Rudyard Snowy 2017

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Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby silverowl » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:23 am

Hi all,

I don't post on here much...I do check it from time to time. Just so busy, but...this past weekend I had a free afternoon, so Perry and I decided to make a quick run to Rudyard. High winds made the bridge crossing especially scary for me and the traffic...WOW! (We forgot about all the kids heading back to colleges) Anyway, we did score 1 Snowy on the "Rudyard loop". He was on Hantz Rd. Other than him...1 Blue Jay, and 6 Ravens were all we saw. I have not seen the Snowy that was spotted in the Petoskey area yet either.

Happy Birding everyone!

Donna R.
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Re: Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby Rick Baetsen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:34 pm

Hi Donna,
Nice you got the chance to see a Snowy Owl up near Rudyard, hopefully a few more will come into that area before we get the chance to get up there later next month.

I did see a Snowy Owl along Lears Rd in Petoskey a couple or several weeks ago, but have found they no longer stay long in this area. Years ago, meaning nearly 40 years ago, during invasion years a Snowy Owl would take up residence in a field area that now is the area of the Cinema, School, Walmart, Mall and Lowes. Bonnie's folks lived just north of this location on Sheridan St and we would take Cemetery Road on visits to their place to look for the Snowy Owl. Often it was perched on fence posts in the field to the east of Cemetery, sometimes on the power poles in the active agricultural fields west of Cemetery. Hunting for voles and mice is tough in asphalt parking lots, so I think the ones we might see now have followed the Lake Michigan shoreline and are headed further south.

Rick
Rick Baetsen
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Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
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Re: Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby silverowl » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:15 pm

Hi Rick,

I think you are correct about the Snowy you spotted on Lears...but I do know that 2 years ago, there were 5 different Snowys in the Petoskey area. So, they do still come and hang out (if they move down from the north) And you are right, for some reason they seem to like that area. I often see them out on McDougal/Greenwood/Cedar Valley, but it is always later in the winter, more like January. I love seeing the Snowys, but am always hopeful for a Great Gray to be in our area. So far, my first was quite a few years ago, over in Cheboygan State Park when I was birding with Sherrie and Denise. I still remember all the Rough leggeds you, your daughter and I saw in the U.P. Happy Birding Rick, when you go to the U.P.

Donna
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Re: Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby Rick Baetsen » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:04 pm

I remember our trip to the UP Donna, we did not see many species that day but we did see a lot of Rough legged Hawks. Amy our daughter continued to tag along with me on forays to search for butterflies, wildflowers and birds. She really enjoyed the grouse and owls too. Amy followed her parents interests and went on to Northern Michigan Univ. to get her undergraduate degree in Biology, then on to Penn. State Univ. to get her Masters in Turfgrass Pathology, and now is at Michigan State working on her PhD in Plant Pathology. Every now and then she sends me a photo of a butterfly or flower from the field and I send her phone photos of the mushrooms I find in the forest for her to ID for me.

Bonnie and I got to see the Snowy Owl on McDougal Rd last winter often as we always use it as a bypass around that big city of Petoskey when we head north and many times it was sitting on the same utility pole overlooking the corn stubble fields, just south of Atkins.

Enjoy the Winter Season.
Rick
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
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Re: Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby SandyLee » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:30 pm

Hi Donna and Rick!

From the "sounds" of it..... maybe all the northern Snowies headed to Muskegon this year! There are reports of six of them hanging out at the Muskegon County Wastewater Treatment facility!

I also just saw a pic of one (posted by Suncoast Birding Trail) of one sitting on a barge in Charlevoix.

I'm hoping to get out and see at least one this year. Could be "iffy" around their usual area here at the ball field in Chums Corners..... Condos or some such thing are being built all in the fields that the Owls would hunt.

There is at least one at the TC airport.... and it is keeping Piper the airport dog pretty busy trying to chase it off the runways!
- Sandy
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Re: Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby silverowl » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:03 pm

I hope everyone has a good birding winter...unfortunately my birding days are put on hold for a bit. My husband had a car accident today...he is fine, but our car is not. So, the Lord is providing birds at my feeder. I had a sharp shinned today.
Donna R.
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Re: Rudyard Snowy 2017

Postby Rick Baetsen » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:35 pm

Donna and Sandy,

I have read reports that there are a number of Snowy Owls down at and near Fish Point State Game Area along Saginaw Bay in Tuscola County on the East side of the State. I understand that there are four to five of them at Fish Pt and a couple others in the traditional wintering areas for them along Bradleyville and Akron Roads. I grew up in Akron and Fish Point was the closest public lands that included both farm fields and flooded marshes. I spent a great deal of time out at the Refuge as it was known back in the 1960's. Our youth conservation club put out wood duck boxes and planted wild rice on the refuge and reserve.

As a youngster the very first owl I recall seeing was that of a Snowy Owl perched on a utility pole overlooking the winter farm fields. Locally then, they were only known as the "White Owls" and we were told that they had come down from the Far North.

Enjoy them this winter, especially in the reported numbers.

Rick
Rick Baetsen
USFS-USFWS Ret.
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
http://www.rickbaetsen.com
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