Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
With shorebird migration in full swing the possibility of shorebirds is not looking good. Both WTP water levels are way too high. I did manage a single Least Sandpiper at Homer on 8/10. Beyond that it is the typical Killdeer, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers. No Yellowlegs yet or FOY Pectoral Sandpiper. The only FOY this past week was some Cliff Swallows at Duck Lake WTP. I knew eventually there or Homer they would show up mixed in with the other swallows. A Ruddy Duck at Duck Lake WTP is a decent bird for this time of the year.
Some really good days have me at 81 species already for the month. I'm going to try to shoot for 100. Will be nice to have the run from April to October of 100 species "Big" Months. Should be doable with some time off from Chaos. Shorebirds would certainly help the cause. Beyond finding 10 Great Egrets in the small pond on O DR N, the birding has been decent for variation, but nothing of great note.
I did run out to 23 and O DR N for an Olive-sided Flycatcher. I did not manage to find it, but I had this bird at Duck Lake WTP. It had the diagnostic white rump tufts of the Olive-sided, but then it was chased off by an Eastern Kingbird. From behind it screams Olive-sided Flycatcher at first glance.
Mothing has been very active, and I've been able to rapidly add to my iNaturalist lists. My first Tiger Moth being the highlight. Nice to see one of these and realize it was not a Painted Lichen.
Things continue to be relatively quiet around here. A Swallow-tailed Kite sighting in Kalamazoo had me checking out Kellogg Airport until it was clarified the bird was heading South-West not South-East. A Common Gallinule not far away has been quite the dipper for me. 4 times to this small farm pond, and it hasn't showed itself once.
Highlights for myself are a pair of Osprey still hanging around the nest at the F DR N Cell Tower. I'm still unable to discern if there are young on it. Checking out D DR S in hopes of the Virginia Rail gave me a brief and surprising look at a Marsh Wren. Photo lifer, and a new bird for the County's Illustrated Checklist. I also had a flyover juvenile Green Heron that had me thinking American Bittern at first. Streaking wasn't right, but it sure seemed a ton bigger than the other Green Herons that were flying around. My last highlight was an Osprey at Kellogg Airport that flew in over the airfield low. Allowing me to get some halfway decent shots with the low sun behind me.
On the non-bird front it has been relatively quiet as we have had much cooler nights around here lately. I've been forced to drag my kit lens out into the daytime to try for more "active" critters.
The one "highlight" would be this absolute nightmare of a creature. It is bad enough when one hauls up their garbage can and see the piece of fuzz move on the lid, it is another to find out the "fuzz" is actually pieces of dead bugs. This (Green) Lacewing larvae attaches pieces of legs and other leftovers to its back when finished.
Leading off the remainder of critters is what I thought was an odd dragonfly, but turned out to be what Ant Lions eventually turn in to. Very cool transformation. The third pic shows a moth that I don't have nailed down yet, but seems like it isn't very common around this area either way. I have it as a Black-patched Glaphyria Moth, but no confirmation yet on iNat. May end up posting to BugGuide.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)