[Mich-listers] UP Rare Bird Report for October 31, 2009
theowlranch at gmail.com
Sun Nov 1 12:27:59 EST 2009
*UP Rare Bird Report for October 31, 2009*
Another autumn is drawing to a close in the northwoods. Sparrows and
shorebirds are almost gone, and warblers have become but a memory of good
times past. Late migrants and wintering species have begun to arrive, but
for many species, particularly finches, numbers have been low so far. WPBO
reported the first Common Redpolls of the season on the 28th, and there have
been no reports yet of Pine Grosbeaks. Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Siskins
have been present, but only scattered small flocks. Both Red and
White-winged Crossbills have had recent incursions into our area, with
flocks of White-winged Crossbills reported from the upper Keweenaw, northern
Marquette and Delta Counties. Ryne Rutherford reports that Red Crossbills
have been seen in moderate numbers in the Marquette highlands were a
localized white pine cone crop contributes to their presence. Both species
of crossbills have been recorded at WPBO in the last month. Both Purple
Finch and American Goldfinch continue to have a healthy migration season.
Conspicuously absent so far is Bohemian Waxwing, with only a single report
so far from WPBO. It is still early in the season for this species, and I
suspect there may be a mid-winter push of this species into our region. It
is also too earlier to tell if there will be any kind of northern owl
invasion; by this time last year there had been a handful of Snowy Owl
reports, while there have been none so far. Encouraging however, have been
two October Northern Hawk Owl sightings as well a couple of second-hand
reports of this species in eastern UP, but WPBO staff has been unable to
confirm these additional reports.Only a handful of Boreal Owls have been
recorded at Whitefish Point, and so far there have been no reports of Great
Gray Owls, but both of these species frequently do not move into our area
until December or even January. Rough-legged Hawks have staged a moderate
push into the UP, with decent numbers reported from traditional areas in the
eastern UP, while Northern Goshawk seem to be present in better then average
numbers. Northern Shrikes have arrived, but seem to be late and not present
in any great numbers. After a somewhat late migration, Snow Buntings have
flooded into the UP. The one family of early winter migrants that seems to
be having a banner season so far is arctic gulls, with early and impressive
numbers reported from Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie.
unidentified Phalarope species
unidentified Jaeger species
Ryne Rutherford and Jen Anderson had a pair of GRAY JAYS at Clark Lake in
the Sylvania Tract Wilderness Area on October 18th.
Zach Gayk found a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE just south of Bete Grise on October
25th. Zach also reported that only a few waterbirds were present in Copper
Harbor, just singles of SURF, WHITE-WINGED and BLACK SCOTERS on the 29th.
Bruce McDonald found 4 juvenile ROSS'SxSNOW GEESE hybrids at the Lake Linden
Sewage Ponds on October 15th-17th.
Carol Keir had a pair of TRUMPETER SWANS at her farm in Vulcan on October
30th. Greg Cleary reported 4 RUDDY DUCKS at Little Fumee Lake on the 25th.
An adult LITTLE GULL was on Lake Independence in Big Bay on October 25th.
This is likely the first county record of this species. An unidentified
JAEGER SPECIES along with a very high count of 86 BLACK SCOTERS had been
blown in the the lower harbor of Marquette on the 24th. Gull-watching in the
City of Marquette has been excellent over the last two weeks. Multiple
THAYER'S GULLS have been seen on a regular basis with a high count of 8
birds on the 29th. Other notable gull species in Marquette include ICELAND,
GLAUCOUS and GREAT BLACK-BACKED. These birds are seen on a near daily basis
along the Marquette waterfront where ever gulls concentrate early in the
evening. David Pavlik found a late LECONTE'S SPARROW at the mouth of the
Dead River from the 26th-28th. Joe Youngman and Lynn Murphy had a GOLDEN
EAGLE along Lake Michigamme on the 18th. Joe also reported a BLACK-BACKED
WOODPECKER from the McCormick Tract Wilderness Area on the 18th. 2
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS were observed at the Black River Falls burn on the
19th. Beth Olson had 2 CANVASBACKS on Teal Lake in Ishpeming on the 19th.
Bruce Bussone reported 5 TUNDRA SWANS on Deer Lake on the 24th. Vicki Bennon
reports that 4 GRAY JAYS have been consistent at her feeders in Diorite in
the last 2 weeks.
An adult male *"RICHARDSON'S" MERLIN** (the Great Plains race), was seen at
Peninsula Point on October 20th. The HUDSONIAN GODWIT and LONG-BILLED
DOWITCHER at Indian Point near Nahma were last seen on October 22nd. A
juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was found at Portage Marsh on the 20th. 3
TUNDRA SWANS were at Aronson Island on the 27th.
An *CLARK'S/WESTERN GREBE* *was observed at Bay Furnace near Munising on
October 17th. Louie Dombroski had an adult ICELAND GULL in Munising on the
29th. Scott Hickman has had a TRUMPETER SWAN at Sand Point from the
27th-30th. Scott also reported 1 RUDDY DUCK at the Shingleton Sewage Ponds
on the 23rd, and 2 GLAUCOUS GULLS in Munising on the 29th.
Louie Dombroski had 3 GRAY JAYS near Seol Choix Point and a juvenile
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at the point on October 27th.
Dixie and Kris Stewart had a NORTHERN HAWK OWL at its traditional wintering
spot at Soo Junction on October 30th.
The highlights from Whitefish Point Bird Observatory include two consecutive
days with flyby hen *EIDER SPECIES* *on October 26 and 27th. Also notable
was a find by Jason Bojczyk of the 2nd point record of *WESTERN GREBE** in
the Brown's harbor of refuge. Perhaps even more exciting was the first point
record of TUFTED TITMOUSE on October 16th. Reports of this species are quite
rare in the UP, and it has been many years since this species has been
confirmed on the Lake Superior side of the peninsula! Other notable
sightings from WPBO include 10782 LONG-TAILED DUCKS on the 27th; 1 ICELAND
GULL and a LONG-EARED OWL on the 26th; an unidentified PHALAROPE SPECIES on
the 24th; a late NORTHERN PARULA on the 23rd; 69 BLACK SCOTERS on the 22nd
was a good count; 2158 LONG-TAILED DUCKS moved by on the 21st; 1
unidentified JAEGER SPECIES, 1 BOREAL OWL and 1 DICKCISSEL on the 19th;
BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS on the 17th; 1 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER on the 16th; and 2
HARLEQUIN DUCKS on the 15th.
Gerald Vork reported 55 TUNDRA SWANS at the Dunbar Forest on October 29th.
While not actully in the UP, Kirk Zulfelt has been reporting good numbers of
THAYER'S, ICELAND, GLAUCOUS and GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS on the Ontario side
of Sault Ste. Marie. Michigan birders should be aware that "Soo" gulls
frequently are seen on both sides of the river and can be found at the
Dafter Dump or along the St. Mary's River.
Gerald Vork and Steve Baker had a late BARN SWALLOW at Pt. LaBarbe on
October 21st. Gerald also reports that the traditional large flock of
REDHEADS is again present on their staging grounds in the Straits of
All birds marked with an asterisk “*” in the report are review species in
the State of Michigan and should be documented with photos or a written
description. Please send documentation to Adam Byrne at the Michigan Birds
Records Committee at either 11771 Rachel LN, Dewitt, MI, 48820 or by email
For further information about the Records Committee, please visit:
To report rare birds, please email me at the TheOwlRanch at gmail.com or to
Birdnet at UPBirders.org if you are a subscriber. For more information on
Birdnet, or UP birds, please visit www.UPBirders.org<http://www.upbirders.org/>
Till next time,
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