Thursday, July 7, 2016

Cell 3 Is Drying Up! - 07 Jul 2016

Southeast Michigan, along w/ the rest of the Great Lakes Region, is experiencing a bit of a drought this summer. La Nina is considered responsible for the dry weather this year, which is not expected to affect lake levels, but could affect agriculture. It appears to be affecting shorebird habitat!

The ride from Siegler Rd parking lot of Pt. Mouillee was relatively uneventful. I was happy to hear Marsh Wrens singing in many locations along the North Causeway. Indigo Buntings were also out in force, with several dozen birds scattered over the SGA. Halloween Pennant dragonflies were also starting to appear in force, which signals the beginning of the end of summer...

With temps in the low 90's this afternoon I rode out to Cell 3 of Pt. Mouillee SGA to look for shorebirds. Good numbers of birds were seen in Cell 3, but the place is drying up significantly! Check out the video I took: its a 360 degree view from the middle of Cell 3 (I bushwhacked my way out to the mud flats to digiscope the shorebirds from the edge of the dry mud).

Highlights include:

1 American Avocet
2 Stilt Sandpipers
1 Black-bellied Plover
dozens of Short-billed Dowitchers (all L. g. henderson)
150 Lesser Yellowlegs
dozens of Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers
dozens of Killdeer
3 dozen Bonaparte's Gulls (I could not locate any Little Gulls among the roosting birds)
dozen Caspian Terns
dozen Forster's Terns
half-dozen Common Terns
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull (2nd summer)
6 Indigo Buntings
100's of Tree and Bank Swallows

I spent most of the time digiscoping the Avocet while it foraged and preened as close as I was going to get to it.

I managed to get a short video of the American Avocet from about 100'.

Oh, and the other shorebirds...

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