Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pier to Pier Review....Ludington Purple Sandpiper and Manistee Brant 11/22/2016

   Yesterday Van Burmiester found a Purple Sandpiper on the South Breakwater at Ludington Harbor.  I didn't get a chance to look for it then but I was out there soon after sunrise this morning.  Just past the bend of the pier I found the Dunlin that has been hanging out for a couple of weeks now.

  Just after I finished photographing the Dunlin, Dave Dister called and told me that a Brant had been found near the 1st Street Pier in Manistee.  Soon after the call from Dave I found the Purple Sandpiper and was able to get some close shots in good lighting.

Purple Sandpiper

   With the day still young I headed home and picked up my wife and we headed north to Manistee to look for the Brant. When we arrived at the Manistee pier there were a pair of birders, Carl and Judi Manning who had a spotting scope aimed at the wayward goose.  I was only able to obtain distant photos of the bird as it hunkered down near the end of the breakwater.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Franklin's Gull Ludington Wastewater Plant 11/19/2016

Franklin's Gull 

  Dave Dister found a Franklin's Gull at the Ludington Wastewater Treatment Plant today.
Hunkering down with a Ring-billed

   If it appears from the photos above that it was a chilly but tranquil day in west Michigan, below is a video that I shot at the lake shore a little later that shows the wind that we were dealing with all day.
  Note the gull flying backward from the 6 to 12 second mark.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mid-November Update

Snow Buntings waiting for the Lake Effect Snow Machine to kick in.

    A build up of data on my camera's memory card was alleviated this afternoon as I finally got around to processing the few hundred photos that I've taken in the past 10 days.  The most cooperative bird was the Long-tailed duck below that paid me no mind this afternoon.

Northern Pintail 

Large flock of Mostly Redheads (but not Always)

Crop of same flock
  Bonaparte's Gulls have been active around Ludington Harbor all month.
Bonaparte's Gull

   The Sanderling that had been hanging around the South Breakwater has not been seen since early last week.
     This  Dunlin is still being seen daily.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Geese at Work

   Yesterday at my worksite I found a single Blue-morph Snow Goose mixed in with 600 Canada Geese.

  It was still present this afternoon when I drove around the upper reservoir road.
  Scanning the Canadas today I found 5 Greater White-fronted Geese.

   An adult Bald Eagle momentarily spooked the geese.
  Other birds of interest were...
Lapland Longspur

American Pipit

Red-breasted Merganser
  At home yesterday the female Pileated Woodpecker made the case for a larger feeder.
  This morning I searched unsuccessfully on south breakwater at Ludington Harbor for the Purple Sandpiper.  Only shorebird was this Sanderling.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Purple Sandpiper Hanging Around 11/4/2016

  The Purple Sandpiper in Ludington that was found yesterday by Dave Dister was still present early this afternoon.
Purple Sandpiper
  I initally saw it from a distance as Brian Allen pointed it out as he was walking back from the end of the south breakwater.  As I headed toward the end of the pier a Dunlin and a Sanderling took flight and the Purple Sandpiper joined them as they passed by it.    All three shorebirds circled around the end of the south breakwater before settling down about 100 yds in from the tip of the pier. I was then able to photograph all three birds as well as a Snow Bunting in some good lighting with nice backgrounds 



Snow Bunting

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Purple Sandpiper, Ludington

  Stayed over a few hours at work this morning. I had planned to walk the south breakwater on my way home but a dense fog limited visibility to feet rather than fractions of a mile. That said I still didn't get to bed until 10 AM.

   At 2:16 this afternoon I woke when I heard the Mostly Birds (but not Always) hotline ring.  Dave Dister had found a Purple Sandpiper on the rocks on the lake side of the breakwater.  That got me moving.  Thirty minutes from bed to bird and I had the target bird in my viewfinder.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pileated Woodpecker

   Lots of action around the feeders in the yard this warm November afternoon.  I was content to photograph the chickadees, titmice and nuthatches then the Pileated Woodpecker descended on the scene.

Getting in position

Eyeing the suet

Making quick work of the suet cake
'Hey put the damn camera down and get another suet slab out here'

  At the sunflower seed dispenser this Tufted Titmouse grabs a morsel.

The seeds seem to fall from the sky

But its just the sloppy diner above

October Over

Low clouds mute the colors

As October came to a close the fall colors reached their peak.
View from the south breakwater
  Several trips to the south breakwater over the past week yielded the following birds.


Great Black-backed Gull

GBBG and friends

Common Loon

Red-breasted Merganser

 Harrier Fishing(?)

Bonaparte's Gull
   Finally in my yard on Sunday I had my first Fox Sparrow of the season.
Kicking grass and taking grain