Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hudsonian Godwits at Wastewater

I walked along the north side of the West Lagoon at Wastewater this morning looking unsuccessfully for Mike Boston's Black-bellied Plover.

There were few shorebirds of any kind and when Jim Ponshair drove by, he reported the same.  After Jim departed, Tom Beeke drove up and asked if I'd seen the Hudsonian Godwits in the adjacent churning lagoon!

Sure enough, there were two in the northwest section of the drawn-down lagoon (second from the west).  A Northern Harrier flew over, scaring the godwits over to the northeast corner where they settled in with three Stilt Sandpipers!

So, a very good morning!

- Ric

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Black-bellied Plover at the Wastewater

I saw a Black-bellied Plover along the north shore of the West Lagoon at the Wastewater on Thursday, August 28th. I went back on the 29th and saw this bird, maybe the same one.

Mike Boston

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Wastewater

Still plenty of hawks. This Red-tailed Hawk was in the basins as were 2 Great Egrets. I saw 8 Sandhill Cranes fly over and lots of baby ducks on the west lagoon. Seems pretty late in the season for the size of some of the ducks.

Don Neumann

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good Hawk Day at the Wastewater

Carol and I did a short trip to the Muskegon County Wastewater on Sunday afternoon.  We saw eight Red-tailed Hawks. We were able to get real close to a juvenile, and Carol got a great picture (her side of the truck).  I took a picture of one leaving a tree.

Not much else going on at the Wastewater; very few shorebirds and swallows.

Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Nature Preserve and Breakwater Today

I spent a couple hours at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning finding only 21 bird species.  A Caspian Tern foraged over the yacht club west of the preserve, a Peregrine Falcon bothered some small birds south of the river, and a Marsh Wren almost shook my hand along the east boardwalk.

Later I walked the south breakwall at Pere Marquette Park. Along the rocks between the elbow and the lighthouse were several Semipalmated Sandpipers, a few Least Sandpipers, one Sanderling (frightened by walkers before I could take its picture), and a female Red-breasted Merganser that may not have been real healthy.

- Ric

Saturday, August 16, 2014

39 Species on Field Trip Today

Ten of us followed Feller and Charlie DeWitt around the Wastewater properties this morning recording 39 species. Of note were Eared Grebe (perhaps Mike Boston's from the post below), Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Solitary Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel and Bobolink.  A few Travis Dewys photos are posted on our homepage.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Eared Grebe at the Wastewater

No pics worth posting but I saw an Eared Grebe along the east shore of the east lagoon at the Wastewater on Wednesday evening, 8/13/14.

Mike Boston

Good Birds at the Wastewater

Ken Sapowski, Feller DeWitt and I birded the Muskegon County Wastewater this morning and had some good birds:  American Avocet in the large west lagoon along the north shore, Red-necked Grebe and Red-necked Phalarope on the north shore of the large east lagoon, and Solitary Sandpipers in the southeast corner of the large east lagoon.

Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Morning Robin and Broad-winged Hawk

The two young Broad-winged Hawks (see July 28 post below) continue to show themselves around our yard every day, sometimes perching in the trees, sometimes flying overhead, and usually squeaking.

All the usual hawk-mobbing birds (chickadees, jays, nuthatches) go berzerk, but the robins seem most upset of all, encircling the hawks and often buzzing them.  Here are two unfriendly birds atop an oak in our backyard this morning.

- Ric

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Morning at the Wastewater

I spent the morning at Muskegon County Wastewater and saw 22 Sandhill Cranes.  Can fall weather be too far behind?  The shorebirds are building in number and the swallows are massing along the shoreline.

Charlie DeWitt

Birding MLNP with Californians

Tom and Jane Graley, members of Golden Gate Audubon, contacted me about birding Muskegon while she was here for her high school reunion.  We walked around the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning finding 26 species, none out of the ordinary.  Of note were a Caspian Tern, two Sandhill Cranes, an adult Bald Eagle, and Brian Johnson.

It was fun observing "ho-hum birds" like Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch through the eyes of the Californians.  We'll do it again Monday at other locations before the Graley's return to California.

- Ric

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Surprise at the Shop

Made a quick trip through the Wastewater this morning and got a picture of a young Red Tailed Hawk and was entertained by a dozen or so Cedar Waxwing at the Swanson-White Road intersection. Got out to my ice cream shop and had 7 Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron in my pond gorging themselves on frogs and little fish.

-  Don Neumann

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Early August Birds at Wastewater

August 2 Email:

Today's sightings from the Muskegon Wastewater: Osprey, Sandhill Cranes, Great Egret, swallows and some shorebirds.  - Dan Lockard

Dan, thanks for the report and pictures.  I'm back from California and able to post.  I'm calling your birds in the order below Great Egret, Osprey, Pectoral Sandpiper, Sanderling, two peeps (left Least Sandpiper; right either a Semipalmated Sandpiper or a lighter-plumaged Least Sandpiper) and Spotted Sandpiper.  I'd appreciate corrections to these calls. - Ric

And here are those corrections thanks to an August 7 email from Phil Chu:


I just checked in at the MCNC “Recent Sightings” page and noticed the identifications of Dan Lockard’s photos.  You’re right that the first one shows a Great Egret, the second an Osprey, the fourth an adult Sanderling, and the sixth an adult Spotted Sandpiper; however, the third one shows a juvenile Least Sandpiper, and the fifth shows two juvenile Leasts.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday at the Wastewater

Made a quick trip through the Muskegon County Wastewater this afternoon; the shorebirds seem to be increasing in numbers.  There are lots of swallows and Carol was able to get two nice pictures.

Charlie DeWitt