Friday, September 21, 2018

John Sapkowski 1925-2018


Ken's father, John Charles Sapkowski, age 92, passed away on September 4, 2018.  The son of John and Mary (Perkowski) Sapkowski, he was born on November 23, 1925, in Grand Rapids.  

Honoring his wishes, cremation has taken place.  To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign the online guest book, or share a favorite memory, click here for John's page at the Michigan Cremation website.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September Field Trip


September 22 Field Trip
Hoffmaster State Park and Black Lake Park

From 7:15-8:00 a.m. meet at the Burger King restaurant on Sternberg Road east of Harvey Street (across the street from the McDonald's where we usually meet - it is under construction).  

At 8:00 we will head for the pavilion at the far south end of Hoffmaster State Park (fee required unless vehicles have Michigan State Parks Recreation Passport license plates).  After birding there for awhile, we will drive to the nearby Black Lake Park (east on Pontaluna Rd. from Hoffmaster, then south on Wood Rd.) for the rest of the morning.

Hopefully we will find migrating warblers and other good fall birds.  Be sure to have bug dope and wear clothing that protects your legs and arms from mosquitoes. 

The public is welcome.  Hope to see you there.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

August 18 Field Trip Report



Nine people and a dog named Jack spent this morning birding the Muskegon County Wastewater properties.  Our June and July field trips featured rain, but today's was dry and comfortable. 

Spotted Sandpiper by Pat Bazany

Juvenile Barn Swallow

We found more than 51 bird species including Wood Duck, Sandhill Crane, Semipalmated Plover, six sandpipers (Least, White-rumped, Pectoral, Semipalmated, Spotted, Solitary), a dowitcher, both yellowlegs, Great Egret (see Charlie's photo), Green Heron, three hawks (Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Sharp-shinned), Belted Kingfisher, Peregrine Falcon, Great-crested Flycatcher, Cedar Waxwing, four sparrows (Grasshopper, Chipping, Field, Song), Baltimore Oriole and Indigo Bunting.

Red-shouldered Hawk by Pat Bazany

A Polyphemus Moth warmed itself near the aeration cells.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

July 28 Dragonfly/Damselfly Trip Report


Jerry Lang and Dave Dister led a Dragonfly/Damselfly field trip Saturday afternoon (July 28).  Details and photos from the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve portion are posted on our Recent Sightings page.

Charlie DeWitt and Jerry later emailed information which included two other locations: Lost Lake and Black Lake.  

Calico Pennant by Charlie DeWitt

Jerry suggested that this list by Charlie of all species recorded on the trip was the more complete:

M.L.N.P.
Blue Dasher
Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Eastern Pondhawk
Black Saddlebags
Yellow-legged Meadowhawk

LOST LAKE
Eastern Pondhawk
Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Black Saddlebags
Blue Dasher
Widow Skimmer

BLACK LAKE
Calico Pennant
Halloween Pennant
Spangled Skimmer
Eastern Pondhawk
Common Whitetail
Widow Skimmer
Twelve-spotted Skimmer

DAMSELFLIES
Stream Bluet
Eastern Forktail 

It seems to me we had at least one more damselfly.

Attached is the picture of the Slaty Skimmer I told you about.

- Charlie DeWitt
Slaty Skimmer by Charlie DeWitt

- - -

Eastern Pondhawk on Ric's shirt at the M.L.N.P. by Jerry Lang

Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 21 Allegan County Field Trip Report


A month of drought between last month's field trip and today, so of course the skies opened this morning!  McDonald's didn't.  Three cars, five people, on-and-off rain, 22 bird species, and good food at Crane's Restaurant in Allegan County.  No one drowned. 

photo by Charlie DeWitt

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16 Field Trip Canceled Except for Charlie


Four people who showed up for coffee at McDonald's (and one at the old Ferguson Farm) decided to spend the rest of this wet morning at home rather than looking for birds in the rain.  But Charlie DeWitt led his own trip and posted it today on our Recent Sightings page.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Our Big Day Species, Locations and Times


Here are the eBird listings for our Big Day Count last Saturday, May 19, 2018.  Total Species125.

Lane's Landing Before Dawn (2 Species)

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)  X
Barred Owl (Strix varia)  X

Lane's Landing Early Mornng (40 Species)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  X
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  X
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  X
Sora (Porzana carolina)  X
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  X
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)  X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  X
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)  X
Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum)  X
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)  X
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)  X
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)  X
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  X
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)  X
Veery (Catharus fuscescens)  X
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  X
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  X
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  X
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)  X
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  X
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  X
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  X
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X

Wastewater Northside Mid-Morning (44 More Species)

Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)  X
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) X
Redhead (Aythya americana)  X
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  X 
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  X
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)  X
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)  X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  X
Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)  X
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  X
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  X
Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)  X
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)  X
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  X
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  X
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)  X
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  X
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  X
Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)  X
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  X
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  X
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  X
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  X
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)  X
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  X
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)  X
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  X
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  X
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)  X
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  X

DNR Headquarters Maple River Mid-Day (17 more)

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus)  X
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  X
Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)  X
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  X
Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons)  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  X
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)  X
Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora cyanoptera)  X
Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)  X
Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  X
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Patterson Park Early Afternoon (8 more)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  X
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  X
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  X
Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis)  X

Wastewater Southside Mid-Afternoon (4 more)

Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  X
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)  X
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  X
Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)  X

Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve Late Afternoon (6 more)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  X
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)  X
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  X
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  X

Muskegon State Park Snug Harbor Early Evening (2 more)

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  X
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  X

Muskegon State Park Beach House Evening (1 more)

Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)  X 

Muskegon State Park Muskegon Channel Evening (1 more)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)  X

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Big Day Final Total = 125 Species


Yesterday's Big Day Count began with a nice amount of people but not so many birds.  Much of that was undoubtedly due to the on-and-off rains throughout the morning.

Lane's Landing

Our core group recorded only one species -- Barred Owl -- before reaching the inner gate at Lane's Landing.  The wet walk between the marshes provided fewer species than most years and before we reached the Prothonotary Woods, we turned around because we were getting very wet!

State Game Area along the Maple River

That altered our original plans.  In order to stay dry and still find some birds, we drove to the Wastewater.  The north side provided many species, but not the three American White Pelicans that were also there yesterday morning.  By the time we got to the State Game Area headquarters at 11:00, we had about 85 species, a respectable number.  And most of the rain had stopped.


Patterson Park

Old orchard homestead on the south Wastewater properties

Having already birded north of Apple Ave. at the Wastewater, we headed to Patterson Park after lunch.  Then it was the south Wastewater properties including the abandoned orchard, supper at North Muskegon McDonald's, the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve, and Muskegon State Park (the Lost Lake trail first, and the Muskegon Channel at end of day).

Die-hards along the channel wall at the end of the day.

Our final Big Day Total was:   125 species   .

Friday, May 18, 2018

Potluck Picnic Meeting


Over 25 people attended our Potluck Picnic Meeting Thursday evening May 17, 2018.  Afterwards we took a walk around the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve finding 38 species of birds.  (Details posted on Recent Sightings.)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21 Field Trip Report


We began in Ottawa County at the Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve walking north and clockwise back around to the parking lot finding 26 species along our way.  Of note were Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Red- and White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Photo by Carol Cooper

At the fisherman's parking lot north of the Grand Haven Channel we listed Long-tailed Duck, Bonaparte's Gull, Caspian Tern, Double-crested Cormorant and Purple Martin.

At Black Lake from the bridge down to and including Black Lake Park we found at least 39 species.  Of the 24 new species for this morning, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, scaup (sp), Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed and Horned Grebe, Green Heron, a buteo hawk, American Coot, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, Brown Thrasher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and Common Grackle were notable.

So in about three and a half hours of bird-watching we found 54 species of birds.