Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
I'm such a slacker when it comes to keeping things up on this end apparently. Not that much has happened since the June 15th update. I went 0-for-July on county birds. I was not hopeful for August either. The stunning spot for shorebirds on 23 Mile Road for last year was not going to happen this year. Apparently the owners installed some type of drainage in that field. It has been bone dry for every day I have checked, short of the day after 4 inches of rain fell. 2 days after that it was dry again. Duck Lake WTP is, and continues, to be a jungle on the shorelines. Homer WTP was looking good early in the month with some significant shoreline showing, but as of late it has been gaining more water. I managed to find a spot on R DR N and 20.5 Mile Road that is the only "decent" flooded field in the county, so far. More on that in a bit.
Homer WTP did give up, finally, a Pectoral Sandpiper on August 13th for #192, passing last years total. Two weeks later I was at Homer WTP again, and noticed on the far South side, as I stood on the North side, a conspicuous bird tagging along with a Lesser Yellowleg. It turned out to be a Stilt Sandpiper. A bird I did not have on my target list for this year. As great as this bird was it was topped by the bird I found later that night at R DR N and 20.5 Mile Road.
The downside of this spot is the flooded part of it is 1500 feet back from the road. I need to stand up in the Jeep in order to get a better vantage point. At about 8:15, just as the sun went behind some clouds I was scanning a final time, and saw a larger white bird out in the field. I said, out loud of course, "That's a Plover!!". Very much a Deja Vu to the American Golden-Plover I found last year. Of course it came out as it got dark. I initially thought it was another American, as that would be more common inland. I managed some horrible pics and as I was reviewing them, while there, something nagged me about it. The size of it compared to the Killdeer, really showed it to be easily bigger from that distance. I remember the American appearing only slightly bigger. I posted on Whatbird, and my doubts were confirmed...Black-bellied Plover!!!! Number 220 for the County!! Goal accomplished. I also finally managed to swing by 24 Mile Road and the Voorheis Sanctuary and nab the Barred Owl that has been sighted there previously.
Three Year birds in one day, at the end of August is better than I had hoped. Not only have I <nearly> ended August surpassing my previous high of 194, but I've set myself up with 2 birds I wasn't expecting on the way to 200.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)