Monthly Archives: August 2018

Increased activity at McGulpin

http://abdulbutt.com/?plugin=all-in-one-event-calendar our website Things picked up at the waterbird count today, Wed., Aug. 22. It was a cool 61, with strong winds from the north switching to the northwest and laying down slowly as the morning passed. Right after sunrise there were Red-necked Grebes flying all around on the horizon. They did not seem to be migrating, but many flocks were circling the Straits area from the Bridge to area of Saint Helena Island. The highest single scan of the area counted 194 Red-necked Grebes in flight; I believe there are many more out there but could only count them when in flight. Trying to keep track of flocks to not double count them was a challenge. They seem to be using the area as a resting area in their travels to the wintering grounds as flocks of 6 to 34 would fly towards the bridge then turn and fly back to the west finally landing someplace way out in the Straits after several large circles.
Several Common Loons were also seen with most in migration moving from the NW to the SE. With the sunny conditions by 8:30 am almost all the activity died down with only a few waterbirds occasionally seen in flight after that time.
Just before sunrise a flock of 48 American Crows were observed flying south across the Straits near the Bridge. Counted today were:
Common Loon 12
Red-necked Grebe 194
Double-crested Cormorant 21
Bald Eagle 3
Ring-billed Gull 10
Herring Gull 3
Am. Crow 48
submitted by Ed Pike

Waterbird Count off to a slow start

The Waterbird count started yesterday on Aug. 20 with little fan fare. One nice thing about the fall start is the temperatures are warm. It started at 65 degrees rising to 76 around noon. The winds were light and variable under mostly cloudy conditions. The only problem was the hazy conditions that reduce visibility to about 4 miles. Observed the usual suspects with 7 species of waterbirds and one local Coopers Hawk that came out of the trees on 3 occasions; flew down the beach and flew back into the trees. Species counted are listed below:
Herring Gull 7
Ring-billed Gull 4
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Double-crested Cormorant 29
Red-necked Grebe 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Monarch Butterfly 5

On Tuesday Aug. 21 it looked like it could rain at any time, with hazy conditions again reducing visibility to about 4 miles. Temperatures started at 70 degrees and rose a few degrees by noon. The winds were NE 3 to 5 mph at the start and increased slowly switching to the north at 12 to 15 by noon.
It seems like the Monarch Butterflies are starting to move south and a few Common Loons were seen traveling their usual migration route NW to SE.
Mallard 3
Red-breasted Merganser 5 (female with 4-2/3 grown young)
Common Loon 3
Red-necked Grebe 2
Double-crested Cormorant 14
Great Blue Heron 1
Bald Eagle 1 adult
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 7
Herring Gull 7
Monarch Butterfly 9

Maybe the weak cold front from the northwest tomorrow morning will bring in few more species.
Ed Pike

Fall Surveys

Hello all
Summer is almost gone and the fall bird migration is starting. We will be conducting our usual fall surveys for Waterbirds, diurnal Raptors and Owls.

The Waterbird count starts August 20 at McGulpin Point, outside Mackinaw City continuing till Nov. 10. This count is done for 8 hours starting at sunrise everyday, except with heavy rain (thunderstorms), fog, or snow.

The Hawk Count starts on August 25 at Point LaBarbe outside Saint Ignace and continues till Nov. 14. The count will be conducted everyday with good weather conditions, generally from 9 am till 4 pm.

The Owl surveys start Sept. 20 continuing through Nov. 10 also at Point LaBarbe. Owl work will be done every night with good weather. Because of the type of work involved, attendance at the Owl survey station requires prior permission, contact Ed Pike, edandanne6750@gmail.com about attending.

For the Waterbird Count and Hawk Watch you are welcome any day counts are taking place. Bring a chair and your binoculars (some loaners are available), and learn about the migra

Looking at Waterbirds at McGulpin Point

Waterbirds in flight

Migration at Pt. LaBarbe

Banding at Pt. LaBarbe

tions.
Hope to see everyone at the counts.