belated Soo trip report

Lathe Claflin lathe.claflin at
Sun Dec 16 11:36:05 EST 2007


Mike Sefton and I birded portions of the eastern UP on Tuesday through
Thursday. We toured the Soo area and south to M48, the Rudyard flats,
north and west to Whitefish Point and the Upper Taquamenon Falls, H40
from Trout Lake to Rudyard.  Birding was slow!  We say no owls (we
cruised the Rudyard flats twice), hawks, crossbills, purple finches,
or siskins.  Most of the major feeder stations we visited (the house
at the W end of 11 Mile Rd., the blue house at 4178 Ranger Rd, and
Betty Maxson's house on Lost Lake Rd S of M123) had very few birds and
nothing special.  The feeders at the E end of 12 Mile Rd in the Dunbar
Forest were an exception but still had fewer species and numbers than
in previous early December trips.

Noteworthy highlights included a first winter ICELAND GULL below the
Edison power plant in the Soo; BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in crab apple trees
near 300 W Townline Rd S of Pickford, along the entrance to Alvord
(sp) Park next to the Edison Power Plant, and along Riverside Rd about
1 mile S of the Sugar Island Ferry; and a frosty white HOARY REDPOLL
at the Dunbar Forest feeders.  We also had a SHARP-TAILED GROUSE on 13
Mile Rd. that decided Mike's head (he was taking snapshots out the car
window) was a good roosting spot, but Mike ducked and the bird landed
on the top of the car instead.  Mike slowly exited the car and the
bird stayed put long enough for a couple of quick shots. This
experience was worth the entire trip to the Soo!

PINE GROSBEAKS were widespread and common, especially at feeders.
SNOW BUNTINGS were easily found in the Rudyard flats. SHARP-TAILED
GROUSE were present at their traditional location near 9 Mile and
Nicolet Rds.  We saw a few COMMON REDPOLLS at WPBO HQ building south
of Whitefish Point, two at Betty Maxson's house, and 20-30 at the
Dunbar Forest feeders.

Better luck to the next Soo visitors,
Lathe and Mike

Lathe Claflin
eastern Jackson County

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