Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
December has been pretty uneventful. I've been unable to get past my high for a day, and am one short for the month with possibilities running out. One "highlight" was this incredibly huge flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds I found in a random farm field. Imagine the other species of birds that have been victimized just by this group. How many Kirtland's Warblers aren't around now because of birds from this flock.
Weebly killed everything I wrote as the video was uploading. Summary was I dipped on finding a flock of Snow Buntings, and 2 big flocks of Common Redpolls. One of which has an accepted Hoary Redpoll mixed in with it. This was a county first found by Dr. Dale Kennedy. Hopefully I can stumble on some more flocks now that I have pulled the trigger on the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary.
Saturday the 19th was the Battle Creek CBC. Relatively uneventful for me, except for a surprising Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the middle of December was a little surprising. The big news was an e-mail of a Juvenile Great Black-backed Gull on Duck Lake by Dr. Kennedy. This is a long overdue bird for the county (or so I thought). I rushed home, let the dogs out and then booked out to Duck Lake.
There were thousands of gulls as close to the shore as I have ever seen them. Within 500 feet on the South end. I immediately started to search, but couldn't find a really good candidate for this bird. As I scanned I ran across a giant all white gull. A juvenile Glaucous Gull was mixed in with them flock. A really nice bird for around here. I kept scanning and eventually came upon a giant gull with very dark wings, and an all white head. An Adult Great Black-backed Gull was here!! One bird I thought we should have had around here by now. When I went to enter it into iNaturalist checklist I found out that someone had reported one to iNaturalist this past August, for a sighting from August of 2018 at Binder Park Zoo. Crazy.
The next day the juvenile was reported again, as well as a Lesser Black-backed Gull. It might turn out to be a decent Gull winter here. Really just need an Iceland Gull to cap things off now. I hope to try to get out a little bit more as Chaos should be in much reduced volume the next 2 weeks <fingers crossed>.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)