Michigan RBA--9 December 2004

Jonathan Wuepper wuepperj at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 9 08:16:49 EST 2004


*December 9th, 2004

hotline: Michigan
number: 269/471-4919
to report: 269-556-9510 or wuepperj at hotmail.com
compiled: 09 Dec 2004
compiler: Jon Wuepper


KING EIDER* [CASUAL] (Saint Clair County)

*=On Michigan Bird Records Committee Species Review List. Please send
documentation to: Jack Reinoehl, c/o MBRC, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI 

Additional species mentioned:

Harlequin Duck (Saint Clair County)
White-winged Scoter (Oakland County)
Black Scoter (Berrien County)
Long-tailed Duck (Saint Clair, Van Buren cos)
Red-necked Grebe (Saint Clair, Van Buren cos)
Great Egret (Wayne County)
Golden Eagle (Muskegon County)
Merlin (Washtenaw, Wayne, Berrien cos)
Purple Sandpiper (Ottawa County)
Sanderling (Muskegon County)
Glaucous Gull (Alger, Washtenaw, Allegan cos)
Ring-billed Gull (Van Buren County)
Thayer’s Gull (Marquette County)
Great Black-backed Gull (Alger, Ottawa, Allegan cos)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe cos)
Laughing Gull (Van Buren County)
Northern Hawk Owl (Chippewa, Luce cos)
Snowy Owl (Chippewa, Mackinac, Marquette, Ionia, Muskegon cos)
Great Gray Owl (Chippewa, Mackinac cos)
Short-eared Owl (Muskegon County)
Eastern Phoebe (Macomb County)
Pine Warbler (Livingston County)

This is the Michigan Statewide Bird Report for Thursday, December 9th, 2004, 
which is being sponsored by the Wild Bird Center of Benton Harbor located in 
the Orchards Mall.

In SAINT CLAIR COUNTY on the morning of December 2nd**, Karl Overman and 
Darlene Friedman saw a female KING EIDER*, and 1 adult male HARLEQUIN DUCK. 
The ducks were initially seen at the end of Riverview Road, where Lake Huron 
drains into the Saint Clair River. The HARLEQUIN DUCK (or another?) was 
relocated later the same day off Lighthouse Point, along with 10 LONG-TAILED 
DUCKS and a RED-NECKED GREBE.  (**The intial report stated that the 
sighting(s) occured on December 2nd, but the current Detroit RBA reports 
December 3rd.)

In CHIPPEWA COUNTY, December 2nd, Paul Rossi found a GREAT GRAY OWL, on 
M-48, 1/2 mile north of Goetzville. On December 5th Lathe Caflin located a 
SNOWY OWL on the ground off Centerline Road, just Northwest of 20 Mile Road. 
Additionally, 3-4 GREAT GRAY OWLS were reported on Sugar Island in the 
afternoon of December 5th.  One owl was hunting in a field on the east side 
of South Brasser about a quarter mile North of 6 Mile Road. A second GREAT 
GRAY OWL was located on the other side of the road at 6 Mile Road.  On the 
return visit from the southern end of the island, Lathe encountered a GREAT 
GRAY OWL hunting on Homestead Road (the extension of South Brasser) just 
north of 8 Mile Road.  This bird could have been either of the birds spotted 
30 minutes earlier near 6 Mile or a different bird altogether.  The fourth 
(or third?) bird was hunting on South Brasser, but north of 1 & 1/2 Mile Rd. 
(the east-west road leading from the ferry), and just north of Seppi(?) 
Road. On December 7th, one NORTHERN HAWK-OWL was seen hunting on M-123, 
approximately 1.8 miles north of where East Branch Tahquamenon River crosses 
under the road.  The river is about 2 miles north of Eckerman.

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, continued: Too late for last week’s report, but still 
noteworthy, was a report of a GREAT GRAY OWL seen on November 30th on the 
south shore of Drummond Island. Although I’m not aware of any GREAT GRAY 
OWLS reported from Neebish Island this week, it’s worth noting that multiple 
owls were reported from that place as recently as December 1st. Hence, the 
island would be worth checking. (How long before a GREAT GRAY OWL is 
reported from the Lower Peninsula?!).

In LUCE COUNTY, Lois Robbins reported a NORTHERN HAWK OWL, seen on December 
5th, at the north end of Soo Junction Road, reachable by taking M-28 just 
west of the CHIPPEWA/LUCE COUNTY line, and turning north onto Soo Junction 
Road.  In the DeLorme atlas (1998 6th edition, anyway) Soo Junction Road is 
labeled County Road 381 (page 105, B6). [Thanks to Caleb Putnam for the 

In MACKINAC COUNTY, Paul Rossi reported that on December 5th, a GREAT GRAY 
OWL was seen off M-134 at Prentis Bay Road, about 2-3 miles west of 
Beavertail. Apparently up to 3 of the species have been seen near that 
location over the last 1-2 weeks.  A SNOWY OWL was seen December 5th, off M 
-134, about 9 miles east of Cedarville.

In ALGER COUNTY on December 4th, Scott Hickman found a second winter 
GLAUCOUS GULL and third winter GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL in Munising today.  
Both birds were near the main marina, which is just north of the center of 

In MARQUETTE COUNTY on December 2nd, Skye Haas found a SNOWY OWL, at the 
City of Marquette’s compost yard, off Lakeshore Boulevard. On December 4th, 
Skye, Zach Gayk and Scott Hickman found 1 adult THAYER’S GULL, at the mouth 
of the Dead River in Marquette.

In OAKLAND COUNTY on December 5th, Neil Gilbert located a WHITE-WINGED 
SCOTER at the American Center Marsh, located near Southfield. The SCOTER was 
swimming on an unfrozen patch of water. It has been seen at this location 
through at least December 7th.

In WASHTENAW COUNTY on December 6th, Mackin Smith saw a MERLIN, cross low 
over South Industrial heading due east. On December 4th, members of 
Washtenaw County Audubon visited Onyx Landfill in Salem Township. “Fancy 
gulls” observed: 1 flyby adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and 1 adult 

In WAYNE COUNTY, December 4th or 5th, Greg Norwood visited Crosswinds Marsh 
and located 2 adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS. On December 4th, at Belle 
Isle, Andy Dettling observed a MERLIN. On December 2nd, Karl Overman and 
Darlene Friedman found 1 GREAT EGRET, seen from the boat launch area at the 
northeast end of Lake Erie Metro-park. Also on December 4th, Walt Pawloski 
and Tim Smart reported 4 of the species in the same general area. (One 
report states the 4 GREAT EGRETS were observed December 5th.)

In MONROE COUNTY, at Luna Pier on December 2nd, Karl Overman and Darlene 
Friedman counted 4 adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

In MACOMB COUNTY, near Warren on December 8th, Heather Slayton observed a 

In LIVINGSTON COUNTY, on December 5th and 6th, a late PINE WARBLER was seen 
visiting the feeders at the Brighton State Recreation Area headquarters 

In IONIA COUNTY on December 5th, a SNOWY OWL reportedly flew over I-96 
westbound lane at about the 60-mile marker, about 15 or so miles east of 
Grand Rapids.

In OTTAWA COUNTY on the morning of December 5th, Carl and Judi Manning 
located a PURPLE SANDPIPER, near the end of the north pier (north side) at 
Holland State Park. Rick Brigham relocated this (or another?) bird on 
December 6th. On December 4th, Carl and Judi located a 1st winter GREAT 
BLACK-BACKED GULL, at Chippewa Point. Chippewa Point is on the north side of 
Lake Macatawa at the end of Chippewa Street, between Anchorage Marina and 
Holland State Park.

In MUSKEGON COUNTY at Muskegon Wastewater Facility on December 5th, Scott 
Jennex found a rather late SANDERLING, specifically at “the edge of the 
water in the west lagoon, down the dike from the cells with the aerators.” 
Other reports from Muskegon Wastewater vicinity that day included a GOLDEN 

In ALLEGAN COUNTY on December 8th, Rick Brigham found a first-winter 

In VAN BUREN COUNTY on the morning of December 5th, Scott Jennex birded the 
South Haven Piers and found 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK & 1 RED-NECKED GREBE. John 
Will, Carl and Judi Manning were at South Haven’s south pier that afternoon, 
and located an adult, winter-plumage LAUGHING GULL, among a flock of 

In BERRIEN COUNTY on December 4th, Kip Miller, Dave Vinnedge and I located 
2-3 BLACK SCOTERS off the Pier Road Overlook at Lakeside. They remained 
until at least December 6th. Dave Vinnedge and I had great looks at a 
MERLIN, eating its breakfast (dead rodent) on December 5th, at the Andrews 
University Dairy Farm.

The next scheduled update of this report will be on Thursday, December 16th, 
2004. To report your sightings, please leave a message at the sound of the 
tone or call Jon Wuepper at 269-556-9510. Thanks for calling and good 


“Michigan Birds and Natural History”. Our state ornithological journal. 
Contains the Michigan Bird Survey, etc.

Michigan Bird Records Committee website: 

“North American Birds”, a quarterly journal, published by the American 
Birding Association: http://americanbirding.org/publications/nabgen.htm

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