Various, Various - UP Report from Skye Haas

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Various, Various - UP Report from Skye Haas

Postby mibirder » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:03 am

UP Rare Bird Report for September 28, 2009

Tribute must be made to Dr. Laurence Binford, who passed away last week at his home in Agate Harbor in the Keweenaw. Laurie as he was known to many, was as fastidious of an academic scholar as he was talented as a birder. Laurie's meticulous attention to detail, careful observation skills and thorough publications was renowned in many circles and he was a force in the field and the museum. Many have credited him has being their most excellent mentor, and Laurie was certainly dedicated to teaching young birders and honing their skills. Some of North America's finest birders today were once Laurie's students, and a quick perusal of some of the various list-serves on the web has turned up a number of mournful remembrances. He truly was a bridge between the mid-20th century ornithologists and modern birders.

Some of Laurie's work has included the founding of Western Field Ornithologists and the California Bird Records Committee; Curator of Birds & Mammals at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; the discovery of the Pt.Diablo hawk migration, one of the largest on the west coast; describing the nest of Marbled Murrelet, the last species in North America to have its nest discovered; complete accounts on both the birds of Oaxaca, Mexico and the Keweenaw Peninsula, the infamous California "Skylark story" (google it, you'll enjoy it!), and one of the last people to see an Eskimo Curlew in Galveston, Texas back in the early 1960's.
We are all glad that Laurie got to spend one more summer in his beloved Keweenaw, where he had summered since he was young. He was active in the field to the end, and had just found a Lark Sparrow just two weeks earlier. Above all, he had a wry sense of humour, and it was certainly both my privilege and pleasure to spend time in the field with him in the last five years, bird-watching here in "the mouth of the wolf".
Thank you Laurie.


Greater White-fronted Goose
Spruce Grouse
Marbled Godwit
Long-billed Dowitcher
Parasitic Jaeger
Forster's Tern
Black-backed Woodpecker
Western Kingbird
Boreal Chickadee
Grasshopper Sparrow
LeConte's Sparrow
Harris's Sparrow

Keweenaw County
Zach Gayk had a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER at Bete Gris on September 17th. Zach also reported 4-5 BOREAL CHICKADEES. Joe Youngman reported a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER on Isle Royale in the last week.

Baraga County
A juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was at the Baraga Sewage Ponds on September 15th. Joe Kaplan reported that one (possible the same bird) was present again on the 28th.

Marquette County

3 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew over the City of Marquette on September 25th. A SNOW GOOSE was present at the Superior Dome in Marquette on the 26th. Getting late for the UP, a MARBLED GODWIT was at the mouth of the Dead River in Marquette on the 16th. David Pavlik found a HARRIS'S SPARROW at the Presque Isle Park Bogwalk on the 23rd. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was at the Bogwalk on the 16th. LECONTE'S SPARROW have been near daily at the Bogwalk since the 15th, with a peak of 5 on the16th. 1 was reported as of the 25th. Scot Stewart had a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at the mouth of the Dead River on the 12th. Vicki Bennon had 2 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS in Diorite on the 12th. DAvid & Jeff Pavlik reported 7 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS at the Black Falls Burn on the 25th. Rare in Marquette, a CANVASBACK was at the Dead Marshes on 18th-20th. Another was seen on a lakewatch at Big Bay Lighthouse on the 23rd. 2 RED-THROATED LOONS were at the Big Bay Lighthouse with another at Presque Isle Park also on the 23rd. Beth Olson found a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO at the Bogwalk on the 13th-14th. A CACKLING GOOSE was in the Marquette lower harbor on the 22nd.

Delta County
A LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was present at Indian Point on September 22nd. Jen Anderson had 5 WHIMBRELS at Peninsula Point on September 26th.

Alger County
Carl and Mary Henschen found a WESTERN KINGBIRD just east of the Munising Bay marina on September 13th.

Schoolcraft County
Ron Annelin reported a very impressive 24,000+ migrating raptors, primarily BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, along Lake Michigan on September 15th.

Chippewa County
A few excellent sightings were reported from Whitefish Point in the last week. A juvenile LONG-TAILED JAEGER* was photographed on September 22nd. Also notable was an adult PACIFIC LOON* on the 25th. For further details and photos visit the new WPBO website at and check out the various sightings blogs. Other recent highlights from WPBO include 1 unidentified JAEGER SPECIES and a female BREWER'S BLACKBIRD on the 27th; 86 RED-THROATED LOONS on the 23rd; 1 YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO on the 22nd; 1 FORSTER'S TERN on the 21st; 1 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER on the 17th, 18th, and 19th; 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS and 1 unidentified JAEGER SPECIES on the 17th; Single BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS on the 14th-15th; and an unidentified JAEGER SPECIES on the 12th. Over 50 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS along with a few LONG-EARED OWLS have been banded since the start of the fall season on September 15th. Tom Prestby had 11 SPRUCE GROUSE on the Goose Lake Road in Tahquamenon Falls State Park on the 17th. 1 SPRUCE GROUSE was on the Tower Road on the 19th, and another was at the cement slab on Vermilion Road on the 18th.

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Re: Various, Various - UP Report from Skye Haas

Postby Russ Emmons » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:00 am

I too received this posting from Skye Haas. Very sad to hear of Dr. Binfords passing. I never met him but have been more then aware of his many works and projects over the years particularly his contributions to the first original Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas and assume to the recent MI BBA2 also. Being myself from Michigans Keweenaw, I feel we share a common link !

Our condolences to a pillar of Michigans birding community.

Russ Emmons
'mi ojo es en la cielo' por aves!
Russ Emmons
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Location: St. Clair county SE MI, NE Kalkaska county NLP MI

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