[Mich-listers] Soo Bird Report
francke at charter.net
Fri Jan 6 21:33:53 EST 2012
Bob Sabine and I birded the Soo area on 1/5 and 1/6. Here is our report.
General: There was little snow on the ground and the weather was mild for the Soo. Most of the feeders were vacant (probably do to the warm weather). We found a fair number of target species, however, we had to dig pretty hard for most.
Owls: The only owl we saw was one snowy on Centerline Rd. We looked along both Centerline and Hantz.
Gulls: There were hundreds of herring gulls at the Dafter Dump. The only other species we found were 3 glaucous gulls. Also, many bald eagles and ravens at the dump.
Waterbirds: Very little ice, so lots of open water. In the river and around the power plant we had mallard, hooded merganser, common goldeneye, red-breasted mergansers, common mergansers, mute swan and tundra swan. In Lake Superior at Brimley we had horned grebe and loon sp.
Galliformes: Great looks at sharp-tailed grouse (dancing) in an open field at 8469 Nicolet. They were going back and forth from the trees by the house to the field. We also had STG on S. Bound St. north of M-28. One wild turkey and no ruffed grouse.
Raptors: Rough-legged hawks were seen in a number of locations. Bald eagles were also seen along the St. Marys river and especially near the Sugar Island ferry dock. We did not go to Sugar Island.
Woodpeckers: Hairy, downy, pileated and a red-bellied (4533 12 Mile Rd. – not sure how uncommon red-bellieds are in the UP, so I gave a location).
N. Shrike: Two seen. One near 7177 Nicolet (behind the house) and one near 7868 Lower Hay Lake Rd (east side of road).
Corvids: Scattered blue jays, lots of ravens everywhere and at least 4 gray jays at Hulbert Bog (toward the west end of the road through the bog – about 1/2 mile east of the highway).
Bohemian waxwings: one group near the highway overpass in Dafter.
lapland longspur: several in the fields at Tilson and Ploegstra Rds.
snow buntings: small numbers seen in several locations.
red-winged blackbird: one male at Dunbar feeders
pine grosbeak: small numbers seen at a number of locations. None at feeders. Seen with B. waxwings in Dafter. Mostly seen along road shoulders eating salt? or grit.
purple finch: Dunbar feeder area
red crossbill: Along Ranger Rd. north of M-28 in areas with red pine
white-winged crossbills: seemed to be fair numbers mostly flying over. Two locations are Hulbert Bog and on Centerline Rd. north of Ploegstra Rd.
common redpolls: none at feeders. Only saw a few small groups. South of Dafter Rd. on Kinross and one dead bird on Ranger Rd. north of M-28.
evening grosbeak: one group along Ranger Rd. north of M-28.
No pine siskins seen.
No boreal chickadees seen.
Field Note: On 1/6, we were driving west on Basnau (Hulbert Bog) just coming down the hill into the low bog area and I spotted a large mammal in the road about 1/3 mile away. By the time I got the car stopped, I saw the mammal for only about 5 seconds before it walked into the woods. I’m quite certain it was a wolf. I have seen a number of wolves in Alaska and have also seen a number of coyotes. This animal was grayish-colored and had long legs. It was extremely thin and possibly mangy (the tail was very thin and not bushy like a healthy wolf). The thin body made the head appear large in proportion to the body. I’m not sure, but it may have been wearing a radio color. We also found what we believe to be wolf tracks along the road. I have a photo of the track if anyone is interested.
Other mammals seen: red squirrel, E. gray squirrel, porcupine, white-tailed deer, and snowshoe hare (tracks only).
Bad News: This is the first time I’ve been to the Bear Butt Inn in Eckerman when there were no bird feeders. It is closed and for sale.
Good News: New micro brewery in Sault St. Marie called the Soo Brewing Company next door to Maloneys Irish Pub in town.
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