[Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Unfortunately I never managed a Broad-winged in the past 3 plus weeks. Down to Eastern Screech-Owl and Cackling Goose as ones that I can still get up to 10/10 years. The Owl I feel okay about, but not so much the Goose. Honestly was shocked to see that those have been annual birds for me. Always felt like a struggle to get one.
Since my last update I managed to nab a Surf Scoter at Brooks Nature Area on 10/15 for bird #200 for the year. That was one of my goals for this year. Keeps my yearly average over 200 over the last 10 years, including my Big Yard year where I only got to 180. That bird helped push Brooks into a tie with Whitehouse at 183 birds, for #1 hotspot in the county. A number passed a couple days later, and then with a bird I'll discuss in a bit now at 185. I think there is a shot to eventually get the checklist there to 200. I've come up with 19 somewhat likely candidates.
None of these are totally out of bounds for showing up there, and likely do and just timing has been off.
One bird I wasn't expecting, and didn't even think about showing up there popped up on 10/22. I snapped some pics of a gull flying out of there, and didn't even look close at it. Shortly after arriving at the lookout this small darker juvie gull caught my eye. It ended up being the same bird I fly over heard about 10 minutes prior. It gave me lots of great looks, and I had no doubt, as it landed amongst the Ring-billed Gulls, this was a juvie Lesser Black-backed Gull. Most of our sightings have been near R DR N, or at Duck Lake. I also hardly ever have many gulls at Brooks. It just doesn't attract them like Duck Lake does. This was bird #185 at Brooks, and my 161st bird tying my hotspot high with Woodland Park, and 1 more than my yard.
The bird gave some nice flybys, even being chased by the Ring-billeds with what appeared to be a leaf in its mouth. This bird would be a bird that hatched this year, and already this far south and away from the Great Lakes. It was also, by a day, the earliest in the season I've had one.
Not my bird, but the Limpkin was sighted again...one month after it first showed up. Things are really going to start getting tough for it. Hopefully it decides to take some favorable winds and head to warmer climes.
Not a whole lot of other highlights in the past 3 weeks. My downed tree limb I think save a bird from a Cooper's Hawk on 10/5. On 10/6 I probably had my Broad-winged Hawk at Woodland Park with some hawk jumping off the forest floor, but just never got a really good look at it. I did have a late Green Heron and Eastern Wood-Pewee, and this weird looking juvie Red-tailed Hawk. Lots of spotting going down the neck, thick patagials and the spotting going all the way down the belly.
Early in the morning on 10/10 I had the pair of Great Horned Owls calling back and forth for a short bit. The next day I had my latest record of Tennessee Warbler. Not too surprising with the way the weather has been. We managed a late walk at Brooks on the 18th, and then ran out to Duck Lake. The large groups of gulls have already started to show up with close to 3000 out there already. Very spread out, and nothing that immediately popped out as odd. I might have had 3 White-winged Scoters out there, as previously spotted, but I didn't try to snap pics and never located them again. Tough call from that distance. Nothing else of exceptional note. Rough past couple of weeks for the family, so motivation has been a little lacking. If not for trying to make sure Hercules got some walking time, I'd probably not gotten out at all.
Some shots from the past few weeks, only half being birds.
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)