Sunday, December 29, 2013

1,729 Birds, 49 Species on Muskegon CBC

On December 28, 2013, several of us surveyed the North, Central and South Zones on our annual City of Muskegon Christmas Bird Count.  We found 1,729 individual birds among these 49 species:

Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Mallard, Canvasback, Greater Scaup, White-winged & Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded & Common & Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Wild Turkey, Horned Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Cooper's & Red-tailed Hawk, Merlin, Ring-billed & Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Snowy Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed & Red-bellied & Downy & Hairy & Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Horned Lark, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red- & White- breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, European Starling, American Tree & House Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch and American Goldfinch.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roughleg and Horned Grebe on Northside Trip

Six people braved the cold and snow yesterday on our Northside Field Trip observing 16 bird species at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve and 11 species at Snug Harbor in Muskegon State Park.

- Carol Cooper

MLNP:  Mute Swan, Mallard, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, Rough-legged Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Bufflehead, Canada Goose, Bald Eagle, American Tree Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, House Finch, American Goldfinch and House Sparrow.

Snug Harbor:  Mute Swan, Horned Grebe, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Bald Eagle, Dark-eyed Junco, Hairy Woodpecker, American Crow and Duck Decoys.

This is birding?
photo of John Walhout by Charlie DeWitt

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nature Club Tri-Fold Display


Saturday November 9:  Ric took the tri-fold display that Judy Fleener created to the Moss Ridge Country Club east of Ravenna today and presented information and handed out brochures to many of the participants who strolled by our table.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mocker and Shrike on Upper Mac Field Trip

Liz Notman led sixteen club members and others around the Upper Macatawa Natural Area this morning.  Besides dodging raindrops, we saw a good number of individual birds and some excellent species.

Of special note were a Northern Mockingbird along the paved trail between the parking lot and the overlook and a Northern Shrike perched on a marsh snag south of the trail.  Here is Travis Dewys' photo of the mockingbird and the eBird report for the morning.

Oct 19, 2013
Upper Macatawa Natural Area
1 mile
150 Minutes
Observers: 17

25 Canada Goose
8 Mallard
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Cooper's Hawk
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Killdeer
10 Herring/Ring-billed Gull
30 Mourning Dove
3 Northern Flicker
1 Northern Shrike
6 Blue Jay
1 American Crow
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 Eastern Bluebird
6 American Robin
1 Northern Mockingbird
12 European Starling
10 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Eastern Towhee -- female (probably 2)
1 Fox Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrow
12 White-crowned Sparrow
2 Northern Cardinal
12 Red-winged Blackbird
3 House Finch
2 American Goldfinch

Saturday, September 21, 2013

12 Participants 28 Species on September Trip

Ken Sherburn led a group of twelve people on our field trip to Oceana County this morning.  Two hours at Gale's Pond produced 22 species of birds.  After breakfast at Sadey's Restaurant in Walkerville an hour along the east side of the Walkinshaw Sanctuary added 6 more species.  eBird reports:

Sep 21, 2013
Gale's Pond
1 mile
120 Minutes
Observers: 12
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: MCNC Field Trip

27 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
1 Mallard
1 Sandhill Crane
3 Mourning Dove
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
6 Black-capped Chickadee
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
1 European Starling
2 Magnolia Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Cardinal
36 Red-winged Blackbird
3 House Finch

Sep 21, 2013
Walkinshaw Wetlands
3 miles
60 Minutes
Observers: 11
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: MCNC Field Trip

7 Canada Goose
1 Mallard
1 Great Blue Heron
4 Turkey Vulture
1 Red-tailed Hawk
9 Sandhill Crane
1 Rock Pigeon
3 Mourning Dove
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
3 Blue Jay
3 American Crow
3 Palm Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
3 Song Sparrow
8 Red-winged Blackbird
60 blackbird sp.
3 American Goldfinch

Sunday, May 19, 2013

125 Species on Big Day Count May 18, 2013

Four Die-hards (Charlie and Feller DeWitt, Travis Dewys and Ric Pedler) birded from 4:45 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. trying for as many bird species as possible.  During the course of the day there were as many as ten people involved in this pursuit, including Kathryn Mork before first light.  It may have been the mosquito-iest Muskegon Big Day Count of all time.  Thanks to Charlie for the pictures.

The morning was spent at Lane's Landing (LL) and State Game Area (SGA) headquarters along the Maple River.  Afternoon consisted of the Wastewater (WW) properties and Dayle and Nancy Vanderwier's feeders (where we got our targeted siskins).  After supper we walked the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve (MLNP) and Snug Harbor at Muskegon State Park.  We concluded our day on the north side of the Muskegon Channel where we added no new species but appreciated a beautiful sunset.  

Highlights included Alder and Willow Flycatchers calling within earshot of each other at Lane's Landing, a Philadelphia Vireo in the trees west of the single singing Prothonotary Warbler north of the marsh, Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the same location, 15 American White Pelicans flying over the SGA (and 6 more on the center dike at Wastewater), Horned & Eared Grebes and Black-bellied Plovers in the West Lagoon, Orchard Orioles on the northeast WW rather than southside this year, and a Common Night-hawk sleeping on a branch over the MLNP parking lot.

- - -
1 Robin, American LL
2 Heron, Green LL
3 Whip-poor-will LL
4 Nighthawk, Common LL
5 Sparrow, Swamp LL
6 Yellowthroat, Common LL
7 Warbler, Yellow LL
8 Goose, Canada LL
9 Blackbird, Red-winged LL
10 Catbird, Gray LL
11 Dove, Mourning LL
12 Sparrow, Song LL
13 Crane, Sandhill LL
14 Merganser, Hooded LL
15 Mallard LL
16 Grackle, Common LL
17 Teal, Blue-winged LL
18 Owl, Barred LL
19 Flycatcher, Alder LL
20 Flycatcher, Willow LL
21 Gull, Ring-billed LL
22 Duck, Wood LL
23 Rail, Virginia LL
24 Heron, Great Blue LL
25 Thrush, Wood LL
26 Wren, Marsh LL
27 Goldfinch, American LL
28 Kingfisher, Belted LL
29 Grebe, Pied-billed LL
30 Swan, Mute LL
31 Swallow, Barn LL
32 Bunting, Indigo LL
33 Warbler, Prothonotary LL
34 Veery LL
35 Grosbeak, Rose-breasted LL
36 Redstart, American LL
37 Vireo, Red-eyed LL
38 Woodpecker, Red-bellied LL
39 Pewee, Eastern Wood- LL
40 Woodpecker, Downy LL
41 Cuckoo, Yellow-billed LL
42 Woodpecker, Pileated LL
43 Nuthatch, White-breasted LL
44 Swallow, Tree LL
45 Jay, Blue LL
46 Eagle, Bald LL
47 Hawk, Red-tailed LL
48 Vireo, Philadelphia LL
49 Gnatcatcher, Blue Gray LL
50 Tanager, Scarlet LL
51 Cardinal, Northern LL
52 Flycatcher, Great Crested LL
53 Flycatcher, Least LL
54 Vireo, Yellow-throated LL
55 Cowbird, Brown-headed LL
56 Vireo, Warbling LL
57 Hummingbird, Ruby-throated SGA
58 Vulture, Turkey SGA
59 Hawk, Cooper's SGA
60 Finch, House SGA
61 Sparrow, House SGA
62 Sparrow, Chipping SGA
63 Starling, European SGA
64 Bluebird, Eastern SGA
65 Crow, American SGA
66 Wren, House SGA
67 Phoebe, Eastern SGA
68 Pelican, American White SGA
69 Swift, Chimney SGA
70 Warbler, Cerulean SGA
71 Sparrow, Savannah SGA
72 Kingbird, Eastern SGA
73 Titmouse, Tufted SGA
74 Waxwing, Cedar SGA
75 Ovenbird SGA
76 Sparrow, Grasshopper WW
77 Sandpiper, Spotted WW
78 Swallow, Bank WW
79 Swallow, Northern Rough-winged WW
80 Dunlin WW
81 Swallow, Cliff WW
82 Sandpiper, Least WW
83 Meadowlark, Eastern WW
84 Sandpiper, Semipalmated WW
85 Gull, Herring WW
86 Killdeer WW
87 Yellowlegs, Greater WW
88 Yellowlegs, Lesser WW
89 Lark, Horned WW
90 Gadwall WW
91 Shoveler, Northern WW
92 Scaup, Lesser WW
93 Duck, Ruddy WW
94 Redhead WW
95 Turnstone, Ruddy WW
96 Grebe, Horned WW
97 Grebe, Eared WW
98 Coot, American WW
99 Towhee, Eastern WW
100 Plover, Black-bellied WW
101 Tern, Black WW
102 Canvasback WW
103 Sandpiper, Upland WW
104 Harrier, Northern WW
105 Sparrow, Field WW
106 Sparrow, Vesper WW
107 Bobolink WW
108 Sparrow, White-throated WW
109 Turkey, Wild WW
110 Oriole, Baltimore WW
111 Oriole, Orchard WW
112 Thrasher, Brown WW
113 Siskin, Pine Dayle's
114 Nuthatch, Red-breasted Dayle's
115 Warbler, Yellow-rumped MLNP
116 Warbler, Black-and-white MLNP
117 Flicker, Northern MLNP
118 Sparrow, White-crowned MLNP
119 Cormorant, Double-crested MLNP
120 Pigeon, Rock MLNP
121 Falcon, Peregrine MLNP
122 Kinglet, Ruby-crowned MLNP
123 Martin, Purple MLNP
124 Chickadee, Black-capped Snug Harbor
125 Warbler, Black-throated Green Snug Harbor

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Two Cold Field Trips on Saturday April 20

From early to mid-morning Patricia Pennell of the Michigan Nature Association led a dozen MCNC members plus several others around the Five Lakes Nature Preserve in Egelston Township.  Though it was ridiculously cold for this time of year, the group counted 27 species of birds for the morning including a very vocal Pied-billed Grebe on Carr Lake.

Later in the morning until 1:00 p.m. a few people left Patricia's group to guide a dozen others around the Wastewater properties for Nik Kalejs and Karen Cleveland of the DNR.  How to bird the Wastewater rather than bird-watching was the focus of interest, though such species as American Kestrel, Barn Swallow and Northern Harrier were noted along with a "probable" Merlin.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23 Ottawa County Field Trip

Fifteen of us followed Feller DeWitt on our monthly field trip this morning.  Highlights included Peregrine Falcons and Wood Ducks seen from Chinook Pier in Grand Haven, a Red-throated Loon further west in the Grand River, and Great Black-backed Gulls and an Eared Grebe swimming in Lake Michigan offshore from the State Park.

At Pigeon lake we observed a Turkey Vulture and Belted Kingfisher.

Holland State Park produced Snow Buntings and several duck species including White-winged Scoters, Long-tailed's and a Ring-necked Duck.

Feeder birds at Hemlock Crossing upped our total species for the morning to 44.  (This is an amended number after Charlie DeWitt emailed that in checking his photographs from the field trip he found the image below of a Canvasback at Holland State Park.)


Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23 Field Trip to Allegan SGA

Fourteen of us braved the cold winds and followed Charlie DeWitt around the Allegan State Game area farm fields southwest of Fennville.  We recorded 21 bird species.  Highlights included Common Redpoll, Green-winged Teal and a Song Sparrow at the ditch east of the farm unit buildings on 118th Avenue and a light-morph Rough-legged Hawk hunting the fields west of 59th Street.  Most of us then enjoyed lunch at the Crane's Orchard Restaurant on M-89.

eBird Report:
Allegan SGA--Farm Unit, Allegan, US-MI
Feb 23, 2013 9:00 AM - 11:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
6.0 mile(s)
Comments:    Muskegon County Nature Club February Field Trip
21 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  1000+  (too many to count)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  hundreds  (too many to count)
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)  1    light morph
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  6
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  18
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  3
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  5
American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)  15
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1   
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  6
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  6
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  1
Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea)  1    
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  1

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Muskegon County #2 in Michigan for 2012

Brian Allen Email to Mich-Chat January 16, 2013:

Highest species total by county 2012 drawn from eBird:

 1.   Berrien 272
 2.  Muskegon 261
 3.   Allegan 256
       Monroe 256
 4.   Iosco 255
       Chippewa 255
 5.   Macomb 248
 6.   Washtenaw 247
 7.   Manistee 243
 8.   Wayne 241
       Delta 241
 9.   Kent 238
10.  Oakland 234