Kevin Rysiewski, Jeff Steinmetz and Andrea Meldrum birded with me on Monday at Tawas Point State Park. We also visited Tuttle Marsh and a Kirtland Warbler Conservation Area. It was phenomenal birding for most of the day. It slowed down in the late afternoon as expected, but it was a great day with 131 species and 25 Warbler species.
In the Am we walked the trail to the point and back on the opposite side. Great birding in the morning. Every group of pines was active with Warblers… We had a Yellow-breasted Chat fly in front of us and head into the thick stuff where it called a few times… We had a Mourning Warbler calling although it would not show itself… There were Tennessee Warblers calling from every corner of the park.. There was a Common Nighthawk sleeping on a branch in one of the trees bordering the trail… We finished birding the point and headed off to find the Kirtland’s Warbler..
Jeff had a county map and my car has a navigation system… so you would think that it would be so easy to find the Kirtland’s Warbler conservation area… However, roads just disappeared or appeared that were not on the map.. so after a few wrong turns we finally found the area… It took about 3 seconds to hear the first singing Male… We lucked out and had one close to the edge of the jack pine stand and were able to get some nice photos… This was a life bird for Andrea and the first time that Jeff has seen them up close… He has heard them before… Very cool…
Next we headed to Tuttle Marsh.. We stopped in the middle of one of the roads on the way to Tuttle after I heard a Pine/chipping sparrow… It turned out to be a Pine and we found that plus Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Red-breasted Nuthatch and a couple of other birds that we needed… At Tuttle we had Bald Eagle, Osprey, Black-billed Cuckoo, Virginia Rail, Sora, Least Bittern and American Bittern… A very cool Marsh..
We also checked out Wurthsmith Airport for Upland Sandpipers with no luck. We did pick up a Vesper Sparrow there… One of the roads that we drove this day we came across a Ruffed Grouse in full display… I have never seen this before… The female soon joined him and we got some incredible looks…
131 species total
Great Blue Heron
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
yellow belly and throat. white speckacles, white under belly and undertail coverts. long tail.