Saturday, August 16, 2014

39 Species on Field Trip Today

Ten of us followed Feller and Charlie DeWitt around the Wastewater properties this morning recording 39 species. Of note were Eared Grebe (perhaps Mike Boston's from the post below), Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Solitary Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel and Bobolink.  A few Travis Dewys photos are posted on our homepage.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Eared Grebe at the Wastewater

No pics worth posting but I saw an Eared Grebe along the east shore of the east lagoon at the Wastewater on Wednesday evening, 8/13/14.

Mike Boston

Good Birds at the Wastewater

Ken Sapowski, Feller DeWitt and I birded the Muskegon County Wastewater this morning and had some good birds:  American Avocet in the large west lagoon along the north shore, Red-necked Grebe and Red-necked Phalarope on the north shore of the large east lagoon, and Solitary Sandpipers in the southeast corner of the large east lagoon.

Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Morning Robin and Broad-winged Hawk

The two young Broad-winged Hawks (see July 28 post below) continue to show themselves around our yard every day, sometimes perching in the trees, sometimes flying overhead, and usually squeaking.

All the usual hawk-mobbing birds (chickadees, jays, nuthatches) go berzerk, but the robins seem most upset of all, encircling the hawks and often buzzing them.  Here are two unfriendly birds atop an oak in our backyard this morning.

- Ric

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Morning at the Wastewater

I spent the morning at Muskegon County Wastewater and saw 22 Sandhill Cranes.  Can fall weather be too far behind?  The shorebirds are building in number and the swallows are massing along the shoreline.

Charlie DeWitt

Birding MLNP with Californians

Tom and Jane Graley, members of Golden Gate Audubon, contacted me about birding Muskegon while she was here for her high school reunion.  We walked around the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning finding 26 species, none out of the ordinary.  Of note were a Caspian Tern, two Sandhill Cranes, an adult Bald Eagle, and Brian Johnson.

It was fun observing "ho-hum birds" like Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch through the eyes of the Californians.  We'll do it again Monday at other locations before the Graley's return to California.

- Ric

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Surprise at the Shop

Made a quick trip through the Wastewater this morning and got a picture of a young Red Tailed Hawk and was entertained by a dozen or so Cedar Waxwing at the Swanson-White Road intersection. Got out to my ice cream shop and had 7 Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron in my pond gorging themselves on frogs and little fish.

-  Don Neumann

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Early August Birds at Wastewater

August 2 Email:

Today's sightings from the Muskegon Wastewater: Osprey, Sandhill Cranes, Great Egret, swallows and some shorebirds.  - Dan Lockard

Dan, thanks for the report and pictures.  I'm back from California and able to post.  I'm calling your birds in the order below Great Egret, Osprey, Pectoral Sandpiper, Sanderling, two peeps (left Least Sandpiper; right either a Semipalmated Sandpiper or a lighter-plumaged Least Sandpiper) and Spotted Sandpiper.  I'd appreciate corrections to these calls. - Ric

And here are those corrections thanks to an August 7 email from Phil Chu:


I just checked in at the MCNC “Recent Sightings” page and noticed the identifications of Dan Lockard’s photos.  You’re right that the first one shows a Great Egret, the second an Osprey, the fourth an adult Sanderling, and the sixth an adult Spotted Sandpiper; however, the third one shows a juvenile Least Sandpiper, and the fifth shows two juvenile Leasts.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday at the Wastewater

Made a quick trip through the Muskegon County Wastewater this afternoon; the shorebirds seem to be increasing in numbers.  There are lots of swallows and Carol was able to get two nice pictures.

Charlie DeWitt

Monday, July 28, 2014

Broad-winged Yard Birds

Carol and I have heard many squeaky whistles from Broad-winged Hawks across the road this summer.  Today two juveniles came over to the trees in our yard while a third (maybe Mom) whistled from across the road.

- Ric

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lane's Landing and Wastewater This Morning

I found no gallinules this morning at Lane's Landing but recorded 25 other species from 7:00-8:30.  Four billion mosquitoes and four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (including these two females) buzzed among the branches from the inner gate up to the U-Pond.

Two hours meandering around the Wastewater produced 29 species including two Bobolinks, finally!  The juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (from the July 12 post below) was out of the woods on the south side ...

... and his mom was still swearing at me and upsetting the neighbors.

I came across these flowers on the southside grassfields.  Carol calls them Purple Cone Flowers.  I call them gorgeous.

- Ric

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Everyday Birds at Jennings Farm SGA

From 7:00-10:00 this morning I counted 28 bird species, none of them out of the ordinary, mostly on the northern portion of the Old Jennings Farm on State Game Area north of Bossett Road.  Lots of bird life!  This is definitely a place the club should take a field trip sometime.

I met a Gary Southard who knows the local area well.  He told me that there used to be three farm houses along the southern edge of the property all owned by the Jennings family and their kin farming these 600 acres.

These four pictures -- Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat female, Song Sparrow and wasp's nest -- were taken along the hedgerows lining the trail north from Mosquito Creek up to the woods.

- Ric

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good Birds at Lanes Landing SGA

Today I had a chance to go to the Muskegon State Game Area at Lane's Landing to look for the Moorhen family that Mike Boston reported.  I found an opening in the cattails at the northeast corner of the pond that gives a good view of the pond.  The Moorhens* were in the middle of the pond.

Charlie DeWitt

* This species was recently renamed "Common Gallinule" from "Common Moorhen" as noted in Charlie's text in his photos.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sandhill Cranes on the Sabbath

Sunday July 20 Email:

Much to my surprise I saw these four Sandhill Cranes across the street from my church this morning in Spring Lake on Savidge Street.

- Carol Cooper

Common Moorhens at Lane's Landing

Couldn't get any photos but I saw one adult Common Moorhen and four babies in the west "U" shaped pond at Lane's Landing on Sunday, 7/20/14.

Mike Boston