Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thayer's Gull? Comments Requested.

Birding Grand Haven today Sat. 01-26-2013 and found this gull. To me the brown eye suggests Thayer's Gull. I am not a gull person so comments are welcome.

Charlie DeWitt

Monday, January 21, 2013

Western Grebe and Purple Sandpiper Reported

Hi.  I live in Grand Rapids and have been birding for quite a few years now, but don't really post much on any listers. However I just thought I'd report that I went to Muskegon this morning and walked out on the southern pier at Pier Marquette Park. Nearly froze on the walk out, but it was worth it.  Had the Purple Sandpiper fly by me as he circled the southern pier looking for a place to escape the wind. Also at the tip of the northern pier there was the Western Grebe that has been reported lately mixed in with a flock of Long-tailed Ducks and Common Goldeneyes.  Lots of mergansers, some scaups, and a White-winged Scoter as well all near the northern pier. 

Good Birding!
- Elliot Nelson 

Good to hear from you, Elliot.  Thanks for the report.   - Ric

Saturday, January 19, 2013

12 People See 30 Species on Field Trip

Twelve people enjoyed some good birding at the Muskegon Wastewater properties this morning and the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve early this afternoon.  Among the 30 total species highlights included a Belted Kingfisher, 2 Northern Pintail, 3 Bald Eagle, several Snow Bunting, 1 Snowy Owl, 4 Red-tailed Hawk (including a dark-morph adult!), 2 Northern Shrike and an American Kestrel at WW, plus an American Robin at MLNP.  Lunch afterward at the Main Street Restaurant in North Muskegon was also enjoyable.

Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon, US-MI
Jan 19, 2013 8:25 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
9.0 mile(s)
Comments:    Monthly Field Trip, Ken Sherburn, Leader
22 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X    more than 100
Gadwall (Anas strepera)  2
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X    more than 100
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X    more than 100
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  2
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  1
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  3
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  4    1 dark morph adult, N. Swanson
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
gull sp. (Larinae sp.)  X    more than 100
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)  1    very white, presumably adult
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor)  2    1 Northside, 1 Southside
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  5
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  12
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  2
Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)  12
American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)  15

Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve, Muskegon, US-MI
Jan 19, 2013 12:20 PM - 1:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments:    Monthly Field Trip, Ken Sherburn, leader
13 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  6
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  6
gull sp. (Larinae sp.)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  6
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  2
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  7   5 adult male
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  36    

Snowy Owl at Muskegon on Friday

Dan Lockard sends these photos of a Snowy Owl at Muskegon yesterday (1-18-13).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Purple Sandpiper at Muskegon

The Purple Sandpiper was out by the elbow on the south pier at Muskegon today (01-17-2013) at about 10:45 a.m. It didn't stay long. I spent most of the time taking pictures of the Long-tailed Ducks.  They were feeding right next to the rocks.

Charlie DeWitt

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Great Black-backed Gulls at Grand Haven

January 15 Email:

Bonnie (Kot) and I spotted 8 Great Black-backed Gulls on the North Pier in Grand Haven.  There was also a Long-tailed Duck swimming off the South Pier.  2:00 p.m. Tuesday

Dave Herdegen

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chip's Photo of the Western Grebe

Today Chip Francke sent this photo of the Western Grebe he first reported on January 10 (below).

Bohemian Waxwing in Grand Haven Tuesday

I found this lone Bohemian Waxwing today in Grand Haven by the Snug Harbor restaurant.

- Charlie DeWitt

Monday, January 14, 2013

Second Muskegon Snowy Owl Sighting

Ted Ogren phoned today that a friend of his reported seeing a number of people viewing a Snowy Owl on the fence along Harvey Street north of Laketon Ave. bordering the northbound lanes of US-31 last Tuesday afternoon (January 8).

To my knowledge the only previous Snowy Owl report from Muskegon County this season was the Lautenbach's on the December 19 Wastewater Christmas Bird Count (posted Dec. 30 below).

- Ric

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Western Grebe Updates and Photo

Following Chip Francke's report (below) Feller DeWitt and Ken Sapkowski also saw the Western Grebe today at the Muskegon Channel.

Feller's Email:    The Western Grebe was by the NOAO ship and heading for the big lake at 4:30 P.M.

Ken's Email and Photo:  I'm pretty sure about this one, but let me know if I'm incorrect.  Not sure about the duck in this picture although there was a Goldeneye not too far away.

Feller and Ken, thanks!  Yes, that's the Western Grebe. Assuming the white blotch on the duck's neck is a photo aberration, I agree that it looks like a Common Goldeneye female until someone with more skills chimes in.  - Ric  ... which someone did: see Charlie DeWitt's comment -- it's a Bufflehead.

Western Grebe at Muskegon Lake Channel

Chip Francke just called to inform me of a Western Grebe around 12:30 p.m. today in the Muskegon Channel near the Silversides submarine.  He indicated it did not look like a hybrid/backcross with Clark's Grebe, or a pure Clark's, and that he did get some photos of it.

Good Birding,
Caleb Putnam

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Eagle and Crow Interaction on Wolf Lake

January 3 Email:

I snapped this picture of a Bald Eagle on Wolf Lake today.  (I apologize for the grainy picture quality; I had to super zoom.)  The eagle was eating a fish on the edge of the ice.  Some crows came and hung around the eagle for a few minutes.  The eagle had to watch the crows walking around it while it ate the fish.  I think they were doing this to make the eagle uncomfortable while it tried to eat in hopes that the eagle would fly away and leave the fish behind for them to scavenge.  Eventually the crows became impatient and started harassing the eagle.  Annoyed, the eagle did fly away, but did so with the fish, leaving the uninvited lunch-crashing crows with nothing.  Better luck next time, crows!

Ron Buechele

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

40 New Years Day Birds

Seven of us began (and a few ended) the day looking for new species for 2013.  I quit at 12:30 with 32 species from my yard (1), the Pere Marquette breakwall (13), "Nugent Lake" (10), the DeWitt property near the airport (2), and the Wastewater properties (6).  My best bird was my last, a Golden Eagle perched in a tree a mile WNW of the Swanson-White intersection spotted by Mike VanderStelt. 

Feller DeWitt continued into the afternoon, returning to the breakwall and finding the Purple Sandpiper missed by the group this morning, concluding his day with 40 species.

Mine:  Mourning Dove, American Crow, Ring-billed Gull, Mute Swan, Mallard, Herring Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Tundra Swan, Wild Turkey, Black-capped Chickadee, Canada Goose, Redhead, Canvasback, Gadwall, Tufted Titmouse, Double-crested Cormorant, Greater Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, American Tree Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk and Golden Eagle.  Some Feller Extras:  American Coot, Green-winged Teal, Purple Sandpiper, Red-necked Grebe and White-winged Scoter.

- Ric