Tawas Trip

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Tawas Trip

Postby TerryKikendall » Fri May 19, 2017 12:13 pm

Hello All,

Tawas area including Tawas Point State Park, Urban Tawas, Tuttle Marsh.

As always, Tawas always comes up with surprises and a good time.

Observations and Impressions

13 Male Wood Ducks Perched in Dead Tree at Tuttle Marsh (As a species group siting this ranks right up there with a Muscovy Duck siting in Costa Rica where there must have been close to 30 birds perched in a large shrub.)

Bobolink at Tawas Pier

2 Semipalmated Plovers at Tawas Pier

2 Spotted Sandpipers at Tawas Pier

Tawas pier is always worth a visit

On the downside of Tawas Pier no Bank Swallows

Merlin on the prowl at the point. Instant quiet. Red-bellied Woodpecker frozen in place. Blue Jays on alert.

Packs of Blue Jays commandeering the skies; interesting to note there were two levels on one occasion, one pack way way up in the sky and another pack just above the tree line. I love to watch these marauders patrolling from one end of the park to the other.

Common Merganser couple sunning on the beach (I think this is first time I've ever seen these on land)

Nice color contrast of Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanager perched in plain sight at same time.

Red-headed Woodpecker hightailing it away from the point.

Pie-billed Grebe dancing on the water. Impressive display.

And of course the Bird of the Day, of the Trip, of the Year, . . . and a Lifer!!!:

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

My field notes:
Fork-tailed Flycatcher ::: Tawas Point SP
May 17, 2017
Good looks at this 2nd Michigan siting.

I heard this was only the second time this bird had been sighted in Michigan.
The body of the bird was about the size of a Kingbird. Crown was dark gray
or black. Underparts white. Upper body parts and tail were brown. Tail
about the length of the body and head or a bit more. Based on color and
length of tail I would judge this bird as a female. I had very good looks at
this bird perching and feeding on flying insects. Really neat views of the
spread forked tail as it wheeled about catching the insects. The first
time I gave up waiting for this bird and went back to looking for other birds
and then decided I'd go back for a 2nd try and was rewarded with this lifer

From 5/16/2017 to 5/18/2017 ~ All Places ~ 82 seen
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Wood Duck
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Semipalmated Plover
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Swainson's Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal - somewheres south of the Tawas area
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
-------- STATISTICS --------
Species seen - 82
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: Tawas Trip

Postby MikeW » Fri May 19, 2017 11:03 pm

Wow, thanks for the great and detailed report Terry. I am trying to get up there this weekend but it is looking doubtful at this point, which is too bad because based on your report it looks to be really active. Thanks again.
Have a good weekend,
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:15 pm
Location: Howell, MI

Re: Tawas Trip

Postby Dale » Sun May 21, 2017 5:28 pm

Great report Terry. Like the notes as this is the way I document all of our birding
and wildflower outings. Brings back all the memories very easily. Congratulations
on the lifer.

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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:01 am

Re: Tawas Trip

Postby Cindee » Thu May 25, 2017 1:48 pm

Nice list Terry. I got there Thursday afternoon and although the Fork-tailed had been seen at 11 AM, it was MIA after that. We did see 2 Summer Tanagers on the trail to the point, both immature males in differing stages of molt. We also saw a male Painted Bunting at a residence just outside the park. Although not a lifer, it was a Michigan 1st for me.

Birding this past weekend was difficult at best. Southwest winds at up to 40 mph gusts on Thursday and the north wind howling on Friday until sometime Saturday night when the rains came. I had 95 species from Thursday 2:30 PM until Sunday about 10 AM but I worked hard for every one of them. I only had 15 warbler species and Tawas usually yields over 20. The group had somewhere near 140 species but some of the folks were there earlier in the week, without the awful winds.

Needless to say Mike, if you couldn't get there last weekend, you probably didn't miss a great birding weekend.
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Re: Tawas Trip

Postby TerryKikendall » Fri May 26, 2017 8:37 pm

Cindee, High Fives on your list!!! You must have been beatin' the bush and shakin' the trees. I missed a Summer Tanager which had been sighted earlier on the day I arrived. Would have loved to gotten the Painted Bunting.

Dale, Good to hear from you. I try to add a footnote to all my lifer sitings and also for those showoffs such as the dancing grebes and the Christmas Tree decorated with Wood Ducks.

Mike, Thanks for the reply. I had a good time. Birds were active enough to keep the binoculars up for a good share of the time but not so active as to cause frustration. I get a lot of enjoyment seeing common birds doing "their thing" or doing something new.

Take care,
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:24 pm

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