Seney Birds and Butterflies

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Seney Birds and Butterflies

Postby Rick Baetsen » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:00 pm

Today, Saturday, Bonnie and I conducted her annual North American Butterfly Assoc. 4th of July butterfly count. The count circle is based around the intersection in Seney and takes in Seney NWR, Lake Superior State Forest and the Fox River watershed. Bonnie started this count and another one at Whitefish Point in 1994.

On the refuge I was really surprised at the lack of birds, specifically waterfowl and just how few of the Common Loon, Canada Geese, and Trumpeter Swans had young with them. One Common Loon did have a pair of young that appeared to be much larger than usual for this time of year and the adult was busy diving for minnows and feeding them to the young. The other two pairs of Common Loons we observed had no young with them. We only observed three Canada Geese, one had no young with it and the two pair of adults we saw only had one young each. We observed three pairs of Trumpeter Swans with young, one pair had four young and both of the other pair only had one each. On one pool I counted 43 Trumpeter Swans together in a group that must have been immature or un-mated birds. For our butterfly count we only do the auto loop drive portion of the refuge but we did not see any ducks at all. It always ends up we are there at midday but we do still usually see numerous ducks on the pools.

Butterfly highlights included a Coral Hairstreak, Great Spangled Fritillary and Purplish Copper and more than average numbers of Monarchs for this count this year.

Highlight for wildlife was a Black Bear that we came upon while hiking out on the plains on Bullock Ranch.

Lots of Wood Ticks in the fields and grassy areas of Alger and Schoolcraft Counties.

Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
Rick Baetsen
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Re: Seney Birds and Butterflies

Postby wngrigg » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:25 pm

Glad someone is seeing monarchs. I haven't seen one this year, and am concerned.
Continuity of research is important - glad you were able to hold the Seney NABC census again this year.
The best - Bill G.
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Re: Seney Birds and Butterflies

Postby Dale » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:38 pm

Also glad to hear about the count for Monarchs. Have not come across one this year yet.

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Re: Seney Birds and Butterflies

Postby MikeW » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:38 am

Thanks for the report Rick. I was at Seney NWR all day Saturday, Sunday and the first half of Monday...wish I had known you were there, we could have met in person. I did meet and spend some time photographing Loons with someone that knew you...Joe N from over by the Soo.

As for the Loons, I saw a pair in F Pool that had a large young one, a pair in D Pool with a pair of small ones still riding on the parents, a pair in G (if I remember right) with two large youngsters, a pair in the Pool with the Loon observation dock that had one big one and a pair in C Pool with one small one that is still riding. There were also a couple singles which I thought was a bit strange. I'll post some photos later this week or weekend...lots to sort through.

Like you I did notice a lot of Monarchs this trip and there seems to be a lot of milkweed growing this year too. You are right about the ticks...Wow! Standing in the tall grass by the pools to get closer to water level was kind of like inviting them to a party where I was the main course :(

Maybe we will run into each other on another trip.
Take care,
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Re: Seney Birds and Butterflies

Postby tozjohn » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:18 pm

Mike, your assessment of the Loon population at Seney fits right in with that of the McGills from Central Lake MI. For anybody contemplating visiting Seney NWR a visit to their website is a must. Michael and Teresa spend countless hours there in the spring, summer and fall documenting all the going ons, who and where most all the characters that are there. Teresa's journal is priceless for those going there. Also, for anybody on Facebook she has additional info (according to my wife :-) ). So, take a gander at their website at as it contains a wealth of information, not only on Seney but also the rest of the UP.

Linda and Ron
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