Snow Buntings and Few UP Observations

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Snow Buntings and Few UP Observations

Postby Rick Baetsen » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:48 pm

Bonnie and I have been traveling throughout the Upper Peninsula since last Friday and have had a few interesting bird sightings. Our first of the coming cold weather season Rough Legged Hawk was seen perched in the open fields just north of Engadine on M-117 on Friday morning. Saturday morning we took a hike into the Rock River Wilderness northeast of Chatham in Alger County. No special bird observations but with the recent heavy rains and even some flooding in the region earlier in the week, there was a great flow of water over the falls, more than I have ever seen since first going in there 40 years ago when doing fisheries survey work for the US Forest Service. Saturday evening we finally got to see the Crested Caracara again near the mouth of the Anna River in Munising. We got to see it within an hour of it being reported back last July as we were in town at the time and saw the note on the UP birders listserv, but even though we have stopped more than a dozen times since hoping for a better look had not seen it again.
In Houghton County on Sunday night we heard a pair of Barred Owls calling at our son Justin and daughter in law Bethany's place in the woods in very southern Houghton County.
Today, Monday, traveling further in the western UP, we saw a lone Snow Bunting near Twin Lakes State Park in Houghton County along M26 and then a couple hours later a small flock of about fifteen Snow Buntings right near Bond Falls in Ontonagon County. A bit further down the road near Watersmeet and the Sylvania Wilderness Area we saw several Bald Eagles.
The ice on the boardwalks at and around Bond Falls and all the deciduous trees had lost their leaves, reminded us that the Autumn season is short and Winter is about upon us.
Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
Rick Baetsen
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Re: Snow Buntings and Few UP Observations

Postby SandyLee » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:29 pm

Thanks Rick! Autumn is quickly leaving....

For the first time since we've lived on this side of town (East), we've had Barred Owls calling at night. One eve there were distinctly three, and were so close they sounded like they were in the bedroom with us! :lol:
- Sandy
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Re: Snow Buntings and Few UP Observations

Postby MikeW » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:40 am

Nice report Rick. Sounds like some fun travels.
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Re: Snow Buntings and Few UP Observations

Postby Danaduck » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:57 am

Good report ranger.

Down your ally I was driving down Herron Rd here in Alpena county to do some deer scouting this week, early morning and about a 1/4 mile before my turnin there were two male spruce grouse eating gravel on the side of the gravel road. About a decade ago I saw six of them doing the same thing again in late October. Always males it seems. Very very tame.
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