Monday, June 29, 2015

Sapsuckers & Avocet but No Scoter

Excerpts from Monday June 29 Email:

... By the way, today I bumped into two, or maybe three, yellow-bellied sapsuckers down fairly close to the end of Brickyard Road (about 150 yards north of the bridge over Little Cedar Creek), on the north side of the Muskegon River in the Muskegon State Game Area.  This is a mile away from the place where Brian Johnson had seen a sapsucker about four Junes ago.

Also by the way, I went from the State Game Area to the Wastewater, where the American avocet is still present, and where I finally happened upon the Eared Grebes; I couldn't find the scoter, though, and that's despite stopping and scoping a couple of times on each side of the lagoons -- I'm starting to think that it's really gone. 

- Phil Chu

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lake Harbor and Black Lake on Saturday

I walked around Lake Harbor Park after breakfast this morning.  Not surprisingly, it was quieter birdwise and busier peoplewise than a month ago.

The "best" bird was a small tern flying south over the beach.  Its upper primaries were very light so I took it as a Forster's Tern (unfortunately, because it's the Common I need for Michigan this year).  

Others among 18 species were this Herring Gull asking for its portrait on the north channel light,

a Belted Kingfisher, lots of Bank Swallows (this juvenile on a cable along the south side of the channel),

and a Northern Cardinal singing atop a high snag, then dropping toward another male in the trees below.

Later at Black Lake Park there were 22 bird species including Great Blue Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling & Red-eyed Vireos, Eastern Bluebird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Baltimore Oriole.

I'm assuming these two dragonflies on the field near the entrance are common species.  Thanks to anyone (Charlie? Greg?) who I.D.'s them in the comments below.

- Ric

Friday, June 26, 2015

Kitchell/Lindquist Friday Morning

Chip Francke's and the Mannings' new Ottawa County bird book (posted May 23 on our home page) says on page 19 that Pine Warblers are resident at Kitchel/Lindquist Dunes Preserve, so I birded there this morning in hopes of finding one.  No luck; all songs like theirs in the pine trees were being sung by Chipping Sparrows.

Nevertheless, I still had a pleasant walk and found 33 species including American Kestrel, Great Crested Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee, and a photographable American Redstart and Yellow Warbler.

- Ric

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Morning on the WW Grasslands

Five of us birded the Wastewater fields north and south of Apple this morning before meeting to discuss next year's field trips.  We counted 45 bird species including Dickcissel ,

Green Heron, Sandhill Crane, Spotted and Upland Sandpipers, Yellow-throated, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, Northern Rough-winged, Tree, Bank, Barn and Cliff Swallows, Chipping, Field, Vesper, Grasshopper and Song Sparrows, Bobolink, Red-winged and Brewer's Blackbirds, plus Baltimore and Orchard Orioles (two nesting pairs of the latter).

- Ric

Monday, June 22, 2015

Red-headed Woodpecker at the Wastewater

Before heading back to Florida, Roger Newell took another swing through the Wastewater properties and got "a quick shot of this Red-headed Woodpecker near bluebird house LP21 on the gravel road parallel to the main entrance along the high powerlines."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

50 Bird Species at Snug Harbor Today

Twelve people participated in our June field trip this gorgeous morning.  We walked Snug Harbor (Muskegon State Park) from the parking lots to Lost Lake to headquarters to Warbler Alley (south trail west of the harbor).  Despite missing Downy and Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Thrush, Mallard, Canada Goose, and the three "House" species (sparrow, finch and wren), we still recorded 50 bird species in about four hours.

Wood Duck, swan, turkey, Green and Great Blue Heron, eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, gull, dove, Barred Owl, swift, hummingbird, Red-bellied and Hairy Woodpecker, flicker, pewee, phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, kingbird, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireo, jay, crow, Tree and Barn Swallow, chickadee, titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wren, gnatcatcher, veery, robin, catbird, starling, waxwing, Ovenbird, yellowthroat, redstart, Magnolia, Yellow and Black-throated Green Warbler, Chipping and Song Sparrow, cardinal, grosbeak, blackbird, grackle, cowbird, oriole and goldfinch.

This Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) butterfly was on the sandy beach of the north shore of the harbor.

Can you see the red morph Eastern Screech-owl high up in this tree?

On closer inspection it turned out to be the Notta subspecies (Megascops asio notta) and unfortunately the latest ABA guidelines do not allow the counting of Notta Screech-owl.

A good time was had by all!

- Ric

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Birding Snug Harbor Thursday Morning

Roger Newell and I birded Snug Harbor this morning as a "dry run" for Saturday's club field trip.

We recorded 39 species including Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Kingbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Veery, Cedar Waxwing, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and an almost tame (very young?) Northern Flicker.

Despite dark sometimes rainy conditions, Roger was able to get these photos of the waxwing, the Magnolia, and the flicker:

- Ric

Monday, June 15, 2015

Snug Harbor Trip This Saturday June 20

All are welcome on our June Field Trip this Saturday to Snug Harbor.  Click here for details.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pelicans Do a Fly Over in Grand Haven

These American White Pelicans flew over Harbor Island today about noon.

- Charlie DeWitt

Wastewater Birds Friday and Saturday

Roger Newell of Florida who grew up near the Wastewater properties is in Muskegon again for a visit.  Yesterday (6/12/15) he birded the WW and took these photographs of a Bobolink, sandpipers (can anyone I.D. these?) and a Black Scoter with what looks like some flavor of Ruddy Duck (comments welcome), perhaps even the Odd Duck referred to in the previous posts:

This morning (6/13/15) Roger and I birded the Wastewater, mostly south of Apple Ave.  We recorded 52 species, the usual suspects including Spotted and Upland Sandpipers, Chipping, Field, Vesper, Savannah, Grasshopper and Song Sparrows, Dickcissel and Bobolink, and 5-12 not-so-usual Brewer's Blackbirds in the rapid filtration cells north of the West Lagoon.

- Ric

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Banded Piping Plover

Carol Cooper saw this banded Piping Plover yesterday and informed Brian Johnson.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Is This the ODDU from Marbled Godwit Post?

June 10 Email:

On June 3, I possibly saw this "odd duck" mentioned in Ken Sapkowski's email (see post below) on the club's recent sightings page.  I thought perhaps it was a hybrid or a strange color morph.  At the very least, the lack of white cheeks was notable to me.  I was going to look into it further but haven't done so yet.  Ken, is this the duck you were referring to in the email Ric posted?

- Marc Miedema

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Marbled Godwit at Wastewater on Monday

June 9 Email:

Mark Miedema reported a Marbled Godwit at the Wastewater yesterday (June 8).  Also, birders should be on the lookout for an odd duck mixed in with the Ruddy's in the west lagoon.  It is Ruddy shaped, maybe a hair bigger, but very dark compared to the rest of the males and females it's in with. 

- Ken Sapkowski

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Eurasian Wigeon Still at the Wastewater

The Eurasian Wigeon was at the Wastewater on Saturday, 6/6/15, about 7:15 a.m. along the east shore of the east lagoon about 200 yards from the north shore. When last seen, though, it was flying west over the east lagoon. I also saw a Black Tern along the southeast shore of the east lagoon.

- Mike Boston

At 8:00 Mike saw me near the rapid filtration lagoons where I'd photographed Great Blue Heron, Sandhill Crane and Grasshopper Sparrow.  I headed over to the east lagoon but could not re-find the wigeon or the tern.  I did find a pair of Eared Grebe.  - Ric

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Eurasian Wigeon Not Found Later Wednesday

Wednesday Evening Email:

Negative on the Eurasian wigeon.  All I could manage was an American wigeon.  No red-necked grebe either.  Hopefully others had better luck than I did. 

- Marc Miedema

June 3 to Mich-listers:

Hello.  The search for the Eurasian Wigeon at Muskegon Wastewater this evening was unsuccessful.  The bird was last seen earlier today on the east shore of the large east lagoon.  Two Eared Grebe and a Black Scoter were along the north side of the east lagoon.  Cheers,

- Chace Scholten

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Eurasian Wigeon at Wastewater

June 3 Email:

Hey Ric,

Saw this guy at the Wastewater this morning. I saw the two Egyptian geese in the drawn down cell too.

- Mike Boston

Location Update:  "I first saw it in the small, easternmost cell and it flushed when it saw me driving toward it.  Then I saw it again along the east shore of the east lagoon about 300 yards from the north shore.  That's where I got the photos."

Looks like a Eurasian Wigeon to me, Mike; good bird! - Ric

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pelicans and Red-necked Grebe Tuesday

Anita Friend photographed these American White Pelicans on the east lagoon at Wastewater this morning.  

Bruce Cohen reported a breeding plumage Red-necked Grebe on the north side of the east lagoon this afternoon.