Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Not much birding since the last update due to the C-H-A-O-S. I did get the first somewhat "feeding frenzy" of warblers at Woodland Park on the 16th. 11 Warblers, with most of them in a few trees near the large open field. Blue-winged Warbler tagged as rare for this time of the year. Wilson's Warbler and Northern Parula were birds 183 and 184 for the year. Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Magnolia, Bay-breasted and Black-throated Green rounded out the Warblermania.
The Airport didn't offer up much, other than a Cooper's Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk having a brief dispute in the air. Being mid-September there still should be opportunities for shorebirds, so I headed to Homer. High counts of Canada Geese continued with 318 there. Killdeer were still gathering in high numbers as I counted a minimum of 78 there. One nice surprise was the first American Golden-Plover to be found there. It took quite a bit of checking out pictures to rule out Black-bellied Plover, which I hoped for. My pictures weren't great, but definitely pointed in the right direction. The horrible mirage didn't help.
Because of that mirage I headed back there the next morning and located the Plover. It flew, and I blew getting a look at it. Ideally seeing it in flight would clinch it, but I did hear it call as it flew and it didn't sound like the Black-bellied Plover. I was unable to locate it, until 15-20 minutes of searching around. The cooler weather allowed for some much better pictures also that made it clear this bird was the American, not the Black-bellied. What I did not expect after reviewing the pictures was seeing that the first bird was different from the bird I had seen the previous day, and would see later that day. This bird had significant black on its chest making it an adult molting out of breeding plumage.
My secondary activity bore quite the fruit on the morning of the 23rd. Letting my dogs out in the morning I came across a borer moth on the side of the house. After a little bit of timing looking through the Field Guide I identified it as a Golden Borer. The Field Guide identified it as Uncommon. I wasn't able to find out too much about it online, but did find that it is a species of concern in Michigan. I filled out a form with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory. There were very few reports of this month in Michigan. MNFI only showed in 4 counties. It was the first report of this species on all of iNaturalist. I also noticed this white winged "fly" and finally decided to ask for some ID help on Whatbird.com. I was informed it was a euklastus harti, a type of plant hopper. It was the first report on BugGuide.net for Michigan. I've seen quite a few of them this summer/fall. Very odd looking bug.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)