Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Well, with the limited diversity these days, Nova and I were somewhat excited to have a Fox Sparrow show up at the feeders at the staff housing today. As fate would have it, the Northern Shrike that has been making the occasional raid on our feeders was even more excited (Nova's photo above). Other birds at the housing feeders today were Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Red-breated Nuthatch, Pine Grosbeak (photo below), and Common Redpoll. The weather turned on us and we've had well over a foot of snow and high winds over the last few days. More is expected, along with 40 mph wind gusts tomorrow. Prior to the storm the feeders at the Point were still being visited by Red-winged Blackbird, Pine Grosbeaks, and Common and Hoary Redpolls. A handful of waterbirds were also still around; Common Loon, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck. Other sightings included Ruffed and Sharp-tailed Grouse, Bald Eagle, and Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Nova and I made the trek over to the upper falls in Tahquamenon State Park during the first snow fall (photo below). Truly beautiful in the snow.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Highlights: Prairie Warbler, Hoary Redpoll, Pine Grosbeak
The Prairie Warbler continues to hang on in spite of snow and low temperatures. At least 2 Hoary Redpolls, were among the 50 Common Redpolls at the feeders today. Nine Pine Grosbeaks were also at the feeders, along with a Red-winged Blackbird and a Snow Bunting. Nova and I had an amazing experience with 5 River Otters (photo above) near the Tahquamenon River mouth this afternoon. These otters fished near shore, within 30 feet of us for about 20 minutes.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Highlights: White-winged Crossbill
Well, the official field seasons for 2007 came to an end yesterday. Nova and I will however be here until mid December. We will continue birding the Point and will periodically post sightings. A few new birds for the season were spotted by Nova over the last few days; Eastern Bluebird and Cooper's Hawk. There have been no big changes in the woods, but the feeders continue to be productive. Feeder birds have included Northern Cardinal, Pine & Evening Grosbeak, and Common & Hoary Redpoll. The above photo is of a Red-tailed Hawk.
For those who may be interested, I will be posting some of my favorite photos taken at the Point this spring, summer and fall. This will take a bit of sorting and editing, but I hope to start getting some up in a week or so.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Highlights: Hoary Redpoll (photo above)
There has not been much change over the last few days as far as songbirds are concerned. The feeders continue to be visited by American Tree, Chipping and White-crowned Sparrows, Pine and Evening Grosbeak, Common and Hoary Redpoll, and Pine Siskin.
Other recent sightings have included; Pileated woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbird, Hermit Thrush, and Snow Bunting.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I did some searching south of the Point today in hopes of finding a Hawk Owl or a Great Gray. No luck with the owls, but there was a Sharp-tailed Grouse (photo below) and a Northern Shrike along Lone Pine Rd.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Highlights: Prairie Warbler, Pine Grosbeak, and Hoary Redpoll (photo)
The birding was relatively slow again today. The sparrows have slowed down and the winter birds have not yet really kicked in. The exception continues to be redpolls. Common Redpoll flocks are widespread around the Point and multiple Hoary Redpolls were at the feeders today. Three male and one female Pine Grosbeak were feeding in shrubs today, previous reports have all been fly overs. Red Crossbills were seen flying over today. Snow Buntings continue to be seen daily, best bet for these guys is on the beach out at the tip. Keith and Wendy found a Prairie Warbler this afternoon. One has to assume it the same bird from the 21st, but it did appear brighter than that bird. Cory had a Black-legged Kittiwake from the waterbird count today.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Highlights: Towsend's Solitaire (3), Prairie Warbler (yesterday)
Two Townsend's Solitaires (one in photo above) were found this morning. This evening at least three were still being observed. Yesterday a Prairie Warbler (photo below) was seen very briefly. The Harris's Sparrow continues at the feeders. Other sightings included Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, and Snow Bunting.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The weather was absolutely beautiful today and there was some productive birding. The Cave Swallow was seen multiple times until around 3:00 today, this record requires acceptance by the Michigan Bird Records Committee. Other sightings in the woods included Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Winter Wren, Pine and Evening Grosbeak, and Common Redpoll. Snow Buntings (photo above) continue frequenting the beach. Cory had a nice flight out at the waterbird count today, including nice close passes along the shoreline by Bonaparte's Gulls (photo below)
Feeders: Ruffed Grouse, Northern Cardinal, Northern Shrike (not there for the seed), Harris's Sparrow, Lapland Longspur and Evening Grosbeak
Monday, October 15, 2007
As is the case during any season, there are going to be slow days. A light east wind really stalled out the migration today, there were still a few good sightings though. A Barred Owl (photo above) was roosting at the Point today. Snow Buntings were on the beach again today, and there was once again a roving flock of Common Redpolls.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Highlights: Black-legged Kittiwake
Activity has been slow in the woods over the last couple of days, but some of the later season birds have begun appearing. Northern Shrikes (photo above), Common Redpoll, and Snow Bunting have been being seen daily. Other reports have included Bohemian Waxwing, Pine and Evening Grosbeak, and White-winged Crossbill. Rough-legged Hawks showed up yesterday, and another was seen today. There have been predictions of a good winter finch season, and we are beginning to see hints that this is going to prove true.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Well it has finally begun to feel like fall and appropriately enough the first Northern Shrike and Common Redpoll of the season showed up today. American Tree (photo below) and White-crowned Sparrow numbers have also been increasing. Evening grosbeaks have begun visiting the feeders, after a week or so of flying over the Point. The numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglets have also been growing over the last couple of days. It pains me to admit it, but Cory got better shots of the Shrike than I did today and he posted a nice shot on the waterbird blog.
Feeders: American Tree, Song, Vesper, White-throated, White-crowned, and Harris's Sparrow, Dark-eyed junco, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin. A Ruffed Grouse has also been making the occasional appearance.
Monday, October 8, 2007
There were a few warbler around today, in addition to the Yellow-rumpeds and Palms we had Cape May, Tennesse, Orange-crowned, and Magnolia. Harris's Sparrows continue at the feeders, at least two were still present. there were good numbers of Savannah and Swamp Sparrows around and Tree Sparrows are now being seen daily. A LeConte's Sparrow was found at the foghorn pond on the 6th. The feeders continue attracting large numbers of Pine Siskin.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Waterbirds: The day started off slowly, but the last 2 hours of the count picked up. Sightings included all three scoter species, Redhead, Black-bellied and American Golden Plover and Baird's Sanpiper (photo below). We also had a nice pass from a Parasitic Jaeger (photo above).
Cory and I have been doing the best we can trying to identify jaegers to species and to determine if the same individual is remaining at the Point, a very difficult task. Just visible in the above photo are the pointy central tail feathers of a young Parasitic. These feathers were longer and pointier than the feathers on the Parasitics most recently seen at the Point (see photos in most recent posts). The last Parasitic we observed with streamers this long and pointy, other than an adult, occured on 9/19. The Sept. 19th bird also appeared more pale headed than today's bird, so I assumed this was a new bird. 40+ Dunlin came by the Point after the count had ended.
As I covered the waterbird count, the woods didn't get much coverage today. The Harris's Sparrow was still at the feeders. A cuckoo was seen from the Point, and Keith and Wendy had a Yellow-billed this afternoon. There were lots of Pine Siskins at the feeders today.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Owls: Keith and Wendy are having an amazing season for Barred Owl, they have already broken WPBO's single season record for this species. This is not an easy species to see at the Point if you're not one of the owl banders, but we found this bird roosting the other day (photo below). Check for their updates on the wpbo owl blog.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Highlights: Loggerhead Shrike, Pipevine Swallowtail (butterfly)
The Loggerhead Shrike found this morning has not been seen since 11:30. It had disappeared for about an hour before being refound at it's original site, but no luck since that 2nd sighting. To reach the area where the bird was found use the trail across from the lighthouse subdivision sign, which is down the road from the parking lot. This sign is on the right hand side of the road as you approach the parking area. When you walk in this trail you will come to an area where there is a large open boggy area on the left. The bird was hunting from the dead snags at the near end of the open area.
Also seen today at about 5:00 was a Pipevine Swallowtail actively feeding around the parking area (photo below). This may be the first sighting of this butterfly on the U.P since one was collected in Keweenaw County in 1977, and the only record for the U.P. outside of Keweenaw County. These facts are from Mo Nielsen's book Michigan Butterflies and Skippers published in 1999.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Highlights: Western Kingbird (photo above)
A Western Kingbird was present for about an hour this morning, including repeated flights to the shoreline. There was good activity in the woods again today. Sightings included Golden-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Tennessee, Magnolia and Blackpoll Warblers (photo below).
Feeders: The feeders continue to be very active. Birds include Savannah, Swamp, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, Purple Finch, and lots of Pine Siskin. It was an odd sight today to see a Tennessee Warbler foraging on the ground with a bunch of the Pine Siskins.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
It was a birdy day in the woods again today. Six species of woodpecker were seen today. It was the first day that a Black-backed was repeatedly seen, as opposed to just a fly-by, and the first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the season was seen behind the feeders. There were lots of Golden-crowned Kinglets and a decent number of Ruby-crowneds. Warblers today included Magnolia, Blackpoll and Redstart. Today was the first day that multiple Swamp Sparrows were around. Flocks of Pipits were regularly observed coming in off the Lake and landing on the beach. Lapland Longpurs are also being seen daily out on the beach (photo below)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Highlights: Black-backed Woodpecker, Red Crossbills, lots of thrushes
Songbirds have been active at the Point the last few days. There have been lots of Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes. Warbler diversity has been down, but Cape May and Blackpoll have been seen along with Yellow-rumped and lots of Palms (photo above). A group of 7 Ruffed Grouse have been frequenting the area over the last few days(photo below). Other sightings included Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Swamp and Clay-colored Sparrows.
Feeders: Activity has really increased around the feeders. Numbers of White-throated Sparrows, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, and American Goldfinch are steadily building. Other recent feeder birds have included White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatch, Clay-colored and Savannah Sparrow.
Jaegers continue to be seen out at the waterbird count(bottom photo), and occasionally come well inland at the Point in hot pursuit of gulls.