MOO Count – Second Day

May 15, 2013

0530 – Kevin arrived for Leg 2 of our MOO count. Today we attack Michigan. This would not be a high travel day. It is my belief that Macomb County and a couple of places in St. Clair County and Oakland County will provide a good day with good numbers. We headed to Lk. St. Clair Metropark.

0615 – Kevin and I parked near the Point Rosa Marsh. We were going to walk the boardwalk in the Marsh and pick up Virginia Rails and Sora as they called… The wind was picking up… it was going to be a very breezy all day… Other than the Marsh Wrens, the Marsh is quiet… I am not happy… Not a good start… We headed to the marsh near the gazebo… same issue.. too quiet… Marsh Wren, Yellow Warblers and Red-winged Blackbirds are the only birds making any noise in the marsh… We headed for the woods..  A Tennessee Warbler was calling loudly from the willow near the first Bridge… we saw him sitting toward the top… Woods were fairly active. Blackburnian Warblers are around… A couple of Lincoln Sparrows were moving about the meadow loop… We heard the first Chebek of the day… Least Flycatcher… As we were coming out of the meadow loop and onto the trails behind the Nature Center, we spied a bird in the middle of the trail… its a Thrush… No notable eye ring, uniform brown, no Buffy color… Sweet, it was a Gray-cheeked thrush… I shot some quick pictures of it as it jumped up on a branch, and then it was gone… Just then we looked to the right and a Hooded Warbler was moving about the brush!! Wow, now the adrenaline is flowing… We move up the trail… I can hear Black and White Warblers… Yellow Warblers are everywhere… I see Tom Heatley on the trail with a couple of birders… They were looking at something… It turned out to be a Hooded Warbler… Wow, possibly two of them were there…. I got some good looks, took some pics and we were on our way… We birded the rest of the woods and found a Wilson’s Warbler, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush and Wood Thrush. On the way out, we stopped and looked at Point Rosa Marsh.. Thru the scope we found Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper and a possible Pectoral vs White-rumped Sandpiper… We called Tom and he went and looked at it and called us back and confirmed that it was a White-rumped Sandpiper. Kevin thought he saw the white rump, but its a long ways off and I wanted Tom’s expert Shorebird eyes on it.. A very good bird for the count…  At the beach we striked out on Pipits… a few Dunlin around…. we headed to Mt Clemens for the Peregrine Falcon..

Kevin and I sat in the parking lot of the Police Station in Mt Clemens scanning the Macomb County building for the Peregrine Falcons that nest there… No luck, so we moved to another position to see the SouthEast corner where they are currently nesting.. Nothing… we decide to leave and head to Port Huron… We are driving down Cass toward the County Building and I am making a joke on how I am going to beep my horn to scare the falcon, when all of a sudden it flies over my car and lands on the ledge… Wow, sometimes its better to be lucky than good… we laughed and headed to Port Huron State Game Area.

1100 – Kevin and I are driving down Shoefelt Rd. We are going to bird Port Huron State Game Area… I love this place… it was Kevin’s first time and I know he was going to really love it… I heard a Pine Warbler and we stopped and looked at it… Blue-winged Warblers were calling… in the parking lot I heard a Scarlet Tanager in one direction and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in another… We headed down the trail and soon heard a Hooded Warbler calling overhead… They breed here and as it was sitting on a branch, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird came out of nowhere and chased it… Awesome!!  we heard a  Wood Thrush calling… there were many different kinds of warblers around… Our target bird was a Cerulean Warbler…. I told Kevin that when we get to the end of the trail, we will follow the treeline around the river and listen for them…. we came down the hill into the open field area, walk over to the woods and heard one call immediately .. I grabbed some photographs and Kevin is thrilled to see this lifer…. Target birds gotten, we moved on back to the car… Next area was Wetzel…

1245 – We arrived at Wetzel and our two target birds are Clay-colored Sparrow and Sedge Wren… they both nest in park… We found both of them… the Sedge Wren was harder to find, but Tom Heatley was there before us and directed us to where he had it.. we got it to make some noise but it was very shy… the winds were very strong and birds were spooked by it… Birding was getting tough… We looked for the Bobolinks, but with no luck…. This bird would end up frustrating us by the end of the count… Next was Wolcott Mills Metropark… On the way there we saw a Coopers Hawk fly across the road…

1400 – Wolcott our target bird is Eastern Meadowlark… I was worried that they would be silent with the wind… They were… we walked the field and flushed one… I was hoping the Bobolink was going to be here… it wasn’t… Neither was the American Kestrel that is always sitting on the wire… Birdathons or big day counts are like this… We go by the Wolcott Farm and Witness a Sharp-shinned Hawk chasing a sparrow.. No bobolinks here either. Onto Grasshopper Sparrow spot…

1530 – We arrive at the field at 29 mile rd and Mound Rd and within 5 minutes we heard the Grasshopper Sparrow calling… Off to the Osprey Nest…

1600 – At Inwood Rd near the Inwood Trails parking area there is an Osprey Nest on the cell tower… We saw one come in and land on top of the tower… We also checked out some marsh area nearby and find a Sandhill Crane… Onto the Osprey Trail at Stony Creek Metropark…

1700- Osprey Trail was quiet… very quiet… We find a White-breasted Nuthatch calling.. a Great-crested Flycatcher was along the creek area flying from tree to tree… The lake was dead… a few mallards…

1800 – We hit the trails at West Branch and find the Pileated Woodpecker drumming… there also is a Brown Creeper in the marsh area near parking lot C.

1900- We checke out the area along the creek behind the nature center… we were looking for Yellow-throated Vireo that are normally there, but it was not vocal… Not much was around… We leave and before we called it a day we head to our Louisiana Waterthrush spot and get it right away….  We called it a night… the next day we were getting up early and heading to Ohio…

We ended the day with 113 species.. Not the total I would have liked, but its ok… Highlights were the Cerulean Warbler, Louisana Waterthrush, Pine Warbler and White-rumped Sandpiper… We had 26 Warblers on our list… we made a goal to get at least 30 after we bird Ohio the next day.. Total list of Species after day 2 is 152.

Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

Grey-cheeked Thrush taken at dawn

Grey-cheeked Thrush taken at dawn

Hooded Warbler eating

Hooded Warbler eating

Hooded Warbler singing

Hooded Warbler singing

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

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