Sunday, September 30, 2007

Highlights: Pacific Loon, Black-backed Woodpecker, Harris's Sparrow, White-winged Crossbill

Waterbirds: There has been some good waterbird movements in the last few days. Over 600 Surf Scoters were seen on the 28th. Dabbler diversity is picking up, as are scaup numbers. Jaegers continue to be seen daily, although they have not given us any very close passes in the last few days (photo below, from several days ago). Black-bellied and American Golden Plovers are being seen daily and we also had the first Dunlin (photo above) of the season. Thanks to Greg Norwood for covering the count on the 28th and 29th.

Songbirds: There have been lots of American Pipits, Horned Lark's and Lapland Lonspurs on the beach for the last few days. Black-backed Woodpeckers continue making brief appearances most days. Up to 3 Harris's Sparrows have been present and at least one was still present at the feeders today. Warbler diversity is winding down, recent sightings include Blackpoll and Northern Waterthrush.

Hawks: Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Northern Goshawk (photo below), Merlin and Peregrine Falcon continue making regular appearances.

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

Highlights: Harris' Sparrow (photo above), Sora, Pacific Loon
There was a lot of songbird activity today. Nine species of Warblers , a nice number this late in the season up here, and nine species of sparrows were seen today. Both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoo were were also observed. There were lots of Golden-crowned Kinglets roving the Point. Black-backed Woodpecker was observed again, it is now being seen most days.
Feeders: Activity at the feeders is really picking up. Nine species of sparrow have been seen using the feeders in the last two days; Chipping, Clay-colored, Savannah, Fox, Song, Swamp, White-throated, Harris', and White-crowned. An Indigo Bunting has been around for several days and Pine Siskin and Purple Finch numbers continue to grow.

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

Highlights: Black-backed Woodpecker, Red Crossbill

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.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Highlights: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-backed Woodpecker

There was a good thrush migration today, lots of Swainson's in particular. Unfortunately for this Swainson's (photo above) the gulls and Merlins also noticed this fact. Two Black-backed Woodpeckers were seen in flight just south of the Point. Other sightings in the woods today included Northern Goshawk, Winter Wren, Blackpoll Warbler and Clay-colored Sparrow. Today's main highlights occured at the waterbird count (check Cory's waterbird blog for details), including the Parasitic Jaeger and Sabine's Gull pictured below.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Highlights: Clay-colored Sparrow, Wilson's Snipe

After what seems like a week of very high winds and/or rain we finally had a bit of a break in the weather today and the songbirds were fairly active. New arrivals included Wilson's Snipe, Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Clay-colored Sparrow. Warblers today included Cape May, Blackpoll, Black & White, and lots of Palms. Rusty Blackbirds are occurring daily and Golden-crowned Kinglet numbers are increasing. While we're not seeing big numbers of hawks there is a nice diversity being seen most days and recent sightings include Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier (photo above), Northern Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, and Merlin. The shorebirds have been active, see Cory's waterbird blog for details, including increasing numbers of American Golden Plover (photo below). Return owl banders Wendy King and Keith Bagnall began the fall owl banding season tonight.

Feeders: Downy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, and lots of Pine Siskins

Monday, September 10, 2007

While the weather continues being somewhat uncooperative for songbird migration there have been some decent sightings in the woods. Northern Parula, Cape May, Bay-breasted Warblers, Rusty Blackbird and Northern Goshawk have been seen over the last couple of days. Numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatch, Cedar Waxwing, White-throated Sparrow and Pine Siskin are increasing. Cory has been having good numbers of shorebirds and jaegers out at the waterbird count. The parasitic jaeger pictured above put on a nice show chasing gulls right on the tip today.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Highlights:Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Gray-cheeked Thrush

Weather patterns over the last few days have not been very conducive for migration. There was some decent activity today though. Sightings in the woods included Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrush, Tennessee and Wilson's Warblers, Lincoln's Sparrow and Evening Grosbeak. There were some hawks working the Point including Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Peregrine Falcon. There was also a Lapland Longspur drinking from Lake Superior (photo above).
Butterflies: Some sightings from the last couple of days: Cabbage White, Checkered White, Clouded Sulphur, American Copper, Variegated Fritillary, American Lady, Red Admiral, Common Buckeye, and Leonard's Skipper.

Monday, September 3, 2007

While there wasn't a lot of songbird diversity today we did have Blue-gray Gnatcher, Northern Waterthrush and Tenessee Warbler. Numbers increased for more common species such as Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Purple Finch. There was a bit of a hawk movement today including a Northern Goshawk.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Had a few new arrivals for the fall today; Eastern Kingbird, Swainson's Thrush, and Linclon's Sparrow. There was a rather large roaming flock of chickadees, nuthatches and warblers today. I hate to admit the extent to which this quick moving flock worked me over, but I was able to pull out Nashville, Blackpoll, Magnolia and a fair number of Palm's. Nova and I were able to photograph a Dainty Sulphur butterfly today just south of the Point. I believe this is the only record for this species on the U.P. outside of Gogebic County, which is in the extreme western U.P.
FEEDERS: The feeders are attracting White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and Am. Goldfinch.