Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Owls Here and There

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Today I spoke on the phone with a lady who lives near the Muskegon Channel and has had a Snowy Owl on the roof of her house several times lately including this morning!  Her original description sounded like a lighter plumaged bird than the one posted earlier this year on these pages, but after looking more closely at this photo that she has subsequently sent, both she and I think it could be the same owl.  Others' comments welcome.
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Earlier this morning I birded the south Wastewater fields, clay ponds and wood lots tallying 29 species in a couple hours including four year birds (Eastern Towhee, Wood Duck, Field Sparrow and Tree Swallow) raising my species total to 90, but who's counting?  I arrived at 6:55 in time to scare two Short-eared Owls up from Swanson Road about a half mile south of Apple Ave.
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- Ric
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Muskegon Wastewater System--Laketon/Swanson Fields, Muskegon, US-MI
Mar 28, 2012 6:55 AM - 8:55 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
Comments:    Both Clay Ponds, Abandoned Orchard, and Seba South of Laketon
29 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  200
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  4
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  4
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  1
gull sp. (Larinae sp.)  25
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  6
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)  2    6:55 a.m. Laketon 1/2 mile S. of Apple
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  2
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)  2
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  12
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  2
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  10
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  7
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)  1
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  7
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  12
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  4
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  15
blackbird sp. (Icteridae sp.)  100    flock flying between the clay ponds
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  2
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New eBird Gadget Below - Thanks, Zachary !

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Scroll to the bottom of this page (tapping the END key will be faster, then HOME key for back to here) to enjoy an impressive Blog Gadget created by Zachary DeBruine.
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I knew nothing about this until Ken Sapkowski mentioned (March 22 post below) his seeing the Virginia Rail that Brian Johnson had posted.  Posted where? I wondered.  "Zachary DeBruine's gadget", Ken replied, and subsequent emails from Zachary taught me how to include it on this page.
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I tried posting it along the left margin, but spacing didn't work so well.  That's why it's at the bottom and probably will remain there.  I've used the GPS latitude and longitude coordinates for the City of Muskegon, a radius of 20 miles and a "look back" period of one week, but will gladly tweak those if people have better suggestions.  Clicking the green arrow at the end of an entry will display a map of the location of that sighting.
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Meanwhile THANK YOU, ZACHARY (and Ken) for a great addition to this page!
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Of Grebes and Windsurfers at the Ovals

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Nature photographer Darlene Friedman of Novi, seeing our Saturday post about the Horned Grebes at Pere Marquette Park, had emailed asking how near to the wall the grebes were.  I replied close, so she drove over Sunday to get some photos.
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The grebes were indeed close to the wall when she arrived, but soon afterward all wildlife was scared from the area by a windsurfer.  Question: Are those folks more often active during midday and afternoon, or is there windsurfing around the wall also in the morning?  I've not seen them during the few mornings I've been there, and it seems they might have a conflict with the fishermen.  Comments welcome.
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At any rate, Darlene came back later in the day when the surfers were gone and did get some photos including this one.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Brown Thrasher

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On Saturday (3/24/12) Ken Sapkowski photographed this Brown Thrasher by the south Wastewater gate near the Clay Pond.
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Snowy Owl Pellet and Contents

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Email March 25:
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I found this owl pellet in the vicinity of one of the Snowy Owls at the Wastewater in January.  My wife took it to school with her. She teaches 2nd grade at Oakridge, and they dissected it last week.  I know that many people were worried that this particular owl was not eating well, but I think this series of photos might prove differently. I did not think to show a comparison of the pellet to anything to show size, but I think it was close to 4.5 inches long. In this one pellet the 2nd graders found 6 rodent skulls.  Here is a sampling of the bones found.  Keep in mind this is just a series of photos of the larger more recognizable bones.  There were many, many more.  

Rick Hamlin
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rainy Friday Birds

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On Friday around my place I photographed a male Red-winged Blackbird, immature Red-tailed Hawk, 3 Pileated Woodpeckers, Common Grackle and male Northern Cardinal.  I've also had a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks for the last three days.
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- Mike VanderStelt
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Twenty Species at the Ovals

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Charlie and Feller DeWitt, Kathy Neff and I tallied 20 Species 7:45-9:45 this morning from the end of the south breakwall at Pere Marquette Park for Chip Francke's Shoreline Survey. Highlights included four birds coming in off the Big Lake: Mourning Dove, Fox Sparrow, American Robin (exhausted) and American Woodcock.
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Pere Marquette Park, Muskegon, US-MI
Mar 24, 2012 7:45 AM - 9:45 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:    Shoreline Survey at the end of the South Breakwall with Charlie & Feller DeWitt and Kathy Neff
20 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  8
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  11
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)  2
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca)  1
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)  54
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  6
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  19
duck sp. (Anatinae sp.)  3
Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)  6
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)  1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  5
American Coot (Fulica americana)  2
American Woodcock (Scolopax minor)  1    Flew in from the Big Lake.
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  1
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  3
gull sp. (Larinae sp.)  6
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1    Flew in from the Big Lake.
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1    Flew in from the Big Lake.
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  1    Flew in from the Big Lake.
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  1


This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

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- Ric

Friday, March 23, 2012

Muskegon Vireo Recaptured in Tennessee

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Each fall, roughly from mid-August to late November, I band birds at Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve. Reflecting the transient nature of migratory passage, most birds are never recaptured, so it is incumbent to gather as much pertinent data (demographic, morphological, condition) as possible from each banded individual. However, some birds clearly "stop-over" at the preserve, as 12.9% of the birds I band are captured later in the season. Far less common are returning birds (invariably local breeders or winter residents - never active migrants), with 1.6% captured during a subsequent year. Even rarer are foreign recoveries (i.e. birds banded at the preserve but subsequently encountered at another locality). Only 0.1% of our banded birds fall into this category. Consequently, if ascertaining migration paths were our primary goal, then more efficient methods should probably be utilized.

Nevertheless, determining the fate of such birds remains fascinating (at least to me). Most of the foreign recoveries have been found dead within 20 miles of the banding station, but I was recently notified that a Red-eyed Vireo banded last September was recovered near Harrogate, TN. Although this bird was also found dead, it set a new recovery distance record for the station. It had covered 483 miles in a SSE direction in less than 18 days.


- Brian Johnson
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Virginia Rails at Mona Lake

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March 21 Email:
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I notice that Brian Johnson had spotted 2 Virginia Rails at Hidden Cove Park on Mona Lake yesterday, so Glenda and I headed over there this evening.  Right at dark (8:14 p.m.), we spotted one as we were leaving.  We were on the road between the parking lot and Grand Haven Road. I doubted I could get a picture, but after some lightening up in Photoshop, it's not all that bad.  Later,
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Ken Sapkowski
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eared Grebe, Wood Ducks, No Owls

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March 21 Emails:

Good Morning Ric,

I did not have any luck with the Short-eared Owls last night.  I'll try calling ahead to make an appointment next time. :-)

I did, however, get an Eared Grebe at Wastewater last night among a number of American Coot and Ruddy Ducks. I found the bird in the east Lagoon as a I was driving down along the south dike. It was only a handful of feet from shore, so I got plenty of good looks in good sun. Other than that, it was the usual suspects.

Don Avery

Ric,

It looks like the Wood Ducks are back here on Black Creek.  I put up two more wood duck nest boxes this year, so hopefully they will nest in all three.  We had 14 ducklings from the lone nest box that I put up last year.  It looks like we might also have two pairs of Pileated Woodpeckers nesting here this year as well.  We have one female spending a great deal of time around a hole in the beech tree right behind our house and another about 50 yards away. Both within sight of our back deck.  Looks like it is going to be a great spring!

Rick Hamlin
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautiful Day: Lotsa Species, Lotsa People

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Feller DeWitt led our monthly field trip today.  At one time there were 32 people and 15 cars, certainly our most attended event in a long time!.
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Birding the Wastewater properties and the State Game Area headquarters further north, we tallied 61 bird species thanks in part to the beautiful summerlike weather.
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The eBird reports below reflect all species except the three that were not seen by me: American Wigeon (in the flooded field SE of Laketon/Swanson), Wood Duck (on the Clay Pond) and Common Raven (near SE corner of East Lagoon).*
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-  Ric
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Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon, US-MI
Mar 17, 2012 8:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
Comments:    Muskegon County Nature Club Monthly Field Trip
49 species

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)  12
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)  15
Gadwall (Anas strepera)  X
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  6
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  6
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)  1
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)  1
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  2
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)  3
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  6
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  3
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  8
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  4
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  1
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  4
American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  9
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  X
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  6
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  4
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)  X 

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Muskegon SGA--Headquarters, Muskegon, US-MI
Mar 17, 2012 11:15 AM - 12:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
Comments:    Muskegon County Nature Club Monthly Field Trip
28 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  4
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  3
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)  2
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  3
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  X
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  3
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)  4
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  3
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  2
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  2 

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* Even without these three, the 11 birds I got today raised my year's total to 84, perhaps noticeable in the rear view mirrors of Zachary, Charlie, Feller and Kathryn.  (And who's counting anyway?)
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Cranes on White River Friday

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Betty and John Blanshine took this photo of a pair of Sandhill Cranes from the bike trail bridge that crosses the White River between Whitehall and Montague.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sparrows at Little Black Lake

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I spent some time birding the Norton Shores leaf dump on Wood Road.  Along the drain ditch on the south side of the leaf dump I found 6 Fox Sparrows, 10 Song Sparrows and 1 Swamp Sparrow.  I also had a Brown Creeper and Golden-crowned Kinglet.  All these birds were in the first 100 yards of trail.   It took an hour and a half to walk the 100 yards, but I was trying to take pictures.
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Charlie DeWitt
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Thursday Bird Report

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While raking our yard today I listened to Pine Siskins and our first Eastern Phoebe and watched 45 Sandhill Cranes migrate overhead.  This afternoon Greg Swanson phoned that he had a Common Raven near the Musketawa Trail and Carr Road and Ken Sapkowski emailed that he had this Rusty Blackbird last night along the Maple River on SGA properties.
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- Ric
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Evening at Wastewater

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Carol and I watched one Short-eared Owl fly over the Clay Pond (escorted south by a Red-winged Blackbird) at 7:55 and two (presumably other) Short-eared's hunting the RC airport from 8:00 until 8:20.  I also added Year Bird #72 with Eastern Meadowlark also at the Laketon-Swanson intersection.
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- Ric
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Tuesday at the Wastewater

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I saw 2 Short-eared Owls and 2 Northern Harriers hunting the RC field. While watching them, a flock of a hundred or so Snow Geese flew over (could have been other species mixed in).  Also, Zach, (see previous post) those were Tundra Swans down by Sawnson and Laketon. And the Eastern Meadowlarks are singing everywhere out there. Several Sandhill Cranes also flew overhead.
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Don Neumann
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On Our Feeder This Morning

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So it's about 70 degrees out there this morning, Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds are singing around the neighborhood, and a small flock of Common Redpolls shows up on our feeder.  Weird year.
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Birding Muskegon County Tuesday

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Tuesday Emails:
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Ric, I spent two hours looking for the Harris's Sparrow (March 13) at the State Game Area HQ, no luck.  I did see an Eastern Phoebe by the Yellow Gate at the SGA HQ, #100, not that it matters.
- Charlie DeWitt
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Amazing views of Long-tailed Ducks at Pere Marquette Park today. Pairs
floating twenty feet away from us. First of season Common Loon and 60+ WW. Scoters out there as well.

Wastewater: Lots of Shovelers and my FOY American Pipit. One Snowy Owl
still hanging out.

A gorgeous day in Muskegon County!

- Kirby Adams.

After Organismal Biology class Monday afternoon I set off on a target-orientated yearbirding spree.  I stopped by the Lautenbach's spot on the Musketawa Trail, the Wastewater, and Lane's Landing.

There were only a few Canada Geese and Mallard left at the Musketawa-Swanson intersection.  My car got extremely filthy, and I missed the Ross's Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, and Snow Geese (but they're all on my monthlist anyway).  At Swanson Avenue, I bumped into this guy  (photo below).
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(http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S10159647):

Short-eared Owl was yearbird #86.  I spent 30 minutes looking for a Shrike on Swanson/Laketon, because that would also be a yearbird, but had no success.  Waterfowl on the wastewater seemed quite limited, but I did pick out Canvasback (#87), Green-winged Teal (#88), American Wigeon (#89), and Northern Pintail (#90), mostly all in the southwest corner of both lagoons.  I continued on to be disappointed by 14 Trumpeter Swans, since I would have liked them to be Tundra Swans (nemesis yearbird).  Meadowlark (#91) was an easy grab throughout the WW as well.  Chipping Sparrow (#92) rounded off the perching birds.

At Lane's Landing in Muskegon SGA, I found some of those really hard to get Muskegon County birds, like Cooper's Hawk.  I also found a Northern Shrike (#93--wow!) chasing a Downy Woodpecker.  I stood around waiting for Rusty Blackbird, Snipe, and Woodcock, and in the meantime picked up Wood Duck (#94).  After sunset, I despondently headed back to the Wastewater, having missed both Woodcock and Snipe.  I found 2 Short-eared Owls prowling the prairies at the Model Airport, and then proceeded to find 2 Cackling Geese (#95) in with a thousand or so Canada Geese on the easat side of Swanson in the flooded field.  As I headed home on Apple Avenue, 2 American Woodcock (#96) flew directly overhead between Swanson and Maple Island.  I felt pretty good now.

So, if Charlie (or any of you) can get 11 yearbirds in 3 hours, I'll pay him a buck!!  4 more for me to go before #100, and I'm still missing some basics.

Splendid Birding,
Zachary DeBruine
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Vultures, Harris's, Song and Chipping Sparrows

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In regard to Dave Elbrecht's Harris's Sparrow (see March 10 post below), if anyone else goes back there on the SGA properties in search of it, please let me know.
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Weird combination of birds in our neighborhood today.  First for the spring Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow and Turkey Vulture.  Sharing the feeding area with these were a Pine Siskin, Dark-eyed Juncos and about 40 Common Redpolls.  Our side feeder missed by one second having Chipper and Redpoll at the same time -- that would have been a first and a last!
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- Ric
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Short-eared Owls and Good Little Geese

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March 11 Email:
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I'm still picking sand out of my teeth from yesterday, but today made up for it. Among the many bird stories we could tell from the last two days the finale Sunday evening was amazing.
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Three Short-eared Owls were out well before dark and drifting by effortlessly near the Swanson-Laketon intersection, some within 15 feet.  I have some nice shots of one in the field, but trying to get a point-and-shot camera to focus on a bird in the air is nearly impossible.  Glenda Eikenberry took the attached photo, not me.

Also, Phil Vreeman joined us and said there were 5 Ross's or Ross's x Snow Geese hybrid on the central dike at the Wastewater.  We missed those, but we had gone down to Allegan county for the big show Saturday morning.  (See Caleb Putnam's report on Mich-Lister's.)

- Ken Sapkowski
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Good Waterbirds Along Musketawa Trail

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Email, Sunday March 11:
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Yesterday (10 March 2012) my brother Michael and I had some good birds just south of wastewater properties along Swanson Road at Musketawa Trail. There is a large wetlands at this intersection and we had 32 Greater White-fronted Geese, 127 Snow Geese, 5 Ross' Geese, 10 or so Cackling Geese, 1000+ Canada Geese, Tundra Swans, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Sandhill Cranes, Gadwall, and lots of other species.

Jonathan Lautenbach
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kestrels in the Spring

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Dan Lockard sends this photograph from the North Muskegon area of mating American Kestrels.
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Harris's Sparrow Friday at SGA Headquarters

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Email:
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On Friday afternoon, 3-9-12, I identified a lone Harris's Sparrow in the Muskegon SGA.  It was feeding in a flock of juncos and tree sparrows.  If anyone wants to search, drive past the SGA HQ to the end of Messinger Rd.  Walk around the yellow gate and about 80 paces to a field on the left.  Walk through the field toward three large pines.  When you reach the pines, you will see an opening on the right, leading to another field.  The bird was in this field, on the right side, in the brush along the tree line.  Also nearby were a fox sparrow, purple finch, and towhee.  Best wishes,
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Dave Elbrecht
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Woodcock Back Friday

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Only had to wait five seconds tonight to hear the American Woodcock at the blueberry patch in my neighborhood.  Year Bird #67.
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- Ric
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Bird #66. But Who's Counting?

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Last night I was sure that I'd get my 66th Year Bird by just going over to the blueberry patch and listening for the woodcocks.  Conditions the previous several days had been bad and this year with all the early species they had to be here by the 8th.  But they weren't.  But I got #66 today anyway when a cooperative Pine Siskin shucked some seeds on our side feeder.  Birds!  Unpredictable.
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- Ric
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breeding Bird Atlas II (and I) Data Online

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Here's a blurb from Michigan Audubon's most recent Chapter Connections email. Dunno how many of you did "work" on this project; it had me walking the old interurban railroad easement down to Black Creek many times during those years to gather BBA data for Fruitport Township -- a dirty and thankless job, but somebody had to do it!  ;-)  However, a lot of real work was done for the Atlas by our own Brian Johnson in both Muskegon County and elsewhere.  At any rate, it's good to see that the data are now accessible.
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- Ric
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Breeding Bird Atlas II Available Online
The Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) announces that the second Breeding Bird Atlas for Michigan has been published online in a searchable and printable format.  KNC coordinated the fieldwork and data collection for the Atlas.  The volume contains data that was collected by more than 800 volunteers who observed 250 species in Michigan between 2002 - 2008. The first Breeding Bird Atlas, which was published in 1991, has been digitized and is also available online to view or download.  To view these publications, visit the website www.mibirdatlas.org.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Photo of Yesterday's Snowy at the Ovals

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Phil Vreeman sends this photo of the Snowy Owl at the Ovals yesterday (see Phil's post below and Rick Schadle's March 1 post further down).
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Several Good Birds Around the County Today

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March 5 Email:
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Hey Ric,
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I finally took the time today (3.5.12) to get a day in of some Muskegon County birding and followed a similar route to that of the Lautenbachs (which is my best birding advice, by the way, I think I'd attribute 85-90% of my lifelist to following the Lautenbachs).

At Pere Marquette I had a Snowy Owl, 2 Scoter species (2 Blacks, 45 White-winged), Red-throated Loon, Eared Grebe, Great Black-backed Gull and a female Harlequin Duck.  Many mergansers and Long-tailed Ducks as usual.

Nothing too special at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve or State Park except for Sandhill Crane at MSP, and in the Muskegon Channel many White-winged Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks and 3 Horned Grebe.  

At the Wastewater I had many usual suspects, also 6 Northern Pintails, 2 Horned Grebe, 7 Bald Eagle, 1 Golden Eagle, 1 Common Raven and 2 Glaucous Gulls at the landfill, 15 Lapland Longspurs south of Apple Ave., a Northern Shrike at the airport, and 8 Cackling Geese among a ton of Canadas at the Clay Pond (the road down there was terribly muddy; I was extremely blessed to be able to turn around successfully).

Blessed birding be with you.

Phil Vreeman
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