Birding in Calhoun County and beyond
After the high of July, August quickly sucked the energy out of any hopes for a good start to the Fall season. I had extremely high hopes for the O DR N pond, and it started out like it could be promising. On August 5th I had 36 species there including 9 Least Sandpipers, 11 Solitary Sandpipers and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs. I thought a good start, and should pick up from there. Duck Lake WTP remained very overgrown with weeds along the edge. Homer had nothing on this day, except an unusually high number of Canada Geese. A trend I would continue to see the rest of the month. I counted 364 Canada Geese gathered there. Something I wouldn't expect to see this early in the season. eBird bears this out also. The high spike the week of 8/1 is the 364, with a 387 reported the week of 9/1 being the exception to lower number until October.
On August 17th the O DR N pond gave me a FOY Semipalmated Sandpiper, after a false alarm on the 5th. Least Sandpipers at 11, and Solitary Sandpipers at 7 still gave me some hope. A single Lesser Yellowlegs was concerning. I would expect to see more Yellowlegs if this was going to be a good spot for some rarities. I managed quick looks at a couple of late Dickcissels at 23 Mile Road and O DR N. Latest one on eBirds for the county.
August 19th O DR N pond still had 7 Least Sandpipers, and 6 Solitary Sandpipers, but only the single Lesser Yellowlegs still. The WTPs still had nothing of promise, and I checked the D DR S Wetlands, to find them will overgrown. The highlight here being the Pied-billed Grebe that looked like it had been on a nest, most definitely was. There were 4 young Grebes to join the the other juveniles that had been seen previously.
August 26th I was nearly shut out of any shorebirds at O DR N Pond, but for a lone Killdeer that flew in as I left. It must have strayed from the tilled farm field on 24 Mile Road where I counted a minimum of 61 Killdeer. I finally got a rare shorebird at Homer on this day, with a Baird's Sandpiper joining 24 Killdeer there. I spotted it well across the West lagoon, and could tell it might be something "different". It finally showed up in the North-East corner to get some ID'able pictures. I went back on the 27th, and was unable to find it there. The only non-Killdeer birds were 2 Greater Yellowlegs that flew off.
The large numbers of Canada Geese continued with 216 Canada Geese on September 3rd at Duck Lake WTP. A Double-crested Cormorant there gave me bird #99 for the Duck lake WTP. There still was a very definite lack of shorebirds to be found in the area. I had hopes that something good might shows up. Especially as the following birds showed up nearby over the last month.
August did give me some excellent photographic opportunities, with some of the best photos I've managed, including one of the "new interest".
Lastly, and this will likely lead to a new section of this website, likely the best picture I have ever taken....so far. Moths have quickly become a fascination with me. Partly to overcome the dog days of summer with birds, and the fact I can go outside my door not more than 50 feet and see a vast array of species.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)