Red crossbill, Upland sandpiper et al, Chippewa Co. (long)

Parula100@aol.com Parula100 at aol.com
Thu Jul 28 21:05:55 EDT 2005


I made a brief trip to the U.P. yesterday and today, and came up with a few 
interesting birds. Best of all was one (and probably at least 3 or 4) Red 
crossbills along Vermillion Rd. just before the fork that leads to the Andrus Lake 
campground. I spotted some activity in a conifer just as some of the birds 
flew off. The remaining bird was a Red crossbill. As I was feasting my eyes on 
him, some birds started calling from the direction towards which the other ones 
had headed, and the bird I was watching stopped feeding, made an identical 
call, and flew in the same direction. Assuming they were all Red crossbills, 
there had to have been at least 3 birds total. 

Whitefish Pt. itself was dead, other than the seemingly omnipresent Merlin on 
his/her pole and several small flocks of juvenile warblers (Yellow-rumped, 
Palm, Nashville, and Redstarts). Never having birded the U.P. in the summer 
before, I was almost stumped by the young Yellow-rumpeds. Thank goodness for 
Sibley's illustration! Also present were some Purple finches and Evening grosbeaks.

I also found an Upland sandpiper along Forest Road 3139, which heads south 
from 28 east of Strongs Corner and ends up along H40 east of Trout Lake. I 
believe, but am not positive, that this is the same road called Dick Road in the 
DeLorme atlas. It is the first wide gravel road west of the road leading to 
Soldier Lake. The sandpiper was calling repeatedly from the top of a tree stump in 
the first large open area on the east side of the road south of 28.

This road was absolutely delightful to bird. First of all, it is a wide 
gravel road, so I didn't have to worry about getting stuck. Second, it's about 11 
miles long without a single house. Third, there was almost no traffic, as it 
basically goes from nowhere to nowhere. Finally, there is a nice assortment of 
habitats, including open areas as well as woods. I had a nice variety of birds 
there, including a pair of Olive-sided flycatchers (one singing), 2 pairs of 
Kestrels, 2 Sandhill cranes, a singing Winter wren, and an E. bluebird. Had I 
not been short on time, I would have spent a lot more time there.

The only other possibly interesting sightings I had were in Mackinac Co.- a 
lone Black tern and a probable Great Black-backed gull (a little too far away 
to be positive) at Pt. La Barbe.

Darlene Friedman
Novi
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