Saturday, August 20, 2016
Thanks to Pat Bazany for leading us on a successful field trip today, and knowing when to stop.
At least 20 people in more than 10 cars birded the center section of the Muskegon County Wastewater properties this morning finding over 40 kinds of birds.
The rapid filtration cells along White Road produced Song, Vesper and Savannah sparrows, Dickcissel, Bobolinks (dozens in immature or female plumage), kingbird, meadowlark, Sandhill Crane, Great Blue Heron and Indigo Bunting.
Shorebirds in the two western aeration lagoons and along the big West Lagoon included sandpipers (Least, Semipalmated, Pectoral, Solitary, Baird's, Stilt, Spotted), Lesser Yellowlegs, plovers (Black-bellied, Semipalmated, Killdeer) and Short-billed Dowitchers.
Ducks included Ruddy, Mallard, Gadwall, shovelers and Blue-winged Teal; swallows included Barn, Tree and Cliff; extras included hummingbird, bluebird, vulture, kestrel, Pileated Woodpecker and Red-tailed Hawk.
By 11:30 the sun had long-since disappeared. Pat called it a day before the fast-approaching purple storm could dampen any part of our trip.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Ten of us began this morning's field trip at the old Ferguson Farm on East River Road followed by a quick, unsuccessful search for the Prothonotary Warbler at the Cedar Creek bridge on Holton-Duck Lake Road. Thanks to Charlie DeWitt for the five photos!
Baltimore Oriole at the farm.
Eastern Wood-Pewee singing near the farm parking lot.
Juvenile Green Heron on the farm footbridge.
Three of us walking the Maple River two-track.
Gray Catbird along the Maple River
Monday, May 23, 2016
Four to eight people trekked from 4:45 a.m until 7:45 p.m. from Lane's Landing to the State Game Area headquarters to the Wastewater to the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve to Muskegon State Park (Snug Harbor, the lakeshore, and the Muskegon Channel) on our annual Big Day Count, Saturday, May 21, 2016.
Highlights included Common Nighthawk, American Bittern, Black-crowned Night-heron and both cuckoos at Lane's Landing, Blue-winged and Cerulean Warblers at the SGA, Willet, White-rumped Sandpiper, Orchard Oriole, Red-headed Woodpecker and Black Tern at the Wastewater and two Barred Owls at Snug Harbor.
Our final "official total" was the 117 species listed below in alphabetical order. Disappointing misses included Hairy Woodpecker, both nuthatches, and most of the warblers -- not even a Yellow-rumped!
Flycatcher, Great Crested
Heron, Great Blue
Pewee, Eastern Wood-
Swallow, Northern Rough-winged
Warbler, Black-throated Green
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Seven of us took two cool morning walks today on Ken Sherburn's field trip. We counted 32 bird species at Lake Harbor Park, 19 at Hoffmaster State Park, for a total of 39 species for the day.
Warblers hid this morning. A Pine Warbler at Lake Harbor and an Ovenbird at Hoffmaster were the only members of that family recorded. We also never saw a robin at Hoffmaster!
Notable at Lake Harbor were Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Cedar Waxwing, the Pine Warbler, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, and an Eastern Towhee.
At Hoffmaster we saw a pair of Eastern Phoebes and their nest, watched an Osprey overhead, heard the frequent calling of a Red-shouldered Hawk, and watched two Black-capped Chickadees zipping in and out of the nest hole they were excavating.
Fourteen people birded the Upper Macatawa Natural Area east of Holland this morning. Liz Notman led us through woodland habitat beside the Macatawa River and then marsh, meadow and other woodland areas along the main path east of 48th Ave.
Of the 45 bird species encountered, most were the usual spring suspects. Highlights included 5 Blue-winged Teal landing on one of the ponds, 2 Great Egrets flying overhead, a high-flying Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, Soras and Virginia Rails calling both early and late, Wilson's Snipe, Belted Kingfisher, a Northern Rough-winged Swallow (among the many Tree Swallows), a Brown Creeper, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Hermit Thrush, and five sparrow species (Chipping, White-throated, Song, Swamp and House).
Eric Gustafson also showed us pictures of a White-eyed Vireo that he had photographed earlier on the property!
Even without the birds it was an enjoyable cool spring walk through some beautiful areas.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Six hardy souls birded several Ottawa County locations this morning tallying 47 bird species along the way.
Scoping the Great Black-backed Gull at Grand Haven.
Highlights included Rough-legged Hawk, Pied-billed Grebe, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Tundra Swan, Wood Duck and American Coot at Harbor Island; Cedar Waxwing in Grand Haven; Song Sparrow and Great Black-backed Gull at City Beach; and Brown-headed Cowbird, Fox Sparrow and Pine Siskin at the feeders at Hemlock Crossing.
Female Red-bellied and Male Downy Woodpeckers.
Aberrant-colored Male House Finch at Hemlock Crossing.
All photos by Carol Cooper.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Seven of us found 25 bird species at four locations this morning. The day started with breakfast at the Cherokee restaurant.
extinguished distinguished DeWitt Brothers at the channel.
It was windy and cold at the Muskegon Channel where we found 17 species including Long-tailed Duck, Common and Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye.
A quick stop at Lakeside Cemetary earned us our target bird: a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker.
Young Red-headed Woodpecker by Charlie DeWitt
The trails at Lake Harbor Park had dangerous slick spots so we stayed less than a half hour finding seven of the usual species.
The DeWitt property by the airport yielded ten species including Brown Creeper, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Wild Turkey and this male Hairy Woodpecker.
It was a beautiful morning with temperatures in the 40's, and the birds we found made it all the better.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Prior to Myles McNally's fascinating Birds of Japan program last night, Charlie DeWitt accepted the 2015 Club Birder of the Year trophy.
Charlie's total of 207 species listed in Muskegon and Ottawa Counties last year beat out Carol Cooper (204), Ken Sapkowski (193), Feller DeWitt (182), Ric Pedler (180) and Kathryn Mork (97).
The trophy itself is a priceless treasure designed and created by Dee DeWitt.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
- MORNING -
Ken led a group of eight bird-watchers around the Muskegon County Wastewater properties and the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve today. Thick frost covered everything at the Wastewater as did ground fog early on. Some of these pictures might make it look cold, but it was colder.
Birds of note among our 26 species included 8 Bald Eagles, a Red-shouldered Hawk, 2 Common Ravens, 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets, an Eastern Bluebird, several Snow Buntings, and 3 Rough-legged Hawks including this one fanning its tail at us as we departed.
- NOON -
An hour at the preserve gave us 17 species, mostly duplicates of those at the Wastewater, but also the Eastern Towhee who's spending his winter here, and this Fox Sparrow who may be doing the same.
As Carol filled the feeders near the pavilion, flocks arrived including this American Tree Sparrow wearing jewelry by Brian, and Northern Cardinals of both sexes.
- 1:30-2:15 -
We concluded our day with lunch at Bernie O's in North Muskegon.