Saturday, November 18, 2017

Great Black-backed Gulls at Grand Haven


Great Black-backed Gull

There were three adult Great Black-backed Gulls at Grand Haven State Park this morning.

- Charlie DeWitt

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Long Birding Caravan on Caleb's Field Trp


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.


- Ric

Saturday, November 11, 2017

No Fox Sparrow at Hemlock Crossing


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

Hairy Woodpecker pair by Phil Willemstein

Blue Jay
- Ric

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Three November Events


Details regarding our program (Nov. 16) and two field trips (Nov. 17 and 18) are posted on our homepage.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Trumpeter Swans at Black Lake This Morning


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.

- Ric

Friday, October 27, 2017

Good Grebe! Bad Downy!


Two October 27 Emails:

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.

- Ken Sapkowski


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Updated Spider Information from Mike


October 25 Email (regarding previous post):

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

Mike's size-reference photo.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Spider and Owl Reports


Two October 24 Emails:

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

- - -

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Bahama Mama Made it!


October 22 Email:

Bahama Mama has arrived back at Abaco.

- Carol Cooper


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Upper Macatawa Field Trip Report


Pictures and details of our 43-species field trip to the Upper Macatawa Natural Area this morning are posted on our homepage.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday Morning at Black Lake Park


 White-throated Sparrow




There was a lot of sparrow activity at Black Lake Park this morning.  I saw White-throated, White-crowned, Song and Swamp Sparrow.

- Charlie DeWitt

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Yellow Rumps and Ruby Crowns Today


There were several Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets accompanied by Black-capped Chickadees foraging the woods east of my house this morning.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

- Ric

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Finally Some Raptors Migrating!


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.

Turkey Vulture

Red-tailed Hawk
- Ric

Juncos Are Back in Town.


 Dark-eyed Junco


I saw 20 Dark-eyed Juncos at Ellis Road today.

- Charlie DeWitt

Monday Morning at Black Lake Park


 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 Northern Flickers

 Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

I spent 2 1/2 hours at Black Lake Park and counted 22 species of birds. There were 14 Pied-billed Grebes on the lake.

- Charlie DeWitt