First Big Day of Migration

August 24, 2021

Today was the first day of actually getting some sizeable flocks coming through. The migrants for the day were 218 red-necked grebes and a single loon. Though it was not a very species diverse day there was a long and steady movement of red-necked grebes which was exciting. They came through mostly from the east by the bridge across the view to the west either singly or in flocks up to 22 birds.

See such large numbers of this species is very different from my past experiences with them in Pennsylvania. A red-necked grebe was a special sighting. I have only seen the species three times prior to coming to Michigan. The most I’ve ever seen at one time was just 3 individuals so being able to see over 200 in a single day albeit in flight at a distance was really a unique experience to the upper Great Lake region that I am lucky to experience.

After the count, I stopped at a small preserve on my way home. The birding was quite good having the fortune of finding a popular puddle that many birds were using at the peak of the day. There were also some interesting insects. I saw a sulphur butterfly (Colias sp.) and a small copper (Lycaena phlaeas) which I had never seen before. I also saw and photographed a species of tiger beetle I had never seen before, the punctured tiger beetle (Cicindela punctulata).

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