Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
The birding continues to be very quiet around here lately. Winter has not arrived, until this weekend's "Icemageddon", so the same birds are still around. I was able to add Brown Creeper to the Month/Yard list today. I grabbed some of the old The Jack Pine Warbler journals and started to read through them to see what birds Lawrence Walkinshaw has reported.
I've been able to come up with a solid 210 species. Most of them coming from the 198 species he reported from the Baker Sanctuary Area. One within that list was a little less clear if he had seen the Long-eared Owl, or was just reporting a continued report from another observer.
2 additional species on that list were Blue Goose and Traill's Flycatcher. He does report Willow Flycatcher, and I have to believe he likely had an Alder Flycatcher at some point also. Willow and Alder were not split from Traill's until 1973. He does report Snow Goose and Blue Goose, which were once considered separate species. So these species that are not currently "countable" would get one additional with an assumption he likely had Alder in Calhoun to get to 211.
Other hypotheticals are:
With the hypotheticals he would be at 225. I'm sure there are plenty of others in his field notes. He definitely has plenty of very rare birds that he found, so have to believe many of the easier ones would still be ones he has seen.
The current Code 1 and Code 2 birds that I've not found records of, apart from the hypotheticals above:
Code 4 he has listed
I have little doubt I will be adding to this list in the future. If I can ever get my hands on his 1978 book Birds of the Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan area I'm sure there are confirmations on at least some of the hypotheticals. The man was an amazing human with so many birds in Calhoun County, and as he stated in another article 290 species in the state. Most of this before any of the modern transportation we take for granted now. No eBird, no Twitter, and no Listserves, just getting out there and looking for the birds. Not just looking, but banding, recording, reporting and helping to create places like the Baker Sanctuary.
Some references used:
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)