Monday, May 20, 2019

Big Day Count Total = 134 Species

Our Big Day Count on Saturday May 18 produced 134 bird species!  A complete report is posted on our Recent Sightings page.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Regarding Four April Events

April 13 Presentation
Laura Erickson at Fremont

Mrs. Erickson's program at the Fremont Library was very informative.  Later a few of us took her to the DNR State Game Area headquarters (found no Rusty Blackbirds) and the Wastewater properties (where we watched a raven harrass a harrier south of White Road!).  As she photographed Ruddy Ducks on the east lagoon she said it was the best view she'd ever had of that species.  (Meet Laura Erickson in the post below.)

April 18 Program
Birding on the Central Amazon
Steve and Angeline Hamberg

Dr. and Mrs. Hamberg presented a beautiful photo-and-video program about birding on the Amazon River in Brazil.  

April 20 Field Trip
Two Grand Haven Locations

Thirteen of us birded Harbor Island and the Hofma Preserve this morning finding 43 and 23 bird species respectively.  Because one of those was a Yellow-headed Blackbird, we've posted the complete report on our Recent Sightings page.

April 21-30
Ohio Birding

See the "Cold Ohio Birding" post on our Recent Sightings page.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Meet Laura Erickson on April 13 !

MCNC-member Susan Herrick of Grand Haven informs us of a unique opportunity for Muskegon-area bird-watchers:

Laura Erickson, who Susan has known since the 1980's, will be presenting a program at the Fremont Library at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 13.  No registration is needed and the program is free.  Afterward Susan will take Laura to a few natural areas (beginning at Loda Lake, followed by sites we might suggest along their way back to Grand Haven).  Susan hopes some of us can join them.  Bring kids and grandkids too!

For those not familiar, Laura Erickson, the 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association's prestigious Roger Tory Peterson Award, has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.  She has written eleven books about birds, including the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Minnesota; National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America; the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Bird Award-winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; and The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  She is currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine.  Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running "For the Birds" radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes.  She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with her husband, one indoor cat, and her little birding dog Pip.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

March 23 Field Trip Report

Nineteen people followed Liz Notman around western portions of the Upper Macatawa Natural Area south of Zealand on Saturday morning.  Conditions were sunny and very cool.


Notable among today's 35 bird species were Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Northern Harrier, Eastern Bluebird, White-throated Sparrow and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Thanks to Carol Cooper for these photos of some of the older and younger participants:


Saturday, February 23, 2019

February 23 Field Trip Report

Nine of us birded Grand Haven, the Pigeon Creek channel, Hemlock Crossing and the fields along 128th Avenue in Ottawa County this morning finding 39 bird species along the way.

Birds of note included many Bald Eagles and White-winged Scoters plus a Great Black-backed Gull and Long-tailed Duck at Grand Haven; Bufflehead, Redhead, and Hooded Merganser at Pigeon Creek; Eastern Bluebird, Pileated, Downy, Hairy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, American Tree Sparrows and Pine Siskins at Hemlock Crossing; and Horned Larks along 128th Ave.

Warm clothing helped early against the cold easterly winds until we reached the Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center.  

Birding in comfort through the nature center window.
(Photo by Charlie DeWitt)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

January 19 Trip Report

Our original plan was to bird the Muskegon Channel area, Lake Harbor Park, and Black Lake Park.  However, after finding very few birds but lots of frigid winds at the first two locations, we decided we'd have a better chance of seeing a good bird at a feeder from the warmth of a house.  So that's what we did! *

Feller, Greg, Ric and Ken.  - Photo by Charlie

January 31 Update:  That bird was a Summer Tanager!  Photos and details are now posted at Recent Sightings

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Margaret Mary Hicks 1922-2018

Tim Hicks' mother, Margaret Mary Hicks, passed away Monday December 24, 2018.  Click here for the obituary.  

For those newer to our club, Tim was a very active member before moving to Texas.  He led our field trips for many years, helping us learn more about nature, particularly birds, through his soft-spoken expertise.  Our deepest sympathies to Tim and his family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Two Christmas Bird Counts

On Saturday, December 15, 2018, our group conducted the City of Muskegon CBC within a 15-mile-diameter circle centered downtown.  

Here are five pictures taken by Carol Cooper with the northside group on their walk at Muskegon State Park:


The northside Bird of the Day was a Brown Thrasher west of the ranger station along the entrance road paralleling the north side of the Muskegon Channel!  There were also two Snowy Owls on the rocks of the north breakwall.

Brian Johnson's Muskegon Wastewater CBC was conducted Wednesday December 19, 2018 within a 15-mile-diameter circle centered at White and Ravenna Roads.  One of the groups censusing the southwest sector reported a Eurasian Collared-Dove.  

When all the data is compiled from these CBC's, we'll post additional information.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Target Bird for British Birder

Today for the second time this year I was able to take a birder from England around the Wastewater properties and points east.  This was his Lifer Target Bird:

Everything else was "gravy", but we also saw more than 100 Common Redpolls, several dozen Snow Buntings and a Red-shouldered Hawk before our day was over.

- Ric

Sunday, November 18, 2018

November 17 Field Trip Report

"Who says we're getting older?" - Mark's son Jadon
photo by Carol Cooper 

It was cold but not windy, the world beautifully coated in snow, as ten of us birded the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve and Snug Harbor at Muskegon State Park.

Lost Lake Trail by Charlie DeWitt

Among the Hemlocks by Carol Cooper

The 21 species at the preserve included Wood Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Cedar Waxwing and Brown Creeper.  All 10 species at MSP were ho-hum.