Migration rolls along in the North Woods, though albeit more noticeably along the coastlines as opposed to the relatively silent interior forests. Reports of singing Eastern Wood-Pewees, Blue-headed Vireos and Black-throated Blue Warblers show that not all neotropical migrants have left breeding territory, but the greatest concentrations of birds have been found primarily along Great Lakes shorelines. Late August saw a robust warbler migration in full swing, but numbers of warblers have quickly diminished, with passerines like kinglets, thrushes and sparrows appearing in good numbers. Somewhat early this year has been the arrival of Lapland Longspurs, White-crowned Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbirds along with the more expected timing of American Pipits. Waterfowl migration has not yet begun in earnest, though early season dabblers like teal have been recorded in decent numbers. Shorebirds were observed in excellent numbers up until the Labor Day weekend, with an excellent season for Baird's Sandpipers and Buff-breasted Sandpipers, as well as one of the best seasons ever for Red-necked Phalaropes recorded in the UP. Finally, Whitefish Point has had a great season for jaeger sightings with 31 birds already recorded along with 2 Sabine's Gulls.
Joe Kaplan and Chris Williams found a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE on the Big Lake of the Cisco Chain along the Michigan/Wisconsin border on September 5th.
In one of the more stranger sightings reports recently, Susan Hooker captured a pair of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES via a remote sensor camera at the North Portage Entry near Hancock on September 3rd. Joe Youngman had a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER among numerous other species of shorebirds at the Tamarack Sewage Ponds on August 29th. Joe also reported a notable count of 347 SANDHILL CRANES at the Arnheim Unit of the Sturgeon River Sloughs Wildlife Area on the 11th.
A RED KNOT was observed at the Baraga Sewage Ponds on August 27th. Joe Youngman reported 5 FORSTER'S TERNS at Ojibwa Beach on the 28th.
I was host to a ten-minute visit of a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER in my bird bath on August 29th (SkH). This represents the 9th UP record and 2nd county record for this species. Comprising a rare fall record for the county, Scot Stewart found a WILLET just south of Little Presque Isle on September 5th. JD Phillips had a single BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at the mouth of the Dead River on the 28th. Scot Stewart had a flock of 4 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS at the NMU Athletic Fields by the Superior Dome on the 29th. A single BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen here on September 1st. Also on the 1st were 3 LECONTE'S SPARROWS at the Presque Isle Bogwalk, with near daily sightings of single birds over the last 10 days by multiple observers. Gary Palmer encountered several groups of BOREAL CHICKADEES in the McCormick Tract on the September 8th. Gary has also noted BOREAL CHICKADEE sightings at the McCormick Tract with 4 on August 25th, and a single bird along CO RD 438 south of Gwinn.
Not reported in the county for several years, a BOREAL CHICKADEE was observed near Ogantz Creek on the Stonington Peninsula on September 10th. Also on the 10th, a WHIMBREL and AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER were seen at Peninsula Point. Notable shorebird numbers continue at Indian Point near Nahma with 101 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, 3 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS, 6 RED KNOTS, 53 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS and 11 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS on the 29th. Also on the 29th, a single RED KNOT was seen at Peninsula Point.
A juvenile SABINE'S GULL was observed at Sand Point on September 5th (SkH, Jeremy Halka). Also on the 5th Demetri Lafkas found 3 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at the Chatham Sewage Ponds. The birds were observed through the 8th. Greg Cleary and Jude Holloway found 1 GREAT EGRET and 7 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS while kayaking the AuTrain Basin on August 28th. Scott Hickman reported a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO in Shelter bay on September 9th. Scott also had a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at the mouth of the AuTrain River on the the 27th, and also reported 2 STILT SANDPIPERS at the Slapneck Creek along M-94 on the 31st. Uncommon along Lake Superior, a TRUMPETER SWAN was reported by Mark & Joanie Hubinger on the 10th.
Louie Dombroski observed a flock of 3 unidentified JAEGER SPECIES along 435 RED-NECKED GREBES at Lake Muskellunge State Park on September 4th.
Whitefish Point has been having an excellent season for jaeger sightings peaking with an adult LONG-TAILED JAEGER* observed by waterbird counter Scott Schuette on August 27th. Other recent highlights include 2 RED-THROATED LOONS, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, 3 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, 1 unidentified JAEGER SPECIES, and 2 FIELD SPARROWS on the 10th; 5 RED-THROATED LOONS, 1 SABINE'S GULL, 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS, and 3 unidentified JAEGERS on the 8th; 1 unidentified JAEGER SPECIES and 6 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS on the 7th; 4 RED-THROATED LOONS and a PARASITIC JAEGER on the 6th; 1 RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Louie Dombroski), 1 SABINE'S GULL and single JAEGER SPECIES on the 5th; on the 4th, a record-high day count of 14 JAEGERS were observed, with 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS being identified to species; 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS and an unidentified JAEGER SPECIES were seen on the 3rd; 1 FORSTER'S TERN and JAEGER SPECIES were observed on the 2nd; an impressive movement of 1696 COMMON TERNS were seen on September 1st, as was a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER and a truly phenomenal fallout of warblers consisting of several hundreds of individuals and 25 species including 4 early ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, 75 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, 75 CAPE MAY WARBLERS, 115 BLACKPOLL WARBLERS and 1 CONNECTICUT WARBLER; 1 PARASITIC JAEGER on August 29th; 1 YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO on the 29th; 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS on the 28th; 7 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS on the 27th;
Near Whitefish Point, SPRUCE GROUSE have been reported along Vermilion Road near the "cement slab"; on the Clark Lake Road on the 5th (Paul Cypher), and along the Tower Road on the 4th. Louie Dombroski found 2 RED KNOTS at the Tahquamenon River mouth on the 3rd.
Louise Anderson reported a juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at her home on Brevort Lake on August 26-27th.
All birds marked with an asterisk “*” in the report are review species in the State of Michigan and should be documented with photos or a written description. Please send documentation to Adam Byrne at the Michigan Birds Records Committee at either
11771 Rachel LN, Dewitt, MI, 48820 or by email
For further information about the Records Committee, please visit:
http://michiganaudubon.org/research/rec ... ittee.html
Participate in the Michigan Bird Seasonal Survey! This provides a valuable forum for the publication of bird observations in Michigan. Forms for the different seasons can be downloaded here:
http://michiganaudubon.org/research/sur ... index.html
To report rare birds, please email me at the TheOwlRanch at gmail.com or to Birdnet@UPBirders.org if you are a subscriber.
For more information on Birdnet, or UP birds, please visit www.UPBirders.org
Till next time,