Our hardy group of nine Washtenaw Audubon birders braved a 25-degree windchill and heavy-at-times snow showers in search of spring migrants in the Arb. We lingered for a long time where ground litter obscured a Fox sparrow and Winter wren. Suddenly the Fox sparrow perched in the open where everyone had long and close looks; a Hermit thrush perched even closer displaying his profile and straight on. We met Andrew Pawluk at the boardwalk who put us onto a Winter wren.
In my announcement article from early November I speculated about the possible impact the weather in general, and el Niño in particular, might have on our count. Well, as I’m looking over the results from our efforts on December 19, I can only imagine that the mild conditions that dominated southern Michigan during the fall months and into December resulted in a decidedly interesting outcome.
On Saturday, February 20, 2016, a small group of Washtenaw Audubon members (and friends) took advantage of the extremely pleasant weather to visit Kensington Metropark to see what birds might be about. First stop was the Heron Rookery where a lone Great Horned Owl hunkered down on a nest.
On Saturday (January 16, 2016), 16 intrepid birders attempted to see what sorts of wintering birds could be found. We started by cruising the country roads of the eastern part of Washtenaw County, specifically Vreeland and Gotfredson Roads. We enjoyed a couple of cooperative Kestrels and a nice flock of Horned Larks in the snowy fields, but were unable to locate the previously seen Snow Buntings.
Well, folks, it’s November. The first week of the month did a good job keeping us under the impression that summer might just last a wee bit longer, but this most recent front’s passing has provided for a bit of a reality check. Daytime highs in the 50s, rain and wind, and, wouldn’t you know it: juncos are here to stay us.
“July is hot. And humid. And July can also be downright buggy. So perhaps it is understandable why July is the month with fewer people participating in eBird than any other month. There are also fewer checklists submitted on an average day in July than any other day of the year. But July provides fascinating birding—perhaps some of the most interesting birding of the year.” Excerpt taken from July 4, 2014 eBird Challenge blog
We were contacted by researchers at Vanderbilt University asking for help identifying birders of all levels who will participate in online surveys supporting research on the minds and brains of birders. Follow the links in this article for more information and to participate in the research.
Guatemala (5th International Trip)
Friday 25 March 2016--Saturday 02 April 2016
There are over 30 species of birds found only in the central highlands of northern Central America (primarily Guatemala, but also a little in Mexico and Honduras) such as the beautiful Pink-headed Warbler, unusually unique Horned Guan and the striking Azure-rumped Tanager.
2015 marked my second year as Compiler for the North American Migratory Count (NAMC) known in Washtenaw County as the May Count. I assumed this task from Roger Wykes, who managed it with style for over a dozen years. He assisted me again this year (Thank you, Roger!!) by helping me compile statistics before submitting my report to the state compiler, and by giving me a grand tour of Lodi Township, which I inherited this spring as an Area Leader. This survey is traditionally conducted across North America on the second Saturday in May, this year May 9th.