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Trip to Western Upper Peninsula

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:02 pm
by Rick Baetsen
Last week Bonnie and I made a road trip to the western Upper Peninsula to gather with family at our son Justin and his wife Bethany’s wooded farm in very southern Houghton County. At our camp near Munising in Alger County I put out some seed and corn while we are up there as I know our neighbors are feeding on a daily basis. The local population of both American Turkeys and Ring-neck Pheasants very quickly showed up, followed by a large flock of almost two dozen Blue Jays. Traveling from our camp over to Chassell we observed a couple Bald Eagles in flight, but the most interesting sighting was that of a Common Raven carrying a lunch sack. Along M-94 near Chatham we saw the Raven pick up a smaller sized McDonalds carry out paper sack in its beak and hop to the snow bank on the highway edge. As we approached closer with the truck it took to flight still carrying the sack in its beak.
At the kids farm at Klingville, I heard Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls and Northern Saw-whet Owls calling at night on moonlit and clear sky nights during our three day stay there. It is still winter up in the Upper Peninsula with three feet of snow on the ground near Munising and two and a half feet in the Keweenaw, so outings in the woods were still on snowshoes.
One of our best bird sightings of the winter was at the Seney State Highway Rest Area a few miles west of Seney on M-28 on our return trip Sunday afternoon. We got to observed a small flock of Red Crossbills within 8-10 feet of us as they came down out of the Red Pine trees to the parking lot right near the truck. About an hour later Bonnie picked out our best wildlife sighting of the winter, when she noted a couple American Crows standing next to a road kill deer, carefully watching as a large Coyote was feeding upon the dead deer. I turned the truck around and parked nearby and very quickly the Coyote came back out of the swamp and resumed feeding. We got some really up-close looks at an animal we normally only get fleeting glimpses as they head for heavy cover.
Rick Baetsen

Re: Trip to Western Upper Peninsula

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:21 pm
by MikeW
Nice report Rick...thanks for sharing.