To see all the details in some of the pictures, right-click them. From the mini-list choose "Open link in new window". In that window click the picture for actual size, often too big to fit your monitor. Scroll around to appreciate all the details. Then click again to see the entire picture.
I watched this Red-bellied Woodpecker make her nesting hole at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve on April 22. I also saw this Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at MLNP while waiting for our first class of students to arrive. I only had a small lens on this guy, and he was hard to catch. - Carol Cooper
I went to White Lake looking for the Common Loons that Mike Boston had reported and found this one giving a ride to a ladybug. TheBelted Kingfisherwas looking for breakfast and the Red Fox was near the White River Light Station. (The fox was being camera shy.) - Don Neumann
I birded Flahive Park(East Grand River Park) and Harbor Island this morning finding 28 and 34 species respectively.
Highlights at Flahive included Purple Martin, Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird, and Northern Flickers at their nest hole.
At Harbor Island I spotted Common and Red-breasted Merganser, Peregrine Falcon (on the nest box from 9:00-9:30), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Chip Francke.
On Saturday morning I led ten people from Nik Kalejs' DNR field trip around the Wastewater properties.On Saturday afternoon my power went out until Sunday night. In the meantime Dan Lockard emailed two sets of photos from the Wastewater and Muskegon State Game Area.
For the field trip we recorded 32 species in two hours including three "Eastern's" (Bluebird, Meadowlark and Phoebe), Canvasback, Redhead, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Bonaparte's Gull, Horned Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Gadwall, Tree Swallow, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher and Field Sparrow.
Dan's Saturday sightings: Great Horned Owl, Pied-billed Grebe and Redhead.
Dan's Sunday sightings: Great Horned Owl, Muskrat and Turtles.
At the bridge on Wood Road there were 6 Ruddy Ducks plus Common Loon, Canvasback, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead and Mallard. Little Black Lake is ice free, so the west side of the lake would be a better place to scope the whole lake.
Ric, I went to the bike path and Swanson this afternoon. I saw all but the Great White Fronted and this strange goose. Sibley's new second edition has it as a Domestic Graylag & Swan Goose hybrid. Anybody have any other ideas?
Phil, "Farmus Domesticus" is always a good guess. We'll see what others say. - Ric
They were too far away for any decent photos, but the partially flooded fields west of Swanson Road at the Musketawa Trail were hosting Tundra Swans,Greater White-fronted Geese, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon and Green-winged Teal, as well as thousands of Canada Geesetoday.
Ric, I don't know if you want to post these pictures because they are a little old. I will not be taking any more pictures for six to eight weeks because of my shoulder surgery. The Cackling Geese look like hutchinsii in the Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, page 12.
Charlie, I hope your rotator cuff heals properly and you can get back out in the field soon. Why don't you send other photos like these occasionally and we'll post them even if they're not "recent". Posting your Snowy Owl also gives me the opportunity to lift the moratorium on posting that species here. It seemed that there were far fewer of them on the Wastewater properties this season than the year of the mis-behaving bird-chasers. By now most should be heading back to their breeding grounds (the owls, not the chasers). - Ric
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