Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lake Michigan-Birding the Indiana Shores

Today Rob and I went to Lake Michigan to look for some recently reported birds that rarely show up in Indiana. We left home at 6 in the morning and arrived at our first stop on the lake, the Port of Indiana, at about 8:30. Lots of good birds have been seen at the Port recently including 3 Western Grebes unfortunately, they were no where to be seen but there were still many birds on the water and flying around. We were able to find a recently reported Eared Grebe and also locate one Thayer's Gull amoung the many Herring and Ring-billeds. On the water there were a few hundred Greater Scaup with lesser numbers of Lessers. The Common Mergansers put on a show with around 4-500 feeding and flying around.

Redheads at the Port of Indiana

After stopping at the Port of Indiana, we headed east and visited a few other sites along the lakeshore. We were able to see a few Great Black-backed Gulls and many more common birds that I had not seen for the year including Black-capped Chickadee and Red-headed Woodpecker. At one spot we also found 3 Fox Sparrows.

We then decided to head to the western part of the lake to look for a Harlequin Duck that had been seen a few days earlier. Unfortunately it was not still in the area but we were able to see more Great Black-backed Gulls and many more Common Goldeneyes as well as both species of Scaup.

Me scanning for waterfowl and gulls at Hammond Marina.


Amy Kearns said...

You made good time up there. I wish I could visit the lakeshore more often, but it's quite the long haul for us folks down here in Lawrence county. Tempting, though - Eared Grebe, Great Black-backed and Thayer's Gull would be new for my Indiana list (as would the Harlequin, Western Grebes, Townsends Solitare and other rarities they've found there recently).


Rob Ripma said...

@ Amy Kearns - That is quite a drive from Lawrence County. We had some great birds but searched unsuccessfully for all 3 of the other species you mentioned. I guess that just means we will have to head back up there soon to try again!