Fall Migration at LSCMP

I took a short trip to LSCMP this morning… the woods were full of warblers and I managed 14 Warbler species, Philadelphia Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Carolina Wren and much more in the maple woods alone… There was a Black-bellied Plover and a Sanderling on the beach.

Black-bellied Plover non-breeding plumage.

Black-bellied Plover non-breeding plumage.

Sanderling

Sanderling

Oakland Audubon Society Nuthatch Open 2016

Our team accepting the trophy for first place

Our team accepting the trophy for first place

On September 10th, 2016 I was invited by Erik Weyhrauch to be part of his team for the Nuthatch Open, sponsored by the Oakland Audubon Society. The rules are pretty simple. It starts at midnight and ends at 3pm. Any bird that is identified in Oakland County can be recorded on the team list. We went by ABA rules and did not use any recording devices and all members of the team had to identify the bird in order to make the list. Other team members included Kevin Rysiewski and Andy Weinrauch.

We began our night at 3am at the American Center Marsh in Southfield and ended the day at Red Oaks Nature Center in Madison Heights. In between we visited many places in Oakland County including Kensington Metropark, fields off of Wixom Rd and a few other places that I don’t remember the name. I bird Macomb County and this was my first opportunity to check out the neighboring county. Erik set up our itinerary and it was awesome. We managed to find 90 species with highlights including Black-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Olive-sided Flycatcher and a calling Willow Flycatcher. With Eriks Pishing, Andy’s eyes, Kevins sharp ID skills and my mad driving skills we managed to get first place. The Second place team made up of Mary Trombley, Scott Jennex, Tom Pavlik and Mike Mencotti got 86 species and were right behind us.

We ended the day at Independence Oaks Metropark in Clarkston with some great food and a tally…

Special thanks to Jeff Stacey, Don Burlett and the rest of the very nice people from OAS who let me participate in their open. It was a great time.

Shorebirds at LSCMP

It is that time of year… Shorebirds are arriving in good numbers with a nice variety at LSCMP.. While I was in Arizona on vacation a Red Knot showed up as well as a Red-necked Phalarope… I was shocked when I got home and they were still there…  Today a Ruddy Turnstone was there… I got a chance to use my new Sigma 150-600mm Sport on these birds and it did a nice job…

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Northern Bobwhite at Wetzel

So over the past week there has been some discussion about the Bobwhite that have been seen at Wetzel State Park… I have seen multiple reports on Ebird regarding these quail… So the question for me are “are these a breeding population of Bobwhite?” or are these “pen raised birds that escaped when hunters trained their dogs?”….  I did some research on Ebird over the last 10 years and there has been no other reports of Northern Bobwhite in Macomb County during that time… Is this because they were missed by the birding community? Tom Heatley has birded Wetzel probably more than anyone in that time frame, is it possible that Tom has missed Breeding birds? Northern Bobwhite are sedentary birds that do not migrate, so if they were not escapees then where did they come from? Lastly the question I would like to ask is I saw a recent photograph of one of the Bobwhite taken by an Iphone… an up close shot of a quail just walking around… Is this the behavior of a wild quail?  Watch the video below for how Northern Bobwhite act when encountering people… in this case hunters… I have flushed many a covey in Florida and back in my 20’s when they nested near Stony Creek… They are a skittish bird that flush very easily…

 

So all these questions that should be answered first, bring me to my next point… Should individuals count these as life birds? County birds? Year birds? Perhaps if there is proof of breeding and there are young birds that are seen, then its plausible, but if these are escapees from some guy training his dogs, then these birds are no different than an escaped Parakeet and If I run into them they won’t make it on any of my lists.. Just my two cents…