May 4th, 2013 Highlights

Towhee by Goyo P
Towhee, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

Bicentennial Park: Nashville Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo.

Patterson Park (Tecumseh): Hermit Thrush, Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker.

Indian Trails (Tecumseh): Black-throated Green, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Baltimore Orioles, Warbling Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatchatchers

Morenci Lagoons: Blue-winged Teal, Norhern Shoveler, Pied Billed Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Rough Winged Swallows

Schoonover: White-crowned Sparrows

Lake Hudson: Veery, Yellow Warblers, Baltimore Oriole, Blue-headed Vireo, Field Sparrow, Black and White Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Kingbirds

Ramsdell: Yellow Warbler, Towhee, Flycatcher species, Brown Thrasher.

Round Lake: Common Loon, Bufflehead, Pied Billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow

Onsted: Two Osprey near the nest.

Presidential Birding

I’m very fortunate to have President’s Day off from work.  I’m even more fortunate that I live within walking distance to one of the best little parks in Lenawee County.  That is Indian Crossing Trails Park in Tecumseh (MI).  I thought today would be a good day to hike the trails in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count.  This bird count isn’t the biggest or most popular bird count of the year but I still enjoy it.  It’s nice to get out and say hello to the locals (birds and people).  I said hello to several Black-capped Chickadees and Titmouse.  Heard and saw several Brown Creepers.  Downy Woodpeckers seem to be around every corner.  Canada Geese and Mallard can always be found wherever there is open water…and lately there’s always a Mute Swan or two with them.  Today the geese were by Standish Dam.  I wanted to get a closer look to see if there were any Cackling or Greater White Fronted Geese among them but I would have flushed them all trying to get a better vantage point.  So I let them be and continued down the north trail along the river.  This trail always seems to be the most active during all four seasons.  Today was no different.  I found large flocks of House Finches mixed with American Goldfinch.  At one point I stopped along the trail to give some looks at a large flock of House Finches.  And then as birds tend to do they suddenly all flushed for no apparent reason.  Two seconds later the apparent reason appeared.  A Coopers Hawk came souring in low and fast, crossed the trail 30′ in front of me and then disappeared across the river.  Just as I was thinking to myself…”that was cool”…a Bald Eagle glided right over me just above the tree tops.  No matter how many times I see the Bald Eagles in Tecumseh it never gets old.  They are magnificent creatures.  On the way back I managed to kick up two Great Blue Heron, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Kingfisher.  I was satisfied.  I had seen some nice birds.  But the best was yet to come.  Walking along Globe Mill Pond in route to my car I spotted a hawk circling over the pond.  With no obstructions around me I was able to get a good look at it.  At first it looked like a Red-tail…but this hawk had a striped tail.  As it came closer and closer I was able to get a great look at its underside before it flew 50′ over my head.  I was able to see the angular red barring on its wings and chest.  Classic Red-shouldered Hawk!  A life bird for me.  Yep…I’m pretty spoiled to have Indian Crossing Trails in my back yard.  I love Tecumseh!

Gregg Perez, Tecumseh, MI

Clinton Christmas Bird Count

December 22, 2012

The Clinton Christmas Bird Count has been a tradition of the National Audubon Society for many years now. Darrin O’Brien has been the coordinator for the past seventeen years and has done a fantastic job getting other volunteers to help in our circle. You can find more information about the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts at http://www.theclintoninn.com/restaurant/dining/dinner.

The Clinton Christmas Bird Count is a 17 mile radius circled centered in Clinton, broke into sections where volunteers count the birds in their section for one day. The data recorded gives scientists a “snap shot” of what migration looks like for one day at the same time each year. Not only is this a fun way to be a citizen scientist but you get to meet other birders in the area and we meet for dinner at the end of the day. For more information about the Clinton Christmas Bird Count, please visit the Clinton CBC blog that Darrin O’Brien started at http://www.clintoncbc.blogspot.com/

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact myself and I will put you in touch with a section leader in need of volunteers. Dinner will be at 5:00 p.m. at the Clinton Inn in Clinton, MI where we can collect data and share stories! If you wish to view their menu, you can follow this link http://www.theclintoninn.com/restaurant/dining/dinner.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at some of the up coming events!

Johanna Lentz
buckandbirdie@gmail.com
(734) 478-9410

For more fun, here is a link to videos from the National Audubon Society about the Christmas Bird Counts, enjoy! http://birds.audubon.org/videos/audubons-christmas-bird-count-tallying-birds-americas-over-century

Owl Prowl(s)…yes, two Owl Prowls!

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting Owl Prowls at several state parks and there will be two in our area! If you did not attend the Lenawee Birders Owl Prowl in Tecumseh last year, now is a great chance to go twice. We will take a 30-45 minute walk near the woods to look and call for local owls. After the walk, we will meet around the bonfire for s’mores and storytelling. Here is the link through the MDNR for more Owl Prowl information:

The Owl Prowls are back to back with the first being Friday, December 7th at 6:00 p.m. at the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area in Clayton, MI. Anyone interested in attending this owl prowl, please meet at the campground area.
Here is the link and map for Lake Hudson SRA: http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/details.aspx?id=464&type=SPRK

The second Owl Prowl is Saturday, December 8th at 5:00 p.m. at Hayes State Park in Onsted, Michigan. Meet at the campfire ring in the Activities Area of the campground.
Here is the link and map for Hayes State Park: http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/details.aspx?id=454&type=SPRK

Can you guess woooo I am? “Who Cooks For You, Who Cooks For You AAALLLL” I will give you a hint, it is not the owl in the picture. If you know and you are considered a young birder (under 15) there will be a special prize for the first one to email me at buckandbirdie@gmail.com with the correct answer. You will have to visit us at one of the Owl Prowls to claim your prize.

This photo was taken by Gregg Perez at the 2012 Cranefest in Marshall, Michigan.

They’re back!

White-winged Crossbill by Goyo P
White-winged Crossbill, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

That’s right! White-winged Crossbills are back in town. I found a few the other day at Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh. These birds can be somewhat elusive. They do have a unique call but whenever I see them they are silent. I typically sit quietly and look for movement. One good sign that Crossbills have been in the area are the cone droppings beneath the tree. At Brookside it’s fairly obvious if the tree is near the road. Crossbills are not the only cool bird in town. There’s that wiley Merlin that appears about every ten days sitting atop the conifer by the Tecumseh Center for the Arts. Local birder Scott Smith counted 140 Pine Siskins at his feeder in Adrian. Greg Links spotted a Northern Shrike at Ramsdell Park today. Fox Sparrows are starting to show up in many locations including Heritage Park and Bicentennial Park. All this bird activity is great! But, I’m noticing a lack of waterfowl in the county. I’m guessing it could be the lack of wetlands. Lenawee has very few, and the few that we have are dried up from the drought this summer. Schoonover Waterfowl Production Area is about 98% dried up. Even the reliable sewage lagoons in Morenci have produced very few birds. If you know of any places that are bringing in waterfowl please let us know. Anyway, it’s still pretty exciting to be outside birding in Lenawee County. Let us know if you find any awesome birds!
Gregg

North American Migration Count 2012

Hello Lenawee birders….
 
The North American Migration Count is this weekend! (Saturday, May 12th)  So far the weather forecast for Saturday is looking great!….70’s and sunny.  We are still accepting last-minute volunteers.  This Friday night we are planning a pre-NAMC meeting.  We’ll start off by birding at Indian Crossings Park in Tecumseh, starting at 5 pm.  We will meet at the Standish Dam parking lot off Burt Street, hike the trail on the north side of the river and try to find the elusive Yellow-throated Warbler that has been hanging around, along with any other migrants passing through.  This short hike will be followed by a dinner/meeting at Basil Boys in downtown Tecumseh at 8 pm.  I will have NAMC forms for those who need them and answer any questions concerning the count. 
 
Hope to see you there!