Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lake Michigan Birding

This morning Rob and I, along with Landon Neumann, headed up to Lake Michigan for some much-hoped for vagrants and migrating waterfowl.  We started out at Marquette Park to conduct a lakewatch.  The hoped for birds did not show; our highlight ended up being 50+ Snow Buntings.  

Our next stop was Beverly Shores.  After a quick check of the lake we started driving around to look for Northern Shrike.  After a short period of time, Landon picked out a shrike perched atop a tree (exactly where they love to perch).  The shrike eventually flew down close the road and we were able to get some acceptable photos before it disappeared.  

The Northern Shrike-we got some great looks at this bird!
After our stop at Beverly, we decided to bird a couple of pine areas along the lake.  Our first stop was at Ogden Dunes where we had our bird-of-the-day, Red Crossbills!  Unfortunately, we were not able to see these birds but heard them when they were perched and as they flew over.  

Red-shouldered Hawk

One of the Golden-crowned Kinglets

Since the crossbills flew west, we decided to head to the other pinery to look for them.  We came up empty but we were rewarded with some other good birds.  We added 10-15 Golden-crowned Kinglets for the day, which brought our day total to over 20!  We also had one of our best birds of the day, a Merlin.  After walking back to the parking area, we had a Northern Harrier; which was a great way to end the day.

Merlin-what an awesome bird!

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