Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Do You Know About These Cards?

Don Neumann emailed these two photo with a message titled "Arm and Hammer":

"Hi Ric, picked up about 60 of these at an estate sale. Had never seen them before and was surprised to learn they had been available for 90 years, starting in the 1880’s. Was wondering if anyone from the club may know about or collected them.

Looks like they originally came in (on? the box and later you had to send in box tops to get the current set.   I had never heard of or seen these and thought someone may have some history with them."

I wrote Don that I'd never seen these myself but that there might be some people in the club who knew about them.  If you do, please contact me.  Thanks!  - Ric

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Golden Eagle on Monday

Kevin Feenstra sends this photo of a juvenile Golden Eagle he saw soaring over the Muskegon River near Mill Iron Rod on Monday.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Saturday Morning at the Nature Preserve


I found 25 bird species on a short walk around the colorful fall-like Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve this morning.  This Green Heron fished west of the entrance bridge.

A pair of Red-shouldered Hawks flew around and screamed overhead.  Other species included Wood Duck ...

... Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Warbling Vireo, Cedar Waxwing and Common Yellowthroat.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Another Rambi ?

A couple years ago we chronicled the adventures of Rambi, a Mourning Dove that Mike VanderStelt reared from a fledgling to an adult.  Yesterday Mike found another abandoned fledgling, this Cedar Waxwing. 

If its parents don’t tend to it, Mike will try to keep it alive as he did with Rambi.  We’ll keep you posted.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Wednesday Birds at the Recovery Center

Thanks to Dan Lockard for these photos of a Great Egret, Sandhill Cranes and a juvenile Bald Eagle.  He took them on Wednesday the 16th at the Recovery Center (Wastewater) properties.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Hofma Preserve

I birded Hofma Preserve this morning.  The marsh was unfortunately beautiful with huge patches of purple loosestrife.

I found 17 bird species including Wood Duck, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron,

Cedar Waxwing, Swamp Sparrow and Yellow Warbler.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Muskegon Peregrines Update

Below I've summarized many recent email and Discord (birding app) posts regarding Peregrine Falcons in downtown Muskegon.  Here's a photo from Wildside Rehab of one of the juveniles that was "rescued" and is now in rehab prior to release.

As some of you may recall, peregrines successfully fledged numerous youngsters for several years using the nest boxes on what used to be the tallest object in Muskegon County, the smokestack of the B.C. Cobb plant.

Those boxes were moved to the roof of the Shoreline Inn before destruction of the smokestack.  Although the boxes were never used as nest sites, peregrines were sometimes seen on that roof killing pigeons and rearing young.

Unlike the old Cobb Plant properties, ground level in downtown Muskegon is no place for a fledgling falcon.  Three juveniles, one last year, two this year, were recovered from the ground near the Huntington Bank Building and it's been confirmed that peregrines are using that rooftop ledge for nesting.

Although there's nothing definite yet, it's possible that the Shoreline Inn boxes might be moved to the Huntington Bank building with future youngsters perhaps being banded as were the Cobb Plant young. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Black Lake Today; Oak Savanna Last Week

I walked around the southern areas of Black Lake Park this beautiful morning finding 30 species of birds.  Nothing remarkable.  Great Crested Flycatcher, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, American Redstart, Sandhill Crane:

Last Saturday Beth Miller and I accompanied a Great Lakes Audubon group as they birded Lane's Landing and an oak savanna being created (actually, re-created) by the Michigan DNR.  It's not finished yet; more controlled burns necessary, etc., but well worth visiting now, and open to the public.  

From the Maple Island bridge, drive 3.5 miles east on South River Drive.  Park on the right where the road meets the power lines and walk the trail south through the woods to the savanna opening (the J-shaped light green area circled on the map below).  Ferns still live where the grasses will be.  Red-headed Woodpeckers and Field Sparrows have already found the property to their liking.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

June 3 Allegan Field Trip Report

Nine adults and four juveniles birded two sections of the Allegan State Game Area this morning.  All told we found 59 bird species along the way.  (Photos below by Carol DeWitt.)

We began with stops along the fields and woodlots of the farm unit.  Notable species included many Dickcissels; Willow, Least and Great-crested Flycatcher; Bobolink; Ring-necked Pheasant; Green Heron; Brown Thrasher; Vesper, Field and Grasshopper Sparrow; Bobolink; Eastern Meadowlark; Red-tailed Hawk; Eastern Towhee; Orchard Oriole; Cedar Waxwing and American Redstart.

Then we drove a few miles east of Fennville to bird the huge tract of woods in the eastern SGA.  Bird species included Eastern Wood-Pewee; Ovenbird; Hooded, Cerulean and Blue-winged Warbler; Yellow-billed Cuckoo; Veery; Scarlet Tanager; Pileated Woodpecker; Acadian and Least Flycatcher; and Yellow-throated Vireo.

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak with food for her family. 

We stopped birding around 12:30.  Most of us then enjoyed a late lunch at the Crane's Pie Pantry Restaurant west of Fennville before returning home.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

June 3 Field Trip to Allegan County

Our monthly field trip is scheduled for this Saturday, June 3.  We will bird the Allegan State Game Area in the morning and enjoy lunch at the Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant west of Fennville at midday.

Allow about an hour of travel time from Muskegon to the US-31 / M-89 interchange south of Holland.  We will meet at 8:30 in the parking lot of the Shell gas station a half mile east of the interchange where M-89 crosses the Blue Star Highway.  From there we will drive to various places on the nearby farm properties of the Allegan State Game Area to look for whatever birds we can find.  Having a walkie-talkie in your vehicle tuned to Channel 11, Subchannel 0 can be helpful, but is not necessary.

Around noon we’ll drive to the Crane’s Orchard Pie Pantry Restaurant, 6054 124th Ave. (M-89), Fennville, MI. for lunch.  Some of us may return to Muskegon with a stop at New Richmond Bridge Park along the north side of the Kalamazoo River .  

This trip is open to the public.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Big Day Report

On Saturday our Big Day group found 121 bird species.  Click here for more details.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Chat on Lost Lake Trail

May 16 Email:

I saw this Yellow-breasted Chat on the Lost Lake Trail on Tuesday afternoon.  In the open stretch between the woods, about midway between the 2nd and 3rd bridges.

- Mike Boston

Monday, May 15, 2023

Black Lake Park Monday Morning

I walked the south side of Black Lake Park this cool May morning.  Among the 29 bird species were four warblers: Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart and Black-throated Green.  Others included Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Towhee, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole and Sandhill Crane.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

American Redstart

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Year Birds Saturday

Two first-of-the-year species arrived in our back yard during pre-breakfast coffee this morning: Baltimore Oriole and Great Crested Flycatcher.  

Later I birded East Grand River (Flahive) Park in Grand Haven.  The bird radar last night had me hopeful that trees would be filled with warblers, but that was only true for Yellow-rumped's.  They were everywhere.  But two Palms and one Yellow were the only other warblers.  My only other Year Bird was Warbling Vireo.

I stopped briefly at Black Lake Park on my way home and found this first-for-my-year Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing atop a tree southwest of where Wood Road crosses the creek.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Black Lake Park Friday

Small flocks of White-throated Sparrows foraged around Black Lake Park this morning.

Many other local and migrating birds also graced the park today.  Notable among the 40 species I found were Bufflehead, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Least Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, House, Winter and Sedge Wrens, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Towhee and Yellow Warbler.