Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Purple Sandpipers!

Karl Overman and I headed out to Pere Marquete Park in Muskegon today to look for Purple Sandpipers. Karl quickly spotted one next to us almost as soon as we started to head down the breakwall.
We were so busy photographing the first bird that we didn't notice there was an other Purple Sandpiper just a few feet away!
We headed further down the pier where we saw a Surf Scoter and Common Loon. While we were watching the Surf Scoter we noticed several more Purple Sandpipers on the breakwall. Eventually we were able to count five which gave us a total of seven! This was three more than had been previously reported this winter.

After this great start to the day we headed over to the Muskegon Wastewater. There were thousands of shovelers and there were two Glaucous Gulls near the landfill. As we were driving along the northeast dike I spotted a snowy Owl on a telephone pole.

A stop at the Lake Odessa Sewage Lagoons turned up a flock of Snow Buntings with two Lapland Longspurs.

I have been doing a lot of birding since I got back from school. On Saturday I did the Oakland CBC, the highlight was hearing two Saw-whet Owls before dawn. Fifteen purple Finches, thirty pine Siskins, and a Northern Shrike were also fun to see.

On Sunday afternoon I went to Superior Township to see the Short-eared Owls and saw three at 5:20.

On Monday I went to Walled Lake and saw the Surf Scoter and two Black Scoters. It has been fun birding this last week and I am looking forward to the end of the year.

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