Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birds at Grand Haven This Morning


I spent some time walking Linear Park on Harbor Island this morning before meeting Jeff Johnson for some hawkwatching in downtown Grand Haven.


The 21 species on the island included Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher, Catharus thrush (probably Hermit), four identifiable warblers (Magnolia, Palm, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green) and this mystery bird:  


A Yellow-rumped Warbler showed itself nicely ...


... but most of the little birds foraged deep in the thickets and branches like this Magnolia Warbler:


Jeff and I shivered in the cold north wind from 10:00-12:00 recording a local Red-tailed Hawk plus 18 migrating raptors:  8 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 American Kestrel, 1 Unidentified Accipiter, 1 Peregrine Falcon, and my 182nd Michigan Year Bird: a Northern Goshawk that showed itself twice on the other side of the channel during the first hour, then powered its way south shortly before noon.

- Ric

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Golden-Plovers at the Wastewater



I saw these American Golden-Plovers on the center dike at the Wastewater on Sunday, the 28th.  I also saw two Black-bellied Plovers on the north shore of the west lagoon.

Mike Boston

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hawk Migration Friday at Grand Haven


On Friday, Sept. 26, Jeff Johnson counted 156 migrating raptors at Grand Haven from 10:30 a.m. until noon: 136 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 9 Broad-winged Hawks, 6 Cooper's Hawks 4 American Kestrels and 1 Northern Harrier.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hawk Migration Thursday at Grand Haven


Jeff Johnson reports what appeared to be the following migrating raptors crossing the Grand River Channel at Grand Haven Thursday morning between 10:55 and 11:55:  3 American Kestrel, 2 Northern Harrier, 81 Sharp-shinned Hawk, 8 Cooper's Hawk and 1 Northern Goshawk.  All birds were easily detectable and flying by quickly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hawk Migration Wednesday at MSP


Unlike last Thursday, Jeff Johnson and I met intentionally this morning at Muskegon State Park for some hawkwatching at "his dune" north of the channel.  From 10:00 - 11:30 we counted 42 migrating raptors (37 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 3 Northern Harriers, 1 American Kestrel and 1 Cooper's Hawk) plus the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (pictured in the post below) and another kestrel which did not appear to be migrating.

Plenty of Northern Flickers on the property again this morning plus a Pileated Woodpecker in the trees to our west.

I saw this Merlin perched in a tree north of the channel on my drive in, and this Eastern Phoebe was hawking bugs from a picnic table below the dune.

- Ric



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).  I left at 12:30 while the others counted more than 50 migrating raptors in the next hour as well.

Here are Jeff and Larry 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