbound over the channel.
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