UP Birds and NABA 4th July Butterfly Counts

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UP Birds and NABA 4th July Butterfly Counts

Postby Rick Baetsen » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:27 pm

Bonnie and I were up north to the central Upper Peninsula over a long holiday weekend and with some good weather were able to get in both her NABA 4th of July Butterfly Counts earlier this week. This is the 24th year Bonnie has been doing the butterfly counts.

We did the Seney/Fox River Count on Monday and bird highlights included a Ruffed Grouse hen with a brood of nine chicks that were about a third grown already. It is one of the bigger broods I have observed in a number of years. Especially good considering just how wet and cool it was this Spring in the Upper Peninsula, which can really increase chick mortality. On the auto tour loop of Seney Refuge which we survey for butterflies we observed a couple Bald Eagles, only one Common Loon and there were a lot of Trumpeter Swans. But we only observed two pair with cygnets. Highlight butterfly wise was that we counted 65 Monarch butterflies, which was real good as we average only about 25 and last year we only had 15.
On Tuesday the 4th we did the survey for the Whitefish Point butterfly count. Birds of interest included a Spruce Grouse hen with six chicks in a brood. This is the largest brood of chicks I have observed in this species as they only average about six eggs in a clutch of eggs and chick mortality usually reduces this number by the time they are the size in which we observed them. We also saw an American Woodcock, that must have had a brood nearby as she put on quite a distraction display for us. Butterfly numbers on this count were way down and we only got 14 species, probably due to the cool spring season.
Orchid species observed in the bogs included Grass Pink, (including one white form), Rose Pogonia and Purple Fringed Orchid.

Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
Rick Baetsen
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:37 am

Re: UP Birds and NABA 4th July Butterfly Counts

Postby Dale » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:32 am

Great report Rick. You see some great things !!

Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:01 am

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