Thursday, October 1, 2009

Highlights: Northern Saw-whet Owl (above photo)
I was back in Philly for a while to attend my niece's wedding which is the reason this blog hasn't been updated recently. Tom & I want to thank all who responded to us privately about the jaeger identification from the last post. While this record has to be reviewed by the Michigan Rare Bird Records Committee to be official, we received very helpful tips and the consensus is that it is a Long-tailed Jaeger. The weather has been a bit nuts the last few days and activity in the woods has slowed a bit, but there has been some activity. Recent sightings include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-breasted & White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned & Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Pine, Nashville, & Palm Warblers, Savannah, Lincoln's, Swamp, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, Rusty & Brewer's Blackbirds, Purple Finch, and Pine Siskin. While over 800 Saw-whets have been banded here this year, the one found roosting in the woods today was the first one to be found this year. This fact really demonstrates the importance of the information gathered by the owl banding in regard to our understanding of the major role that Whitefish Point plays in the migration of Michigan's smallest owl.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

The temperature has dropped significantly over the last few days. When we get quick drops in the air temperature in the fall the warm water temperature creates some major heat distortion. This in turn creates some bizarre optical illusions out over the lake. The above photo is of a freighter which at a distance appeared to be two vessels. The heat distortion unfortunately also wreaks havoc on our ability to identify distant birds out over the lake, increasing the frequency of statements such as, "well it's definitely a bird".

Chris Neri

1 comment:

dark and light said...

Nice shot of the Kinglet. I can appreciate the difficulty in getting a decent shot of this typically very active bird.