Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bohemian Waxwing at Muskegon

Bohemian Waxwing

This is one of the waxwings that was by the parking lot at the east end of the Muskegon Channel yesterday (see post below).  Kay and Tom, I hope you got some good pictures.

Charlie DeWitt

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bohemian Waxwings, Surf Scoter, and Red-throated Loon at the Channel Today

Thanks, Charlie DeWitt, for phoning me (despite our being listing competitors) so I could drive out to the east end of the Muskegon Channel after lunch today and see a flock of at least 32 Bohemian Waxwings and a female Surf Scoter. There was also a reliable report of a Red-throated Loon at the west end of the channel shortly after noon today.  Other birds in the channel included many White-winged Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, goldeneye, scaup, mergansers, etc.

- Ric

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Surf Scoters Still at Muskegon

 Surf Scoters east end of Muskegon Channel Feb. 21, 2013

 These are the same two scoters.

Long-tailed Ducks

Charlie DeWitt

Any Thoughts Regarding This Chickadee?

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo below taken at an angle through window glass with a pocket camera of a bird about forty feet away: Black-capped Chickadee with extremely light back, wing coverts and secondaries.  Feathers are adult, not down, not shortened.  Head feathers, primaries and tail dark like a normal chickadee.  The bird flew okay but did shake frequently (particularly the back half of its body) as it ate seeds.  It was puffed up against the cold, but that was not the only thing making its back feathers appear so light; they actually were extremely light, some almost white.  Comments encouraged.  Thanks!

- Ric

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mona Lake Eagles

Bruce Delamarter and I had an amazing morning watching the Bald Eagles at the east end of Mona Lake.

This immature went neck deep three times before ...

... coming out of the water with this trophy ...

... but then an uninvited guest...

... staked his claim!

We soon had 21 Bald Eagles on the ice all wanting fresh fish!

What a great way to start the week!

- Don Neumann

Friday, February 15, 2013

Muskegon Lake Channel Counts: Feb. 13 - 14

Due to windy conditions persisting thru January, I have been able to conduct only a few waterbird counts along Lake Michigan since December. For most species the tallies have been fairly low anyway, although Long-tailed Ducks have been abundant as usual (with my best count being 10,470 from Kruse Park on January 15). With increasing ice cover Bald Eagles are becoming more numerous over and near Lake Michigan.

Today and yesterday I chose instead to make a couple careful surveys of the birds at Muskegon Lake Channel (ignoring those in Lake Michigan). Numbers were quite good. Here are my high counts from these two days:

Canada Goose - 5
Mute Swan - 4
Tundra Swan - 1
Mallard - 15
Redhead - 3
Greater Scaup - 143
Lesser Scaup - 22
Surf Scoter - 3
White-winged Scoter - 28
Long-tailed Duck - 59
Bufflehead - 6
Common Goldeneye - 166
Common Merganser - 57
Red-breasted Merganser - 70
Horned Grebe - 2
Bald Eagle - 1
Red-shouldered Hawk - 1
American Coot - 2
Ring-billed Gull - 88 (all adults)
Herring Gull - 97 (adults and immatures)
Glaucous Gull - 2 (adult and immature)
Great Black-backed Gull - 2 (adult and immature)

The immature Red-shouldered Hawk pictured above seemed a little dopey. Not only did it seem to be following me around and approaching closely while doing so, but it even tried landing on a rotating wind turbine (one of the vertical axis types) by the Coast Guard station.

Brian Johnson

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

18 Bald Eagles at Mona Lake

Just a quick post: I counted 18 Bald Eagles at the east end of Mona Lake as of 11:30 a.m. today. They were in the trees and on the ice.

Don Neumann

Carolina Wrens & Redpolls at M.L.N.P.

February 12 Email:

Been hearing the Carolina Wrens at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve and did see one on a feeder at The Bird House just up the street from the preserve.  The owner said they have had a pair feeding daily at a feeder there.  Saw two Common Redpolls today at the preserve in bushes behind the feeders near the sheds.  Sorry no pics.  Did not have camera with me.

Carol Cooper

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two Scoter Species & Horned Grebe at Channel

This afternoon Feb 12, 2013 at the Muskegon Channel there were two Surf Scoters at the Muskegon Lake end of the breakwall.  There were also ten White-winged Scoters and one Horned Grebe in the mix of other ducks.

Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday in Grand Haven

The birds seemed to be getting ready for Valentine's Day except for one Common Merganser; guess he was hungry!

At least 8 Bald Eagles, and these two wanted to hold hands:

And a couple Rock Doves (pigeons) enjoying the sunshine.

- Don Neumann

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Beautiful Morning at the Channel

Occasional sunlight illuminated the ice-coated trees at the Muskegon Channel this morning bringing out almost as many photographers as ducks.  Most of the channel was coated with an ice scum so the ducks were pocketed in the few open water areas.  None of note except a male and female White-winged Scoter and two male Long-tailed Ducks east of the Coast Guard station.  Occasionally a swell of water would crack the ice scum sounding remarkably like the thunder-pumping of an American Bittern.

- Ric

Muskegon Channel, Muskegon, US-MI
Feb 9, 2013 9:40 AM - 10:30 AM
Comments:  Beautiful Cold Tree-Iced Morning

11 species
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)  X
Redhead (Aythya americana)  X
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)  X
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca)  2
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)  2
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  X
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  X

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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Muskegon Channel Birds on Tuesday

 Long-tailed Duck

 American Coot

White-winged Scoter

Canvasbacks and Redheads

I got a report that some Surf Scoters were seen in the Muskegon Channel on Monday Feb. 04, 2013 so today Feb 05,2013 I spent two hours looking for them.  No luck.  There were a lot of waterfowl in the channel and out by the pier heads.  Very windy and cold.  The south pier had waves coming over it from the elbow to the lighthouse.  This is what I found: Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye, White-winged Scoter, Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, Redhead, Canvasback, American Coot, Mute Swan, American Crow and Herring Gull. 

Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Should Have Gone with Charlie

It looks like Charlie (see post below) had better weather than I did at the Wastewater today. It was a white-out at times, but I managed to get a couple (not so great) shots anyway. I saw a total of 4 Bald Eagles (2 mature, 2 immature), 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Great Blue Heron, and I believe (as best I could see) 1 Rough-legged Hawk.

Mike VanderStelt

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Grand Haven

Common Goldeneye

I went to the Grand Haven channel today Feb. 02, 2013 to see if the Bald Eagles were "fishing".  No luck, just the usual birds.

Charlie DeWitt

Friday, February 1, 2013

Carolina Wren

February 1 Email:

Hi Ric,

I know it has been awhile but I thought you might be interested in a new backyard bird -- for our backyard, that is.  I got these photos through a kitchen window.  Looks like a Carolina Wren to me, but to be honest with you, I have never seen one before.  Shots were taken today.

Rick Hamlin

Looks like a Carolina Wren to me too.  Nice February backyard bird! - Ric