Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hawks and People on Jeff's Dune Today

By pure coincidence Jeff Johnson and his brother Tim found me atop "Jeff's Dune" at Muskegon State Park this morning. Larry Burke and Pat (?) (another Grand Rapids birder) also showed up.

From 11:30-12:30 we recorded 57 raptors: Sharp-shinned Hawk-47, American Kestrel-4, Cooper's Hawk-2, Broad-winged Hawk-2, Northern Harrier-1 and Turkey Vulture-1 (all but the redtails, eagle and vulture apparently migrating).

Here are Jeff and Tim scanning north and an immature Red-tailed Hawk perching south.

- Ric

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wastewater and State Game Area Saturday

Lake Effect clouds and reports of the Sabine's Gull took me east this morning.  Miles McNally saw the gull near the center churning lagoon at Wastewater five minutes before I arrived at 8:45.  No one else (including Rick Brigham, Steve Minard and Phil Vreeman) saw it while I was there.

I left at 9:30 and spent the next two hours at State Game Area walking along the Maple River from headquarters out toward Lane's Landing.  The only warbler was Common Yellowthroat.

Other sightings among twenty species included two Sandhill Cranes, several Wood Ducks, a Red-shouldered Hawk and this Lincoln's Sparrow.

- Ric

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sabine's Gull at Wastewater Friday

At 3:30 this afternoon Hank Veldman reported that he and Dave Elbrecht were watching a Sabine's Gull along the north shore of the West Lagoon at the Wastewater.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

After the Storm

After the rain on Wednesday I spent some time at the Grand Haven north pier.  I saw 3 Sanderlings, 1 Least Sandpiper and this Semipalmated Plover.

Charlie DeWitt

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Baird's Sandpiper Saturday at the Wastewater

Here are two photographs from Saturday morning at the Wastewater.  I'm not one to I.D. shorebirds, but after consulting some books I'm counting this as a Baird's Sandpiper.  It was foraging along the north side of the west lagoon after Jim Ponshair and the feral cat (see comments for details) and before Tom Beeke and the Hudsonian Godwits (which reportedly departed by Labor Day).

- Ric

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hudsonian Godwits at Wastewater

I walked along the north side of the West Lagoon at Wastewater this morning looking unsuccessfully for Mike Boston's Black-bellied Plover.

There were few shorebirds of any kind and when Jim Ponshair drove by, he reported the same.  After Jim departed, Tom Beeke drove up and asked if I'd seen the Hudsonian Godwits in the adjacent churning lagoon!

Sure enough, there were two in the northwest section of the drawn-down lagoon (second from the west).  A Northern Harrier flew over, scaring the godwits over to the northeast corner where they settled in with three Stilt Sandpipers!

So, a very good morning!

- Ric

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Black-bellied Plover at the Wastewater

I saw a Black-bellied Plover along the north shore of the West Lagoon at the Wastewater on Thursday, August 28th. I went back on the 29th and saw this bird, maybe the same one.

Mike Boston

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Wastewater

Still plenty of hawks. This Red-tailed Hawk was in the basins as were 2 Great Egrets. I saw 8 Sandhill Cranes fly over and lots of baby ducks on the west lagoon. Seems pretty late in the season for the size of some of the ducks.

Don Neumann

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good Hawk Day at the Wastewater

Carol and I did a short trip to the Muskegon County Wastewater on Sunday afternoon.  We saw eight Red-tailed Hawks. We were able to get real close to a juvenile, and Carol got a great picture (her side of the truck).  I took a picture of one leaving a tree.

Not much else going on at the Wastewater; very few shorebirds and swallows.

Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Nature Preserve and Breakwater Today

I spent a couple hours at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning finding only 21 bird species.  A Caspian Tern foraged over the yacht club west of the preserve, a Peregrine Falcon bothered some small birds south of the river, and a Marsh Wren almost shook my hand along the east boardwalk.

Later I walked the south breakwall at Pere Marquette Park. Along the rocks between the elbow and the lighthouse were several Semipalmated Sandpipers, a few Least Sandpipers, one Sanderling (frightened by walkers before I could take its picture), and a female Red-breasted Merganser that may not have been real healthy.

- Ric

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