Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
I did some digging through old The Jack Pine Warbler journals today, and found a record from Lawrence Walkinshaw of a Bewick's Wren. This is a new record for the county I didn't have in my records previously. I also found some updated first county records for Warblers. I need to dig through these systematically and see what else can be found.
There is only a nearby record from Jackson County of Bewick's Wren in eBird from 1922/23. This makes it one of the rarest birds ever recorded in the county. This species also happens to be a review species. I may have to reach out to someone on the committee regarding this record. I didn't ever see it in the MBRC notes as accepted or rejected. This would make 280 birds for the County, and 7 additional birds that iNaturalist has listed with no records. In the course of this same research I removed Passenger Pigeon from iNaturalist only. Walkinshaw listed Passenger Pigeon as being common in the area in the 1870's, based on recollections from his Grandfather.
This record is from The Jack Pine Warbler Vol. 23 No. 2 - April 1945.
Personal highlights in the past few days was nabbing birds #29 and #30 in the yard for the month with a couple Brown Creepers, and a calling Belted Kingfisher. Another highlight was this Bald Eagle on Beadle Lake. It is not quite in full adult plumage yet.
The Sharp-shinned Hawk returned to spook up the birds from the feeder. I don't recall ever seeing a Sharpie with that much white on the tip of its tail. Very few Cooper's Hawks have shown that much white on their tail tip. The final highlight I was not able to document though. It was nearly 60 degrees the night of 12/26, and there was 1 possibly 2 moths outside that night. They/it spooked very easily, so they never settled long enough to get a snapshot. I was really hoping to get some documentation shots.
I didn't realize, until last night, exactly how rare the White-rumped Sandpipers were for this area. I updated my spreadsheet information, and did some sorting and was amazed by how rare this bird was for this area. I went on eBird to look at the recorded sightings prior to the irruption the Great Lakes has seen this year. In the 8 counties I use for my data (Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph), there have been one sighting of White-rumped Sandpipers. That was in 1972 in Kalamazoo County, by Karl Overman.
That rarity of sightings puts the WRSA ranked at number 259, out of 269 birds sighted in Calhoun County (291 out of 294 eBird confirmed birds in the 8 counties). The only birds I show as being rarer for Calhoun County, prior to this year:
I'm thankful to all the area birders that reported their sightings, and giving me some hope we would get in on the fun.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)