Monday, May 24, 2010


My Birdathon team (Leonard Weber, Stella Kosharian, Chris Goulart, and I) saw one hundred species for the Birdathon yesterday. We started at Metrobeach where we heard a calling Least Bittern but found none of the warblers we were counting on seeing there. We think that the lack of warblers may have been connected to the heavy fog which remained until after nine. We then headed to Wetzel State park which was much better. There were several Sedge Wrens ticking in the grass. One actually popped up out of the grass for a second and I was able to get a poor picture through the fog.
There was a pheasant calling as well as several Bobolinks and a Veery. In the fields south of the parking lot we heard and saw several Clay-colored Sparrows and Blue-winged Warblers. There was also a Black-billed Cuckoo calling in the distance. A male Orchard Oriole near the parking lot was nice to see as well.

Clay-colored Sparrow

Blue-winged Warbler

After a brief stop in Mount Clemens to see the nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons, we headed down to Pointe Mouillee SGA. On the road to the headquarters we were surprised to find an American Woodcock sitting in the middle of the road. When we got to the Sigler Rd. parking lot, we found out that the Cinnamon Teal (fifth State record) that had been seen earlier in the day had just disappeared, we were not able to refind it. We didn't really find anything exceptional at Pointe Mouillee but we did have quite a few late ducks. Red-breasted Merganser, Common Merganser, and Canvasback were the biggest surprises in that department. Several Ruddy Turnstones, fifty or sixty Whimbrels, and several hundred Dunlin were the shorebird highlights.


There were Several Common Terns, as well as Forster's and Black Terns.

We also saw a whole bunch of Long-nosed Gars near the shore.
Back at the parking lot I saw a male Yellow-headed Blackbird fly over, which was cool. We left Pointe Mouillee with 91 species for the day. We then chased and found the Dickcissel that had been found a few days before in a farm field near Pointe Mouillee. We also added Eastern Meadowlark, American Kestrel, and Purple martin to our list, bringing our total to 95 species.


We then went to Lake Erie Metropark where we found our only migrant warblers of the day, Magnolia Warbler and American Redstart. We also added Cedar Waxwing, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Eastern Phoebe to our list, bringing out total to 100. I saw another Orchard Oriole, this time a first spring male. There were lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers around as well.
After this, I wanted to go to Oakwoods Metropark to try for Henslow's Sparrow and then head to Crosswinds to hopefully hear an American Bittern and some rails but the other guys on my team were tired after the ten mile walk at Pointe Mouillee and decided to call it a day. Overall, it wasn't a bad day, especially considering that we were only able to find five species of warblers and three thrushes.

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