Friday, July 25, 2008

There has been a lot of activity at the Point the last few mornings. The juvenile warblers have begun arriving, mainly Yellow-rumpeds (photo above). Other warblers seen include; Palm (photo below), Pine, Nashville, and Black-throated Green. The juveniles can be very difficult to ID, and there have been a few that simply left me scratching my head.
Other sightings include; Common Loon, Bald Eagle (photo below), Red-tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Sanderling, Least and Semipalmated Sandpiper, Caspian Tern, Saw-whet Owl, Barred Owl (owl banding), Eastern Phoebe, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Cedar Waxwing ( 2 photos down), White-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin, and Evening Grosbeak.
There is a movement of White-winged Crossbills occurring, we are even hearing them in the middle of the night during the owl banding. Some years they migrate by the Point in big numbers, but even when hundreds are seen in flight it is very rare to see them land here. It seemed odd to see them down in the Jack Pines today, but it turned out that they were not feeding on the pines themselves. Unlike early in the spring, or late in the fall, there are apparently lots of Spruce Budworms present right now (photo below)

This is a good time of year for butterflies at the Point. Species seen over the last few days include; White Admiral (top photo), Northern Pearly Eye (middle Photo),Northern Crescent (bottom photo), Painted Lady, Cabbage White, European Skipper, and Pink-edged Sulphur.

A personal mystery was solved this week. Since beginning the summer owl banding in 06, we have noticed these dragonfly type insects flying around at night. When in flight they hold their wings out like dragonflies do, but they fold them back over their bodies when they land. A few were found during the day, so we were finally able to get some shots (photo below). This is the adult Spot-winged Antlion. In larvae form they make burrows in the sand that cause any ant entering them to fall down to them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We made the trip over to Alger County today to see the Green Violet-ear pictured above. This is about 2 1/2 hours west of Whitefish Point. Congrats and thanks to Scott Hickman for informing the birding community of the bird's presence, and to the Hust's for welcoming birders to their home. The pair of Ruby-throateds pictured below, also at the Hust's, were obviously enjoying the beautiful summer's day.
We've gone nocturnal again running the summer owl banding. We haven't caught any juvenile Saw-whets yet, but are getting a handful of adults nightly.