On Saturday 12-17 I participated in the Christmas Bird County sponsored by the Macomb Audubon Society. I covered Area E which is between 25 and 28 mile rd from Ray Center Rd east to Mound. It is a nice mixture of Farm, Woods and Subdivisions. I was joined by Andrea Meldrum, Wayne Hoch and Andrew Simon. We had a great day with 40 species. Highlights included Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs (lifer for Andrea), Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher and a whole bunch of other good winter birds. It was an adventurous day. We started with owling in 4 inches of fresh snow. We managed to get 6 Screech Owls… Then later we parked at the end of 28 mi and walked the path down to the bridge. On the way out I hugged the side of the road too close and went off the road into a small ditch… I thought I was gonna need a tow, but Wayne got the idea to shove branches and sticks under the tires to gain traction and after a bunch of tries and even more branches, logs, whatever… I got out… Then I thanked Wayne by dumping a bunch of snow on his head from my moon roof when I applied the brakes… it was crazy.. But the rest of the day went well and we all made the tally at Stony Creek Nature Center. It wasn’t a record year with Stony Creek Lake frozen over, but there were still some good birds seen and the total was in the lower 60’s.
On friday I got a text late from Tom Heatley that an ebird alert went out that a birder named Andy Howes had found a Mountain Bluebird at Harvey Ensign Memorial Access of of south river rd… So the next morning I headed there at dawn and was joined by Tom, Beth Noren, Gary Murphy and Wayne Hoch.. We headed out toward the point and it took about 15 minutes to find it. Gary spotted it in some vines feeding on wild grapes… Some other birders soon joined us and we all got some great looks. Patrick Wright, Scott Jennex and Mary Trombley were also there… Great bird and first for the county.
I went to Mitchell Lake Audubon Nature reserve when I was down in Texas for work… It was a horrible cold rainy day but I still managed to get my lifer, Least Grebe and I also saw a bunch of Loggerhead Shrikes. There were many Yellow-rumped Warblers around as well as Nashville and Orange-crowned. I saw a couple of Crested Caracara but was not close enough for a photo.