Greater White-fronted Geese

Greater White-fronted Geese by Goyo P
Greater White-fronted Geese, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

Thanks to Scott Jennex for finding these. The GWFG were standing around some open water in the middle lagoon.

If you are in Lenawee County this weekend be sure to take a drive around Round Lake and Devils Lake. There is still plenty of deep open water where several species of waterfowl are still hanging out. Yesterday I found the following; Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, Canvasback, Northern Shoveler, and Coot among the other more common birds.

Good Birding,


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.

Wild Wild West…Lenawee

Schoonover WPA a video by Goyo P on Flickr.

West Lenawee is heating up in the cold winds of March. After witnessing such a large raft of waterfowl yesterday at Devils Lake I decided to head back for more. Only this time I went to Morenci and Hudson. Here are some of the highlights I found around Morenci, Lake Hudson and Schoonover WPA. Ring-necks, Lesser Scaup, Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Mallard, Canada Geese, Horned Grebe, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Pintail, Gadwall, Redheads, Wigeon, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Robins, Turkey Vultures, Red-shouldered Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Bluebirds, Horned Larks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Flicker, Tree Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bluejay, Red-tailed Hawk, Killdeer, Ring-necked Pheasant, Northern Mockingbird and Tree Swallow.

Rare Geese in Morenci

Ross or Snow? by Goyo P
Ross or Snow?, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

If you are interested in learning about birding hot spots throughout southeast Michigan then a subscription to the University of Michigan’s birders list serve might come in handy.

Here’s a post by Karl Overman from Farmington Hills describing the Ross’s Geese at the Morenci Sewage Lagoons.
Overman wrote, “Late on Friday, March 16th, I found two Ross’s type Geese at the sewage lagoons at Morenci in Lenawee County close to the Ohio line. The were resting on the dike with Canadas and a single Tundra Swan. Given the mix and volume of white geese–Snow, Ross’s and Snow/Ross’s found earlier this month in Allegan SGA, caution is the word on identifying small white geese it seems. My thought on these two birds is that one was a hybrid and one was a Ross’s. One appeared to have a thicker bill and a bigger grin patch than I am comfortable in calling a Ross’s.

There was a good selection of waterfowl at this sewage lagoon with most of the birds on the back lagoon that is not visible from the main road but is accessible by driving a short dirt track and then walking up to the fence. Ducks there included Wood Duck (4), Shoveler (82), Ring-necked (130), Lesser Scaup (100 plus), Green-winged Teal (45), Bufflehead, Redhead, Ruddy (only 2).

The lagoons are at the NW corner of Morenci.”

The Wild Wild West (Hudson and Morenci, MI)

Before I begin it should be stated that birders should use caution when hiking through the woods during hunting season.

Today myself and Jkbird took to the woods of southwest Lenawee in blaze orange.  We used caution in areas where the locals were hunting…but mostly we avoided them altogether.  We experienced unseasonably warm weather but the wind was blustery to say the least.  We started the day at the Morenci Sewage Ponds which held large numbers of Canada Geese (approximately 700)  Within the geese we spotted Mallards, Ruddy Ducks and a few Bufflehead.  Along the shore there were Killdeer and a solitary Yellow/Greater Yellowlegs.  Then out of nowhere a flock of 12-15 beautiful white birds arrived….swiftly flying a few feet above the surface of the water.  We quickly found them in the scope and identified them as Sanderling.  After an hour of admiring their aerial displays we left for the middle pond where we found a solitary Bonaparte’s Gull.

We made a few stops along Bean Creek to listen for Brown Creepers, Nuthatches, Juncos and Chickadees.  The Schoonover Waterfowl Production Area was our next stop but all was quiet there.  Medina Park was closed for the season, so we decided to hike Ramsdell Park.  We had already logged 26 species before we hit Ramsdell.  My goal was to hopefully add a few sparrow species and possibly find the Pileated Woodpecker….one that I saw a few months back.  We hiked through the woods and all the way to the east end of the park only finding a few species.  BUT we heard the Pileated!  We sat and listened but the woods went quiet.  We waited a little longer.  We were losing our daylight and decided to head back.  When we stopped to admire some Burr Oaks a flock of Robins appeared, then a flock of Cedar Waxwings.  We walked a bit closer to get a better view.  Suddenly a few sparrows flew across the trail from the underbrush.  One appeared to be an American Tree Sparrow.  The Robins were still flying back and forth across the trail.  Some were scratching the ground for food.  More Sparrows arrived.  BUT these were different.  They were red!  They had the same characteristics as a Song Sparrow except for the color.  They kept to the underbrush mostly.  But some joined in the ground scratching with the Robins.  JK spotted one in a tree.  I aimed my camera and took three quick pictures before it darted away.  We followed them up the trail.  When we made it to the top of the hill I heard the Pileated in the distance.  I dropped the Fox hunt and headed off through the meadow to get a better view of the tree line in the distance.  I pointed my binoculars where I heard the call.  I saw nothing.  Was it too far away I wondered?  Then, there it was.  I had pointed my binoculars almost exactly where he was perched among the distant trees.  When he flew off I followed him.  He landed in a nearby tree.  His silhouette was unmistakable.  What a day! How awesome is that to end the day with a Pileated Woodpecker!  But it wasnt over yet.  JK spotted our only warbler of the day….a lone Yellow-rump flew right over us.  THAT was the end of our day in Southwest Lenawee.  36 Species were seen altogether.  A few were new life birds for me.