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.

2 comments:

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).

Amy

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!