Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Butterfly and a Peacock Today

July 18 Email:

Best shot I could get, either the breeze was rocking the leaves, or ...  ;)


Also, we have a Peacock out here, hanging with some Turkeys!  I don't know where it came from, but I'll ask it as soon as I finally see it for myself.  A neighbor got this picture of it crossing the street in front of her house:


- Mike Vanderstelt

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ken's Shorebird Photos

Regarding the previous post:

Attached are the five photos I put on my eBird list today ... Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers were the other shorebirds we saw.  Birded the low water cement cell only.
- Ken Sapkowski

Short-billed Dowitchers
Stilt Sandpiper
American Avocets
Willet and Lesser Yellowlegs


Shorebirds at the WW on Saturday

Ken Sapkowski phoned at noon today to report Short-billed Dowitchers, Stilt Sandpipers, American Avocets and a Willet in the drawn-down aeration cell at the Wastewater.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mocker Ruins Starling Photo

July 6 Email:

I was at the maintenance building on Laketon at the south Wastewater property this morning and I was trying to get a good picture of this European Starling when the Northern Mockingbird that's been hanging around photobombed my shot.

- Mike Boston

Tough break, Mike.  Could've been a good shot.  - Ric

Friday, July 6, 2018

Upland Sandpiper from England

The British visitors (pictured in the June 12 post below) emailed this photo and message yesterday:  

Hi Ric,

Thanks very much for a great birding trip.  We really enjoyed it.  Image of the Upland Sandpiper is attached as promised.

Best Wishes for the future,
- Keith and Maureen

Keith and Maureen were lucky charms that day.  The Upland Sandpiper mom walked right beside our car requesting that we leave.  Just beyond her (unbeknownst to us that day) was the Henslow's Sparrow territory.  And just beyond that was the Northern Mockingbird- Ric 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Snake with Goby

July 3 Follow-up Email:

Hi Ric:

Sorry they flew by and I was preoccupied so no pic  The only thing I got yesterday was a snake eating a goby.   

Have a happy holiday!


- Kevin 

Snakes and fish are "nature" too.  Thanks!  - Ric

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Night-herons, Egrets, Etc. on Muskegon River

July 3 Email:

Hi Ric:

Just a quick note:  I saw two Black-crowned Night-herons downstream from Giles Road on the North Branch of the Muskegon River about half way from the launch to Muskegon Lake.  There were also egrets, bitterns, Little Green Herons, etc.  I just thought I would pass this along in case anyone is interested.  

I hope you are well…


- Kevin Feenstra

Yes, I'm doing fine, and yes I'm sure people will be interested.  Thanks!  - Ric

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Too Hot and Muggy for Birding

It was already so muggy at 7:00 on Harbor Island that condensed water coated my camera lens as I tried to photograph a Marsh Wren straddling two blades of grass.  It kept singing as it flew up to some phragmites, so I took its picture there after drying off the lens.

The mugginess continued as temperatures rose into the 80's.  I quit birding Grand Haven at 9:30 with nothing unusual to report.

- Ric

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Pelicans Reported at Wastewater Wednesday

June 27 Email:

American White Pelicans at MCWS today reported by Jeff Kunitzer.  
- Ken Sapkowski

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ruddy Shelducks at Wastewater Friday

June 22 Email:


In case you want this for the web site, there were 4 Ruddy Shelducks at the Wastewater in the large drawn-down cell this morning.  Although presumably not countable here, they are interesting nonetheless.

- Chip Francke

Thanks, Chip.  Yes, if it's a bird, I usually post it whether it's "countable" or not.  - Ric

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Least Bitterns Tuesday at M.L.N.P.

June 19 Email:

I went to the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning looking for anything interesting and these two Least Bitterns popped up.

- Mike Boston

Sunday, June 17, 2018

More Good Saturday Birds

June 17 Email:

I was out birding yesterday with my wife and a fellow birder.  I was surprised to find a Northern Shoveler and her chicks (1st photo) as well as a female Wood Duck (2nd photo). These were firsts for me at the Wastewater ponds.  There were at least four male Dickcissels (3rd photo) and one Wilson's Pharalope (in the dry well).  The other species of note was a pair of Eared Grebes, though were were many other great birds to see.  

- Rich Schadle  

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16 Field Trip Minority Report

I was at the Ferguson Farm by 8:00 a.m. as planned.  No one showed up until about 8:40 a.m. and then it was just long enough to say "It's raining.  I am going home."

You would think that if the club members would bird in weather like this (see picture above) that a little rain wouldn't be a big deal.  Granted, lightning can be a real game changer, but what are the odds?

So I decided to lead the field trip anyway.  At Ferguson Farm I had a Brown Thrasher, American Crow, Blue Jay and Indigo Bunting.  The rain let up some so I decided to check out the Walleye Pond.

On the way into the pond I had a Gray Catbird, Common Grackle, American Robin, Song Sparrow and Wood Duck.  The rain had stopped by the time I got to the parking lot, so I walked the south edge of the pond and picked up a Baltimore Oriole, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Mourning Dove, Hooded Merganser, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Belted Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwing and Green Heron.  

On the way out, I stopped at the Cedar Creek Bridge and heard a Great Crested Flycatcher calling.  It was bird number 21 for the morning.  It was 10:00 a.m. and everyone on the field trip ( I ) wanted to go to the Muskegon County Wastewater and look for the Northern Mockingbird.  So I called the field trip over at 10:00 a.m.

Henslow's Sparrow

I found the Northern Mockingbird where it had been reported on Laketon by the maintenance building.

On June 12, Ken Sapkowski and Douglas Howerzyl reported on ebird that there was a Henslow's Sparrow west of the model airplane field in the thick grass on the north side of the road.  That is where I found it today too.

- Charlie DeWitt

Charlie, as one who went home, I salute you.  You found everyone on your field trip some excellent birds!  - Ric

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mocker Still There Thursday Morning

June 14 Email:

The Northern Mockingbird continues at the south Wastewater property.  I saw it this morning at the building on Laketon, first sitting on a wire and then on a car parked at the building.  It was on the door of the car looking at its own reflection in the car's outside mirror and appeared agitated by the sight.

- Mike Boston

Northern Mockingbird by Mike Boston

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Have You Ever Seen an Oriole Do This?

June 11 Photos and Email:

Hi Ric,

I thought your readers might be interested in the behavior of a male Baltimore Oriole I saw in Holland, MI today. I took the pictures with my old iPhone 5s, but you can still see the behavior. 

I have a feeder out with 1/2 an orange and a small amount of grape jelly. He first flew into the feeder with a big fat spider in his mouth, grabbed some grape jelly and left with both.  He later returned with a caterpillar and a grub in his mouth, grabbed some grape jelly and left with all three in his mouth.

I asked the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology about this behavior and they thought he was probably gathering food to take back to the nest to feed his young. 

I have not noticed this behavior before and wondered if many of your readers have seen it. Can any of your readers identify the spider, caterpillar or grub?

Happy Birding!    

- John Strauss

John, thanks for the photos and description.  I've never seen our orioles mix anything with the jelly they take to their kids, and I don't do bugs.  Hopefully others have some answers?  - Ric