Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sarrett Nature Center and Brown Sanctuary


On Saturday April 19 fifteen of us headed down to Berrien County to bird the Sarrett Nature Center and Brown Sanctuary.  It was a beautiful cool spring morning with plenty of birds.

Highlights of the 42 species included Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-winged Teal, Eastern Towhee, Wood Duck, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, White-throated, Swamp and Field Sparrow, American Coot and three Great Egret north of the nature center.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bonus Field Trip Saturday May 3


Ken Sapkowski will lead an extra club field trip the first Saturday morning in May with spring warblers in mind.  Below is Ken's description of the trip with three clickable (blue) links to the locations.  The public is welcome.

Meet at McDonalds on US-31 in Grand Haven at 7:15 a.m. or catch up with us at our first stop at Eastern Grand River Park as we will bird there from 7:40 - 9:30.  We will leave McDonalds at 7:30.  Around 9:30 or slightly later we will move on to Hoffma Preserve which is not too far away. Taking Beechtree south, it becomes 168th Ave. Take a left on Sleeper as it dead ends into the park.  After an hour there we will hit Harbor Island which can be seen at the top of the EGRP map and is on the way home to Muskegon.  From the south, head north on US-31, take Jackson Ave west to 3rd St. and then turn north.  This will take you into the park where we should have a great view of the Peregrine Falcons.   Lunch possibilities will be discussed at that time.  - Ken

Monday, April 14, 2014

Five Lakes Field Trip Needs RSVP


Field Trip – Five Lakes Muskegon Nature Sanctuary

Monday, April 21st 1:00 pm

Please join regional stewardship organizer Matt Schultz for a field trip to explore the coastal plain marsh, dry sand prairie, and white pine-white oak woods of the beautiful Five Lakes Muskegon in Egelston Township near Muskegon.  This event is part of the Earth Week festivities in the Muskegon Area.

Please RSVP for directions and so we can plan for the day.

Matt Schultz
Regional Stewardship Organizer

Michigan Nature Association
Protecting Michigan's Natural Heritage Since 1952

326 E Grand River
Williamston, MI 48895
C: (517) 643-6864

Friday, April 11, 2014

Author's Muskegon Program Needs R.S.V.P.


Author Joel Greenberg will be speaking at Muskegon's Lakeshore Museum Center, 430 W. Clay Ave., at 6:00 p.m. May 21, 2014.

His talk "Hope is a Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds" will include information about the Passenger Pigeon, subject of his fourth book A Feathered River Across the Sky; the Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction.

Space is limited so please call 231-722-0278 if you plan to attend.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wastewater Bluebird Box Monitoring


Anita Friend, a chemist at the Muskegon County Wastewater System and liason person for the birding community, presented details at our March club meeting for monitoring the bluebird boxes along White Road extending east from the headquarters area.  Her instructions and images below describe in detail how that process will work.

Anyone wishing to volunteer on this project should contact Anita at the phone number below.  Bob Wygant will do the monitoring the weeks of April 7 and April 14.

   1.  Contact Anita Friend (231-724-3457) to schedule a day to check the nest boxes.  If no one has called by Wednesday, she will contact Bob Wygant and he will monitor the nest boxes for that week.

   2.  Obtain a Visitor's Pass and Field Data Sheets from the Wastewater Administration Building’s main desk Monday through Friday.  Please note that all header information is already filled in for each nest box.

   3.  Monitor the nest boxes.  Anita will demonstrate how to do this for first-time volunteers.

   4.  Return the Field Data Sheets to the main desk at the Administration Building. 

All field data is entered into the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Nestwatch website, and an end-of-season report will be given to the Michigan Bluebird Society.

Thank you for helping with this exciting project!  Please do not hesitate to call Anita with questions, concerns or feedback.






Saturday, March 22, 2014

14 People 45 Species This Morning


Feller DeWitt's Ottawa County Field Trip went well this cold cloudy morning.

Beginning at Chinook Pier in downtown Grand Haven we traveled to Harbor Island and then the fisherman's parking lot at the State Park seeing 29 species along the way including White-winged Scoter, Red-necked Grebe, Peregrine Falcon, Common Grackle, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull (5 at Harbor Island), Killdeer and Hooded Merganser.

At Pigeon Lake near the Campbell Power Plant we added 5 more species including Pied-billed Grebe.  Along Crosswell Road on our way to Hemlock Crossing were 2 more: Pileated Woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Hemlock Crossing gave us 11 more including Downy, Red-bellied and Harry Woodpeckers, Red-tailed Hawk and American Tree Sparrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 20 Meeting & Program


Post-meeting Update:  Thirty people heard from Anita Friend of Muskegon County Wastewater regarding the upcoming project to maintain bluebird boxes along the trails near W.W. headquarters.  Then Zachary DeBruine presented his program regarding eBird and the many new and innovative features there.

Friday, February 21, 2014

More Awards and Brian's Program


At our February 20 meeting Ric Pedler was honored for finishing last in the club's birding contest for the past five years.  The certificate was presented by Feller and Charlie DeWitt, the trophy was created by Dee DeWitt, and somewhere in the background lurked Ken Sapkowski.  Thanks to Carol Cooper for the presentation photograph.

Afterward Brian Johnson presented his program about bird migration and his bird banding project at the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

January Trip Nets 27 Species Plus Surf Scoter


On Saturday morning ten of us birded the Wastewater and eight of us the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve finding 24 and 13 species respectively.  We had a "merganser trifecta" (common, red-breasted, hooded), snow buntings and owl, lots of goldeneyes, and six bald eagles (three at each location).


Afterward we enjoyed lunch at the Main Street Cafe in North Muskegon.  Ken and his magic bird-finder (Glenda) left the party early to find this male Surf Scoter in the Muskegon Channel.


Twenty-seven total species for the morning, not counting the channel birds, and good companionship made for a great day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ken Sapkowski Best Birder of 2013


Muskegon, Jan. 16, 2014 (AP):  Ken Sapkowski reaped numerous awards for his astounding 291 bird species listed in 2013.  That number may have been even higher had he counted Whooping Cranes, Barnacle Geese, Cockatiels, road kill, etc.

After receiving his spiral notebook pencil-engraved certificate from club president Ric Pedler, Ken accepted Charlie DeWitt's three-penny monetary prize (based on 1/100 cent per species rounded to the nearest hundredth) with accompanying plaque


and the prestigious trophy created by Feller and Dee DeWitt.


Parcipants in the 2013 MCNC Listing Contest:  Charlie DeWitt, Feller DeWitt, Ken Sapkowski, Ric Pedler and Carol Cooper.