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.

Lenawee Birders Bluebirds

TIP-BP-01 by Goyo P
TIP-BP-01, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

With permission from the Lenawee County Parks we were able to replace the existing dilapidated boxes with new at Bicentennial Park near Tipton, MI.

This is one of four new houses installed at the park on Sunday. These house will be checked weekly for Bluebird activity. Nesting data will be collected and submitted to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Nestwatch” website.

Powell Sanctuary Tour, Michigan Nature Association

Heron Rookery by Goyo P
Heron Rookery, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

You’re invited to join a bird hike through Michigan Nature Association’s Powell Sanctuary near Hudson, MI, this coming Saturday — April 20th, from 8-11, led by Lenawee birders Janet Kauffman, Gregg Perez and Johanna Lentz.

Please RSVP and get directions from:
Matt Schultz
Regional Stewardship Organizer
Michigan Nature Association
326 E Grand River
Williamston, MI 48895
C: (517) 643-6864
E: mschultz@michigannature.org

Janet Kauffman, Steward
Powell Memorial Sanctuary

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.

KonkerEEEEEEE!


Konkereeeee a video by Goyo P on Flickr.

Ahhhh! I love the sound of Red-winged Blackbirds in the spring. Today’s birding started very slow but picked up as the day went along. The 1 mile walk along the Pine trail at Hidden Lake Gardens was quiet….VERY quiet…except for the Crows. We probably saw the same number of Crows as we did all other species combined. I think it’s ok to say that the highlight of the Gardens today was the Spring Bulb Show in the conservatory.

My next stop on my short birding tour of Lenawee was Devils Lake/Round Lake. Round Lake typically has more birds than Devils but today it was completely frozen over. Devils Lake, however, had some open water on the Southeast side. I found the largest flock of waterfowl that I have ever seen there. There were Ring-necked Ducks, Canvasback, Redheads, American Widgeon, Coots, Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, Bufflehead and Goldeneye. Altogether there were close to 300 birds or more.

My goal after leaving Devils Lake was to drive the farm fields back to Tecumseh to look for flocks of blackbirds. I found a decent sized flock on the corner of Kemp and Wisner of approximately 200-300 birds. Most were Red-winged blackbirds, but mixed in with them were Cowbirds, Grackles and two Rusty Blackbirds.

My last stop of the day was Red Mill Pond. It’s only 100 yards from my house so I had to stop in and give a quick look. I stayed long enough to count 29 Common Merganser.

Overall it was a good day. It was beautiful with all the fresh snow on the ground but the wind was harsh. Every day I get to go birding is a good day no matter what the weather. But, I am starting to look forward to some warmer springtime weather. Bring on the warblers!!

Bluebird Monitoring

Bluebird Monitoring by Goyo P
Bluebird Monitoring, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

We recently contacted the City of Tecumseh for permission to place Bluebird nest boxes on City property. The City has graciously allowed us to do this. Boxes will be installed by Gregg Perez with the City approving the locations. So far we have permission to place boxes at Smith Park, Brookside Cemetery and Tecumseh High School.

If you have any spare Bluebird nest boxes that you would like to donate or would like to volunteer to adopt/monitor a Bluebird nest box please contact Gregg ( gregorioperez 7 2 AT yah oo. com ). Since monitoring requires checking the box once a week we also need back up monitors in case somebody cannot check their nest boxes due to vacation or illness.

If you have a Bluebird nest boxes on your private property and would like to learn how monitor them we would love to help you get started.

In order to keep this announcement brief please check out the Michigan Bluebird Society website for answers to all your Bluebird related questions.
http://www.michiganbluebirdsociety.org Due to the frozen ground it may take us a few weeks to get the boxes installed. So please take some time to peruse the MBS website.

Other Items of Interest….

Robert Pardee and Gregg Perez will be leading a bird walk at Hidden Lake Gardens on March 16 starting at 9:00 am. Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot. Rain out date will be the following Saturday. A gate fee is required for entrance into the Gardens.

Bird Walk @ Powell Nature Sanctuary, April 20, 8-11 am. Johanna Lentz, Janet Kauffman and Gregg Perez will lead the walk. RSVP: Matt Schultz (517) 643-6864 or mschultz@michigannature.org

Heritage Park Update

Heritage Park Update by Goyo P
Heritage Park Update, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

The following information is for those who may be interested in the oil drilling located at Heritage Park and how it relates to bird habitat. I will attempt to offer an unbiased report of the situation.

The well-head is located next to the barns near the existing soccer fields. I am not sure what the green solution is within the containment area? I am assuming it is what they refer to as drilling brine. I do not know what it consists of? I have heard that it is corrosive. If anyone knows please feel free to comment. There is a wetland approximately 400 yards to the left of this picture. This wetland tends to hold the highest concentration of birds at Heritage Park. The containment area appears to be sufficient to keep the unknown solution from spilling into the wetland.

I started birding the wetland at approximately 12:30 pm. The Cattail marsh was active with Song Sparrows and Carolina Wrens. A flock of approximately 20 Tree Sparrow flushed as I crossed the boardwalk. Two Brown Creepers were seen along the hillside. There were plenty of Chickadees, Junco, Crow, Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Titmouse and Northern Cardinal. I dipped on Fox Sparrow and Thrushes. I heard a few Red-winged Blackbirds. One Turkey Vulture made a pass over the wetland. I heard Sandhill Cranes flying overhead, however I was not able to see them through the low clouds. The same goes with Red-tailed Hawks. Several Killdeer were heard but not seen. One Horned Lark was heard but not seen. Red-bellied Woodpeckers were very active today. At least five were seen chasing each other around. They appeared to be all males so I am assuming they were establishing territory but that’s just a guess. Carolina Wrens were very vocal. I watched one fly to its nest. The snow is melting but the ground is still partially frozen so it was possible to walk through some areas that wont be accessible in a few days. Skunk Cabbage is just starting to poke out of the ground.