Monday, December 29, 2014

Eider Still There Monday and Tuesday

I spent two hours at the Grand Haven north pier Monday taking pictures of the Common Eider.  I hope it sticks around for Thursday; that would be a great way to start my new "Year List".

- Charlie DeWitt

(See comments: eider still there on Tuesday.)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Glaucous Gulls, Golden Eagle, and Humans

December 26 Email:

Hi Ric
I didn't catch sight of the Common Eider in Grand Haven today, but I did enjoy my trip to the Muskegon Wastewater.  I found two Glaucous Gulls among the hundreds of gulls on what's left of the ice in the east lagoon.  Also saw three Snowy Owls and informed a newcomer not to approach them on foot.  He was taking pictures.  The highlight of my day was the great looks I got of a Golden Eagle.  I was really happy to get a few good photos too.  Beautiful day.
- Bob Kingsbury

Bob, thanks for the photos and the report, and for explaining to the photographer about approaching the owls.  A lady emailed me yesterday that she saw two photographers throwing white mice in a dry rapid filtration lagoon to get photos of the owls flying.  Unfortunately it may be time for me to stop posting Snowy Owl information here as I did two years ago due to poor human behavior.  - Ric

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Wishing everyone a Snowy Owl Christmas!
Don Neumann

Thanks to Don for these pictures and video
and the new Snowy Owl header photo.

Merry Christmas to everyone!  - Ric

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Eider Still There Tuesday Afternoon

The Common Eider (posted below) was still at the north pier in Grand Haven as of 1:30 p.m.  At 2:00 some kite surfers came down to the beach and all the ducks flew off.  I think that it would still be worth while checking for the eider.  The duck were feeding next to the pier and I think they will come back.

- Charlie DeWitt

Monday, December 22, 2014

Common Eider at Grand Haven North Pier

I found this Common Eider at the north pier at Grand Haven today about 11:00 a.m.  It was still there at 4:20 p.m.

- Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rough-legged Hawk at Wastewater

Casey Irwin sends this photo of a light-morph female Rough-legged Hawk on a pylon at the Wastewater yesterday.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Golden Eagle Still at the Wastewater

This morning Carol and I went to the Muskegon County Wastewater looking for the Golden Eagle.  We were unable to find it.  Someone had seen it near the RI cell this morning before we got there.  On the way to the Wastewater we saw a Snowy Owl on Moorland Rd. just south of Cline and
Carol got a nice picture of it.  I had to settle for a picture of some Mallards and a Black-capped Chickadee.

Charlie DeWitt

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Owls / Two Explanations

On Tuesday I stayed at the Wastewater late hoping to see short-eared owls. No SE Owls, but this Great Horned Owl was already out hunting for the night.

- Don Neumann

Wednesday evening Don posted the information and photo above.  Earlier in the day he had emailed me a beautiful photo of a Snowy Owl landing on the ground on the Wastewater properties with this explanation: "Just wanted to let you know there was a lady walking through the fields today pushing the snowies as she tried to get pictures.  I'm not posting any if that's what we get from  it."

Two winters ago I stopped posting any pictures of Snowy Owls on this blog because I didn't want to be even a small part of leading people to harass wild animals.  Please, if you go out to observe them, stay back, preferably in your car, and do not force them to fly.  That's just common sense.  For the time being I'll continue posting information and photos about local Snowy Owls to show, as always, some natural beauty in the Muskegon area.  Don's photo certainly does that.  But please be aware that he took the picture with a telephoto lens a good distance away from the owl!  Thanks to the majority of you who act the same way.  12/11/14  - Ric


Monday, December 8, 2014

Four Weekend Photos from Wastewater

December 8 Email:

Hi Ric,
It was nice meeting you on Saturday.  Here are a few pictures of what we saw this weekend.


Terra Berry

Saturday, December 6, 2014

And a Golden Eagle !

This Golden Eagle caused the Snowy Owl (see Ric's post below) to leave its perch.

- Don Neumann

Raptors at the Wastewater Saturday

There were several raptors and birders on the Wastewater properties this morning.  I saw two Snowy Owls, one very white, plus a mottled bird which may not have moved from this cement culvert from 9:00-11:00.  

It was good to see all birders stayed in or behind their cars and a respectful distance from this bird.  One of two light-morph Rough-legged Hawks north of the east lagoon seemed curious about my car.

I also saw eleven Bald Eagles of various ages (7 on the east lagoon by the landfill, 4 on a field south of Apple), a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk on the southside, but no shrike.

It was nice meeting Shawn and Terra Berry (see post below) who may send us some of their photos later.

- Ric

Snowy Owls at Wastewater

December 5 Email:

My husband and I had what turned out to be a fantastic birding day!  We  headed to Coopersville in search of the Snowy Owl, turned out to be a bust so we headed to Muskegon Wastewater where we saw 5 Tundra Swans on the west lagoon, 1 Pintail Duck in B10 with all his Mallard friends, 6 whitetail deer, 15 Bald Eagles (most of them were feeding on east lagoon) and due to two very sweet women 4 Snowy Owls (2 of them were on west lagoon and 2 of them in field 30 on top of irrigation).  We finished out our trip seeing 20 various hawks

Have a great birding day!

Terra & Shawn Berry