Friday, April 15, 2011

White Wagtail

I finally got out to Pointe Mouillee with Karl Overman yesterday to see the White Wagtail that was found on Saturday by Adam Byrne. Incredibly, this is the third state record for Michigan. On the way in from the Mouillee Creek entrance we were pleased to see a Rough-legged hawk flying over the marshes. We reached Cell 3 at about 10:30 and the wagtail had not yet been seen. Within fifteen minutes, however, a birder from Pennsylvania spotted it feeding at the edge of the mudflat near the west dyke of Cell 3. After getting good scope views, we decided to move closer to try to get some pictures. We managed to get somewhat close and I got a few bad pictures.
Eventually, The Wagtail decided we were too close and flew to the Vermet Unit. After checking the gulls and finding a Glaucous, and several Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Karl and I headed over to the Vermit Unit where it flushed again after a little while and appeared to fly back toward Cell 3. As we were biking off, however, we heard a the two note chiz-zick call and the White Wagtail flew back in. I grabbed my brakes and almost went flying over the front of my bike, and we scanned the field for it. Pretty soon, Karl found it in the field and I eventually saw it as well. After a little while it flushed again and appeared to fly back to Cell 3. After biking around the Vermit Unit and finding lots of ducks but nothing unusual, we headed back to the car. A stop at the Erie Gun Club later turned up a Peregrine Falcon and a Northern Harrier along with several Bald Eagles.

On Wednesday, I was able to fit in a trip to Kensington to see the Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler. I got good but rather brief views of this western stray, and was able to get some good pictures.

The White Wagtail and Audubon's Warbler were both great birds and were the third and sixth state records respectively. Especially with the White Wagtail, these were not birds I was expecting to see in Michigan.

1 comment:

  1. James, great pics of the Audubons Warbler!! very cool!!

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