Thursday, April 24, 2014

Four Nature Club Events in May

May 3
Grand Haven Field Trip
Ken Sapkowski

May 10
North American Migration Count
Brian Johnson

May 15
Potluck Meeting
Details in May Newsletter

May 17
Big Day Count
Feller DeWitt & Ric Pedler

This annual club event was originally organized by Margaret Drake Elliott and George Wickstrom long ago. Locations have changed over the years, but the basic purpose has remained unchanged: a group of us spends all day trying to find the maximum number of bird species within the confines of Muskegon County.

This year's event will follow the same pattern that we've followed this century. A few hard-core individuals will meet at the outer Lane's Landing yellow gate before 5:00 a.m. to listen for night birds. At 5:00 they will drive the one-mile Lane's Landing road, pausing to listen along the way, and park their cars near the inner yellow gate.

From there they will add additional species by ear until the sky provides enough light to see the birds. As other people gradually arrive, the group will bird the trail north along the marsh and woodlands to the Muskegon River, then back to the cars, and then back to the outer gate.

Sometime mid-morning they'll drive up Maple Island Road to the State Game Area headquarters to bird along the Maple River and eat brown-bag lunches on the porch of the DNR office building.

Early afternoon will find them driving and birding the Wastewater properties. Late afternoon might find them anywhere, searching for species that have eluded them so far.

Supper is usually at the North Muskegon McDonald's followed by a walk around the nearby Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve. Then it's out to Snug Harbor at Muskegon State Park to walk the fringes and trails. In the final light of day they'll drive out to Lake Michigan and south to the Muskegon Channel in hopes of some final species.

Non-die-hards may join and leave this core group anytime throughout the day. Don't forget food and drink if you plan to lunch with us at SGA headquarters and bug repellent if you don't plan to be lunch for mosquitoes at the wetland areas. If you have a walkie-talkie, tune it to Channel 11, Subchannel 00.

We hope to see you for at least part of this annual event!  You do not need to be a club member to participate.

Click here and then scroll down to see last year's Big Day report with photos and the list of 125 bird species recorded.