Friday, June 6, 2008

We conducted this year's WPBO staff birdathon on May 26th. Our team the "Northern Saw-whats?" recorded 123 species, and raised over $2,000 to help fund our new summer owl research. This money is the single biggest contributor to this research, thanks so much to all who pledged. Our species number was down slightly from last year. This was mainly due to a heavy fog, which kept the waterbird species at a very low total.

The birdathon started off with the above Great Horned Owl, the 5th to be banded this spring.

There was a huge fallout of songbirds overnight. The thrushes were calling continuously, and virtually every sweep of the lighthouse beam revealed 10-40 birds. A check under the lighthouse revealed the unfortunate effects of the light. These birds (above photo) were found dead under the light, from left to right; Blackburnian Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Red-eyed Vireo.

We made a presunrise trip to the Vermilion Field Station. In these inland marshes and bogs we heard American Bittern, Sora, Wilson's Snipe, Whip-poor-will, and Sedge Wren calling in the night.

The above Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was one of many Least and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers that had arrived at the Point during the overnight fallout.
This Black & White Warbler represented one of the 25 warbler species recorded during the birdathon.

This Yellow-headed Blackbird was one of several rarities to show up at the Point during the birdathon. Also seen on this day were Carolina Wren, very uncommon here, and a Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
Thanks again to all who supported this year's WPBO staff birdathon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Highlights: Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

We received reports of the Western Kingbird & Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on the 2nd. The Kingbird was seen at the tip, efforts to relocate it were unsuccessful. The Scissor-tailed was seen around the parking area at the Harbor in the evening. It was not relocated the following morning. However, it was seen just north of the mouth of the Tahquamenon River on the evening of the 3rd.

Although the official spring research season is over, this has been a late spring up here and the migration continues. Recent reports include; Purple Martin, Lawrence's Warbler, Boreal Chickadee (photo above), Northern Mockingbird, and Black-backed Woodpecker (photo below).