Sunday, November 4, 2018

November Program and Field Trip

November 15 Program
A Michigan Big Year
Brian Allen

(See sidebar for place and time.)

In 2012 with his kids out of college, Brian Allen decided to do a Michigan Big Year of birding (or to do it as well as possible for someone who was still working and married!)  Tonight's program will be a bit about that big year, but more about how one could have a strategy for a Michigan Big Year: the places, timing, and information needed.

Brian is an optometrist working in Manistee.  He has birded for 45 years and has been fortunate enough to do so in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South and Central America.  He is a former member of the Michigan Bird Records Committee and is currently an eBird reviewer for northwest Michigan.

November 17, 2018
Northside Field Trip

Our usual meeting place (the North Muskegon McDonald's) is under construction so for today's trip we will meet just up the road at the Brooklyn Bagels Cafe, 475 Whitehall Road, for coffee and chatter from 7:15-8:00.

At 8:00 we will drive to the nearby Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve (south from the restaurant to Lake Ave., right at that traffic light onto Lake for 500 feet, then left into the well-marked parking lot).  We will walk the trails of the preserve looking for whatever birds we can find.

Then we will drive west on Lake and Ruddiman Drive a few miles to the Snug Harbor parking lot of Muskegon State Park (vehicles should have Michigan Recreation Passport license plates).  We will bird the harbor area and Lost Lake Trail.  If time allows, we may continue out to Lake Michigan.

All of these areas are non-deer-hunting.  The public is welcome.  Hope to see you there!

Pictures from Lillian's Birthday

Thanks to Carol Cooper for sending these photos from the birthday lunch for Lillian Remus.

(See post below.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Lillian Remus 100th Birthday

October 23 Email:

Longtime nature club member Lillian Christine Hansen Remus today reached a milestone birthday just like her husband did.  

- Richard Mullally

Saturday, October 20, 2018

October 20 Field Trip Report

Eleven of us enjoyed the first few hours of this morning birding two locations.  At Patterson Park we found 15 species including a Swainson's Thrush and two Hermit Thrushes.

Rio Grande Creek at Patterson Park by Carol Cooper

Leaves and falling water by Carol Cooper

Birding Patterson Park by Carol Cooper

Along the trestle section of the Musketawa Trail in Ravenna we found nine bird species before returning to our cars just before the arrival of lightning, thunder, rain and hail!

Crossing the trestle by Carol Cooper

Sunlit caboose and the dark skies of the approaching storm.

The stormy sky by Carol Cooper

Saturday, September 22, 2018

September 22 Field Trip Report

On the northwest platform of Black Lake Park

What a difference a week makes!  Last Saturday at Hoffmaster and Black Lake Parks the weather was warm and muggy and the mosquitoes were thick.  Today at the same locations we only encountered mosquitoes along the south path of Black Lake Park, but not many.  This morning was cool (cold?) and beautiful as eight of us found 41 bird species.

Our only identifiable warblers were Nashville and Wilson's, though there were several others in the Hoffmaster trees.  Other species included Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White- and Red-breasted Nuthatch, six woodpeckers (Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Red-headed, Pileated and Northern Flicker), Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, three hawks (Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, and a migrating Sharp-shinned), four sparrows (Chipping, White-throated, Song and Swamp), Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-eyed Vireo and Cedar Waxwing.

Monarch at Black Lake Park

Pied-billed Grebe on Black Lake

Relaxing after walking through the Black Lake woods.

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.

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:

Blue Dasher
Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Eastern Pondhawk
Black Saddlebags
Yellow-legged Meadowhawk

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

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

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.