Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wastewater and Lane's Landing This Morning

This morning along the north wall of the West Lagoon this juvenile Bald Eagle

sat beside my car as we watched an adult (maybe its mom?) nail a gull and carry it off.

As reported earlier by Charlie, there is some good shorebird habitat in the third churning lagoon which has been drained down.  Several dozen birds were foraging in the muck, mostly Lesser Yellowlegs, but also a few Semipalmated Plovers, a pair of American Golden-plovers

a Stilt Sandpiper (here with a yellowlegs),

and some Killdeer.  A Pied-billed Grebe was in the West Lagoon, a Horned Grebe in the East Lagoon,

and several Bonaparte's Gulls in various stages of molt in the southeast corner of the East Lagoon.

There were very few birds later at the Lane's Landing marsh; this Leopard Frog hopped beside the trail there.

- Ric

Great Egret Wednesday at the Wastewater

Casey Irwin photographed this Great Egret along White Road west of Swanson yesterday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Young Raptors at the W.W. on Tuesday

Casey Irwin writes, "I have been a bit of a raptor magnet lately."  Yesterday on the Wastewater properties he photographed this young Peregrine Falcon perched west of the West Lagoon and this immature Red-tailed Hawk flying over with prey in its talons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday Eagles at the Wastewater Too

While Charlie recorded some good shorebirds Monday at the Wastewater (see two previous posts), Casey Irwin photographed three Bald Eagles, a pair of adults perched west of the West Lagoon and an almost-adult immature flying east of Swanson south of Apple.

Monday, August 24, 2015

More Monday Shorebirds at WW from Charlie

August 24 Email:

Ric, here are four more pictures from the WW today. (1) American Golden-plover,  (2) Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Western Sandpiper, (3) Buff-breasted Sandpiper and (4) Western Sandpiper.  The picture of the Buff-breasted that I sent this morning (see previous post) was one that I took with my cell phone off the back of my camera.

- Charlie DeWitt

Buff-breasted Sandpiper This Morning at WW

August 24 Email:

Right now at 9:00 a.m. in the northeast corner of the cell that is being drawn down there is a Buff-breasted Sandpaper.

- Charlie DeWitt

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Birds at the Wastewater on Sunday

August 23 Email:

Hi Ric.  I had a chance to bird the Wastewater this afternoon.  I think there is an increase in the number of shorebirds.  It looks like the WW is drawing down the cell just to the east of the empty cell.  It should be good for shorebirds if they take it all the way down.  - Charlie DeWitt

Cedar Waxwing

Baird's Sandpiper


Stilt Sandpiper

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pelican and Egret at Newaygo on Sunday

August 16 Email:

Hi Ric:

I hope you are having a great summer.   I just wanted to pass this along to you.   There is an American White Pelican on Croton Pond in Newaygo; here’s a picture and a bonus Great Egret eating a chestnut lamprey.   


- Kevin Feenstra

Saturday, August 15, 2015

50 Species on Wastewater Field Trip Today

Twelve of us (not counting unexcused tardy individuals) birded the Wastewater properties this morning without seeing a single Tree Swallow!  

 Photo by Carol Cooper

We recorded 50 bird species (49 not including the pair of Egyptian Geese in Churning Lagoon #3, or 51 including the eight phalaropes in non-breeding plumage swimming too far out on the West Lagoon to I.D.) notably Blue-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Sandhill Crane, White-rumped Sandpiper (SE corner of East Lagoon), Bank, Barn & Cliff Swallows, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Cedar Waxwing, Dickcissel, Bobolink and a Common Raven flying from the landfill to a sprinkler unit east of Swanson where it "crawked".

 Great Blue Heron by Carol DeWitt

Without enough dry habitat in Churning Lagoon #2 shorebirds were confined to the small lagoon (#5) and the edges of the big lagoons.  We gave eBird 24 Killdeer, 9 Spotted Sandpiper, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 12 Lesser Yellowlegs, 6 Least, 1 White-rumped, 1 Pectoral and 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper.  Sparrows were limited to 2 Chipping, 4 Field and 9 Song.

Bobolink by Charlie DeWitt

As always, lots of fun birding with a great group of people on a beautiful day!

- Ric

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Broad-winged Hawk

August 12 Email:

Hey Ric, I heard the call of this Broad-winged Hawk near a creek on our property.  I wandered out to it and found this perched up in a tree on the bank of the creek.  I was wondering how common the broad winged hawks are around here?  Thanks,  - Casey Irwin

They're not uncommon around here but they can be hard to find in the summer unless you're near a nest or hear them calling.  The last two years I've been lucky to have a nest near my house.  Looks like you've probably got a nest near your place too.  There have been a few years when I've not seen a broadwing until the fall migration.  - Ric

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Muskegon County Wastewater 08-05-2015

 Wilson's Phalarope

 Cooper's Hawk

 Least Sandpiper

 Upland Sandpiper

White-tailed Deer

On Wednesday I had a chance to bird the Wastewater from 7:00-11:30 a.m. and found 46 species of birds, most of them the regulars for this time of the year.  The Wilson's Phalarope was in the southeast corner of the east lagoon.

- Charlie DeWitt