Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Michigan Birding Highlights: Nesting Season 2009

Peder H. Svingen’s summary (North American Birds 62:562-563, 2009) of the 2008 nesting season (June through July) in the Western Great Lakes Region includes observations of 93 unusual or out-of-range species reported from the States of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Here, I include excerpts of the 46 species from Michigan that Svingen chose to highlight:
Snow Goose.—"Unusual for Michigan in summer" was a blue-morph individual in Berrien Co. from June 28 through the end of July (Jonathan T. Wuepper and Tim Baerwald).

White-winged Scoter.—"Unusual for mid-summer" was a male in Houghton Co. on July 18 (Joe Kaplan).

Bufflehead.—Single birds in Saginaw Co. on June 6 (Joe Soehnel) and Pte. Mouillee State Game Area (SGA), Monroe Co., on June 20 (Adam M. Byrne) were "unseasonable" for Michigan’s southern Lower Peninsula.

Pacific Loon.—A hold-over from the spring season was last seen on June 2 (Alec Lindsay).

Horned Grebe.—Two lingered through June 4 in Iron Co. (Greg Cleary).

Eared Grebe.—A bird abandoned its nest on Crow Island, Saginaw Co., but was still in the area on June 10 (Myles Willard, Jerry Ziarno), while another visited the Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon Co., on July 23 (Brian Johnson).

Snowy Egret.—Single birds were at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Saginaw Co., in July (David J. Peters, Joe Soehnel, Bob Grefe), and along the Bay/Arenac co. line on July 31 (Doug Jackson).

Yellow Rail.—Good numbers were present at Seney NWR, Schoolcraft Co.

King Rail.—One was photographed along the Bay/Arenac co. line on June 27 (Doug Jackson).

Semipalmated Plover.—One at Pte. Mouillee GMA, Monroe Co., on June 20 was injured (Adam M. Byrne).

Piping Plover.—Of the 63 pairs from the Great Lakes Population that fledged 112 wild chicks from 71 nests, "the vast majority" were from Michigan (Source: Great Lakes Piping Plover Call, University of Minnesota, September 17, 2008, E. Roche, ed.).

Black-necked Stilt.—A pair fledged 4 young at Pte. Mouillee GMA, Monroe Co., "the same location where this species nested in 2003."

American Avocet.—More than the usual number of reports.


Whimbrel.—One at the Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon Co., on June 20 (Chip Francke) was "relatively late and farther w. than usual in the Lower Peninsula."

Hudsonian Godwit.—One "transited" Kewenee Co. on June 1 (Joe Kaplan).

Marbled Godwit.—The 5 or 6 reported for the season was "more than normal," including a "presumed spring migrant" at Grand Marais, Alger Co., on June 14 (Jean Carpenter).

Long-billed Dowitcher.—One "identified by voice" at Pte. Mouillee GMA, Monroe Co., on July 20 (Adam M. Byrne) was early.

Franklin’s Gull.—An "out-of-range" adult in Bay Co. on June 7 was "most newsworthy" (photo: Glenn Peterson).

Heerman’s Gull.—A first-cycle bird at Chassel, Houghton Co., on July 18 was "outstanding on the beach" (photo: Joe Youngman). "If accepted, this would establish Michgan’s 4th record, with the previous three probably a returning individual for three consecutive years."

Chuck-will’s Widow.—A bird in Berrien Co. through July 5 (Marvin Budd) was "presumably returning for the 4th consecutive summer."

Green Violetear.—Michigan’s third was a bird that "sought refuge" at Shelter Bay, Alger Co., July 5-6 (Scott C. Hickman).

Black-headed Woodpecker.—A concentration of about 21 pairs was present in about 400 acres in Baraga Co. (Joe Youngman).

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.—About 50-60 were still migrating on June 2 at the western end of Manitou Island, Keweenaw Co. (Joe Youngman, Zack Gayk).

Least Flycatcher.—About 20-30 were still migrating on June 2 at the western end of Manitou Island, Keweenaw Co. (Joe Youngman, Zack Gayk).

Western Kingbird.—This species was easterly at Whitefish Point, Chippewa Co., on June 2 (fide Chris Neri), and in Monroe Co. on June 11 (Walter G. Pawloski).

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.—A bird that appeared at Whitefish Point, Chippewa Co., on June 2 (Kelli Heindel Levinson) "was refound the next day 24 km to the south!"

Yellow-throated Vireo.—Two reports from Chippewa Co., including breeding confirmation near McNearny Lake on July 21 (Louie J. Dombrowski), are noteworthy as the species is scarce in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

Philadelphia Vireo.—Reports from 4 counties, including breeding confirmation in Gogebic Co. (Ryne Rutherford).

Northern Wheatear.—A female at Grand Marais, Alger Co., on June 6 (Pat McConeghy) furnishes "Michigan’s first ‘spring’ record and 10th overall."

Northern Mockingbird.—Two on Manitou Island, Keweenaw Co., in early June (Joe Youngman, Zack Gayk) were rather "northerly."

Blue-winged Warbler.—One in the Upper Peninsula on June 12 (Sky Haas) may be evidence of "northward expansion."

"Brewster’s" Warbler.—One was noted in Cheboygan Co. on June 26 (Louie J. Dombrowski).

Golden-winged Warbler.—This species was present in "low numbers" in its northern Lower Peninsula "stronghold" this season.

Magnolia Warbler.—Noted "farther south than normal in Michigan for the 2nd consecutive summer," with individuals noted in Hillsdale (Jack Reinoehl) and Berrien (Brad Anderson) cos.

Yellow-throated Warbler.—One in Marquette Co. July 19-22 (Skye Haas) was "remarkably far north," while one in Allegan Co. on July 21 (Rick Brigham) "was closer to this species’ usual haunts in Berrien" Co.

Kirtland’s Warbler.—"A total of 1,791 singing males in Michigan was the highest number . . . since monitoring began in 1951."

Cerulean Warbler.—One in Marquette Co., June 5-July 4 (Beth Olson) "was farther north than usual."

Kentucky Warbler.—Reported.

Summer Tanager.—None reported "for the first time in several years."

Lark Sparrow.—One in Gogebic Co. on June 16 (Dick Vetch) was "unusual."

Lark Bunting.—One in Berrien Co. on June 4 (Dawn Mutz) was "unusual."

Henslow’s Sparrow.—Though less widespread than in recent years, one was still reported as far north as Menominee Co. (Skye Haas).

Dickcissel.—Widely scattered throughout the State, including one in the Upper Peninsula.

Red Crossbill.—Small numbers were reported, all from the Upper Peninsula.

White-winged Crossbill.—An irruption was evident by mid-July, with "many flocks" reported in the Upper Peninsula.


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April 30, 2009 4:55 AM  

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