There was a friendly Snow Goose white phase at LSCMP today. It was hanging around the marina. Tom Heatley told me that it was there most of the day. I took some late afternoon photos of it as it walked on the grass near the parking lot… There also was a White-eyed Vireo that was found by Tom Heatley and also seen by Tom Hince earlier in the day behind the nature Center… I could not find it.
Still being seen as of 615pm tonight. Always in the same location as my earlier post… Also Dennis Bartes photographed a Golden Eagle that was flying over Wolcott Mills today… Its that time of the year… they can show up anywhere!!
This morning I was driving my son to the Nature Center at Stony Creek Metropark when a 100% Leucistic Hawk flew over us being chased by crows. It was a Buteo, about the size of a Red-tailed Hawk. I dropped Andrew off and headed back to the spot. I was able to relocate the bird but I could not get a photograph… It was being chased by a mob of Crows… Great Bird.
I had Fox Sparrows at two locations today. Stony Creek near the Osprey Trail and at Wolcott Mills. I went to see if I could get a shot of the Townsend’s Solitaire in better light and it was in the same tree I had seen it the evening before. I managed one photo and it flew off toward the woods. I waited an hour and it did not return. There were a few other birders there hoping to see it… I hope it returns.
A Townsend’s Solitaire was found by Todd Butkowski today at Wolcott Mills Metropark. I relocated it at 530pm along with a couple of other birders. When I saw Todd post on facebook, I almost choked on my dinner, got in my car and flew to the park. Other birders saw the post also and we found it not far from where it was originally found. Enter into the park on Kuntsman Rd between 29 and 30 mi rd. From there drive to the end and park. Go over the bridge toward the mill and on the left side there will be a sign for the mill race trail. take this trail down to the river and a sign about the old dam. The Townsend’s Solitaire was past the sign about 20 yards, feeding on some berries in the shrubs there. This is the 4th new bird for the county this year. Awesome Find by Todd!!
Lk St. Clair is a very under birded lake. This year alone many species that were considered very rare for Macomb County have been found on the lake. So the question is, is this an unusual year or are there not enough birders spending the time scoping the lake during the year? Its a good question that Tom Hince and I were discussing yesterday. So far in 2014 the rare or uncommon birds that have been seen in the lake are:
- Black Scoter
- Surf Scoter
- White-winged Scoter
- Parasitic Jaeger
- Red Phalorope
- Red-necked Grebe
- California Gull
- Long-tailed Duck
- Little Gull
- Lesser Black-backed Gull
- White Pelican
I am sure I am missing a bird or two for this list. There are a few good places to Scope the lake.
- Ruedisale Park. This is off M29 near New Baltimore. Turn onto Ruedisale street and there is a park at the dead end. This is the borderline for Macomb County. The bay to the left of the grassy area in the lake is St. Clair County.
- Walter and Mary Burke Park. This is at the end of Washington St in New Baltimore. There is a pier at this location. A great place for gulls.
- Brandenburg Park. (currently closed for construction) Along Jefferson before 23 mi rd. A great pier to walk out on and look for Ducks and Gulls. This is a good Gull roosting spot once the ice begins to freeze.
- DNR Boat Launch. This is at the end of South River Rd. There is a walking trail that leads out to the point. Its difficult in winter when the snow comes, but if you get out there, it may be the only open water on Lk St. Clair and great views can be had of Waterfowl, Snowy Owls and Rough-legged Hawks.
- Huron Point and beach at Lk St. Clair Metropark. This is another great spot. Once the winter season is upon us, thousands of Waterfowl can be seen from the shore as well as gulls. Purple Sandpiper has been seen in previous years when the conditions are right along the broken concrete around the edge of the pointe..
- Day Sail area and Pointe Rosa Marsh. Another great spot for scoping the lake.
For those birders who do not have a scope, I would invest in one. I saw a Little Gull yesterday at Walter and Mary Burke park that I could not have seen without a scope. Same goes for the Parasitic Jaeger from last week.
All these areas can be found on Ebird on the Hotspots map as well as recent sightings. If you are not using Ebird to explore recent sightings, you are missing out… An incredible tool for seeing what is out in the lake right now.