Thursday, July 26, 2018

Birding Before Work - 26 Jul 2018

I took another run down to Pt. Mouillee SGA before work. Parking at Mouillee Creek I rode out to the SE corner of the Long Pond Unit to look for King Rails. Along the way I heard a Dickcissel in the Walpatich Unit, and another again in the Nelson Unit among several Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows. I took note of the mowing that had been done along each side of the trails.

At 6 am it was still fairly dark, especially with heavy clouds in the east. The Sun rose bright red and needed a few pics. This Wood Duck made an especially nice silhouette in the Vermet Unit.

As I arrived at the SE corner of the Long Pond Unit I spotted a pair of adult Short-billed Dowitchers and several adult Greater Yellowlegs. It was still too dark to digiscope, but I put the videocamera on the Greater Yellowlegs to see how it would come out.

Meanwhile, six Sandhill Cranes farther down the canal took off to the west.

I spotted a tiny dark bird way out to the west in the edge of open water and cattails that could have easily been a Red-winged Blackbird. It turned out to be a very young, presumed King Rail chick. It was fairly large for a chick, but younger looking than the juvenile King Rail I photographed last week. It foraged at the edge of cover for several seconds, then disappeared.

As I rode the dike to the North Causeway I began to hear more Dickcissels (3) in the heavy thistle and cattail fields. The farmer's field had been plowed and appeared fresh for late summer planting. They were too far away to photograph, so I turned the scope on a molting Indigo Bunting.

With the Sun now rising into view the shorebirds along the north side of Long Pond came into view. A pair of Semipalmated Sandpipers appeared, and they both appeared to be juveniles with fresh plumage. A Least Sandpiper appeared, and it was also a juvenile with fresh feathers.

Several Lesser Yellowlegs were foraging along the far shore and offered a few pics.

I would fail to see the Marbled Godwit (again).

I rode down to the Bad Creek Unit to check shorebirds. I would find 9 Stilt Sandpipers among 2 dozen Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, a half-dozen Short-billed Dowitcher, and several dozen Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers.

On the way out I stopped to chat w/ Andy Sturgess for a few minutes.

Pte. Mouillee SGA, Monroe, Michigan, US
Jul 25, 2018 6:00 AM - 8:10 AM
Protocol: Traveling
6.2 mile(s)
Comments:     Warm, humid, mostly clear; marsh waters are low.
33 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  24
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  6
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  36
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)  1
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  2
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  2
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  6
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  36
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  6
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1
King Rail (Rallus elegans)  1     juvenile; black, larger than Lesser Yellowlegs; seen at scope distance in SE corner of Long Pond Unit. Stayed near edge of stubble and open water, ventured into view only momentarily;
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)  12     included 1 family of 8 in Long Pond (NW end);
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  6     Long Pond; flew to west
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  12
Stilt Sandpiper (Calidris himantopus)  9     all birds in Bad Creek Unit; heavy barring in most birds that were worn adults; no juveniles yet.
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  2
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)  12
Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)  8
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  6
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)  16
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)  2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  1
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)  1
Purple Martin (Progne subis)  24     roosting in snag next to Pump House
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  60
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  12
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  12
Dickcissel (Spiza americana)  5     Singing birds in Walpatich Unit, Nelson Unit, and 3 in Long Pond Unit.
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  36
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  6

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

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