Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Grand Haven Wednesday Morning

I got to the pier at 6:30 just before the sun was coming over the dunes.  The only shorebirds that I saw were 4 Spotted Sandpipers and a "fly by" yellowlegs species.

Three Caspian Terns flew in at 7:30.  I left the pier at 8:00.

 Spotted Sandpiper

Caspian Terns

- Charlie DeWitt

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Grand Haven Bonaparte's Gulls

These are three of the six Bonaparte's Gulls that were on the Grand Haven north pier this morning.

- Charlie DeWitt

The Other Swallowtail

July 25 Email:

While at the Muskegon Dog Beach (Kruse Park), I saw this swallowtail on the dune stairway. - Carol Cooper

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Thanks, Carol.  I think this species is rarer than the Tiger Swallowtail (posted below from Black Lake Park).  Maybe somebody will let us know.  - Ric

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sanderling and Turnstone at Grand Haven

Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstone


Ruddy Turnstone

I spent an hour at Grand Haven North Pier this morning; these are the only shorebirds that I saw.

- Charlie DeWitt

Stilt Sandpipers at Wastewater on Sunday

Ken Sapkowski emailed yesterday afternoon with this link to Caleb Putnam's eBird list of 49 bird species at the Muskegon County Wastewater Management System including 11 Stilt Sandpipers.

- Ric

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Birding Along Black Lake Saturday Morning

Park Entrance on Wood Rd. 8/10 mile south of Pontaluna.

Last week Charlie DeWitt sent me a slew of great photos he's taken over the years at one of his favorite stomping grounds, Black Lake Park.  They'll be part of a program we're putting together about birding Muskegon County.

Yesterday I wanted to take some site photos and see the new boardwalks for viewing the lake itself.  

Boardwalk at the southwest corner of the park.

It was a warm-to-hot morning but comfortable in the woods except for some annoying mosquitoes and occasional road apples on the trails.  I found 25 bird species in less than two hours, many of them vocalizing.

Highlights included this Osprey out over the lake, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (presumably the same bird singing from south, east and north), Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting and all the usual suspects except Eastern Bluebird 

Boardwalk at the northwest corner of the park.

Tiger Swallowtail on the field north of the parking lot.

It's impressive how many trails this park provides through various habitats considering how relatively small it is! 

- Ric

Sunday, July 17, 2016

More Field Trip Pictures from Yesterday

Carol Cooper sends these photos from yesterday's field trip.   

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Phoebe

Monarch Butterfly

Pearl Crescent Butterfly

Click here for the trip report with photos by Charlie DeWitt.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tattler Heads-Up


Just a heads up that the Wandering Tattler eBird report from Leelanau Co. MI on July 10 does indeed appear to be a tattler species based on the attached photos just received:

It would be well worth checking all rocky jetties along Lake Michigan certainly including the large ones at Pere Marquette Park, but others as well. The bird was not seen in the same areas on two subsequent visits according to Lee.

Good Birding,
- Caleb Putnam

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rails and Wrens at the Nature Preserve

July 11 Email:

Hi Ric,

Members of your group may be interested in knowing that I've been getting good sightings of both a pair of Virginia Rails and several Marsh Wrens at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve.  I've just stood quietly on the boardwalk to the observation deck and during times when there aren't many other people around, both species will come out in the open occasionally.  I also saw three fledgling Marsh Wrens on Sunday, but I wasn't able to get a photo of them.  Feel free to post any of the photos that I've attached.

- Jerry Vis

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 16 Field Trip ( New Directions )

Due to road construction on East River Road, anyone planning to participate in our July 16 field trip should click here to see the new directions posted on our homepage.

- Ric

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Grassland and Woodland Birds on Saturday

Early yesterday morning I birded the fields south of Apple Avenue on the Wastewater properties, then the south side of the Maple River from State Game Area headquarters west to the "snipe field" (and then the field itself west to the woods).

Dickcissels, Upland Sandpipers and Grasshopper Sparrows were scattered around the WW fields south of Apple, these three using the same sprinkler rig west of Swanson Road.

Other birds of interest in the 31 species were Green Heron, Sandhill Crane, Common Raven (two flying north of Laketon west of Seba interacting in a playful dogfight), Field, Vesper, Savannah & Song Sparrows, and Indigo Bunting.

I also found 31 species at SGA including Black-billed Cuckoo, Great Crested Flycatcher, Veery, Wood Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Chipping, Field, Song & Swamp Sparrows, Indigo Bunting, and this male Common Yellowthroat playing hide-and-seek.

I may have heard one distant Sedge Wren, but I didn't record any, unlike a week ago when they were on both sides of the two-track crossing this field.

No insects of concern at the Wastewater, but deer flies were evident all over the SGA with mosquitoes quite bothersome in the shaded, non-breezy areas.

- Ric