Sunday, December 27, 2015

White Canada Goose

While driving past Mercy Health Lakes Village today, I noticed some Canada Geese in the pond and I saw one white bird among them.  I assumed it was probably a Snow Goose, but on the off chance that it was a Ross's, I decided to take a closer look and I discovered that they were all Canada Geese, but this one was white.

- Mike Boston

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post-Christmas Ride Around the Wastewater

Our grandson from Ohio enjoyed a ride around the Wastewater properties this morning.  We had good views of Northern Harriers "harrying" the fields, Bald Eagles perched, flying, and harrassing ducks in the rapid-filtration lagoons, and a light-morph Rough-legged Hawk "hovering" into the strong east winds.

There were still at least two dozen Hooded Mergansers in the Clay Pond at the south end of Swanson Road, but again no shrike evident on the property.

- Ric

Friday, December 25, 2015

Eastern Towhee at MLNP on Christmas Eve

December 24 Email:

Lots of birds around the preserve today, including this one.  It was around quite awhile and in and out of the feeders. - Carol Cooper

Male Eastern Towhee

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Great Black-backed Gull on Sunday

Shelley Green, a birder from Manistee, was good enough to send us pictures of a third-year Great Black-backed Gull that she photographed on Sunday (Dec. 20) near the old sand docks at the west end of Muskegon Lake.  She wondered if we could add it to our Christmas Bird Count list.  

Yes, Shelley, we will add it as a "CW" (Count Week) bird which Audubon allows for species not seen on the day of the count but 3-days before or after count day (Dec. 19).  Thanks!  - Ric

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2,170 Birds in WW CBC Sector Today

Our 36-mile drive-and-stop through the north-northeast sector of the Muskegon County Wastewater Christmas Bird Count circle this morning netted Jim Zervos and me 2,172 birds of 27 species.

Notable were 800 European Starlings (most in one flock near a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), 600 Canada Geese, 420 Mallards and 110 American Crows (most in the vicinity of a fresh deer carcas).

The only surprising species was not in our sector: a Common Raven on the field west of Swanson north of the East Lagoon.

- Ric Pedler

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Muskegon's Plover Is Now "Bahama Mama"

December 15 Email:

I just got word that the female Piping Plover that I discovered here in Muskegon was sighted in the Bahamas at Abaco on Long Beach on Dec. 1.  She has been named "Bahama Mama".

- Carol Cooper

Bahama Mama (or Papa?) with chick at Muskegon State Park June 21, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hooded Mergies at the Wastewater Saturday

Over the course of two hours this morning I drove around the Wastewater properties hoping for some winter birds.  

Of note were large numbers of Hooded Mergansers in the Clay Pond at the south end of Swanson.  I gave eBird the 24 I could positively I.D., but distance, lighting and posture prevented positive I.D. of the others which certainly could also have been Hoodies in which case perhaps 60 !

Other waterbirds included thousands of Canada Geese and hundreds of ducks including Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall

Seventeen species for the morning; no Northern Shrike.  :-(

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Eared Grebe Still at W.W. December 9

On Wednesday Bonnie Kott and Dave Herdegen birded the Wastewater and reported an Eared Grebe (presumably the same bird as posted below), 8 Snow Geese, an American Kestrel, 2 Northern Harriers, a Red-tailed Hawk,  2 Northern Pintails, plus Mallards, American Black Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, Buffleheads, Northern Shovelers and Ring-necked Ducks.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Eared Grebe at WW Wednesday & Thursday

December 3 Email:

There was an Eared Grebe present in the southern section of the west lagoon on Wednesday.  Oddly late for this species, no?  - Casey Irwin

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Bird Counts December 16 and 19

Anyone interested in participating in our club's two Christmas Bird Counts this month, click here for details.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Golden-Crowned Kinglets

November 30 Email:

Hey Ric,
I know Golden-crowned Kinglets are fairly common, but I got my first look at a pair today just outside my front door north of Ravenna.
- Casey Irwin