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Charlie Spencer

MI - Eastern Upper Peninsula - Late September

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Any guidance from the assembled membership?  I can get hotspots from eBird; I'm mostly hoping for general suggestions, hints, etc.  We'll be on Mackinac Island for a couple of days, staying in St. Ignace, then a couple of days around the north shore - Pictured Rocks, Whitefish Point, etc.

Thanks!

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Whitefish Point is a great spot. Should be sparrows and finches around the feeders, etc. Walk out to the beach, there may be shorebirds or waterbirds on or flying over the lake. The forest areas can be productive, listen for chickadees, nuthatches and kinglets you find mixed flocks which may contain warblers.

Vermillion Road near Andrus Lake and “the Slab” (46.7083940, -85.0446393) can be an interesting area to explore with birds like Red-breasted Nuthatches, Red Crossbills, and the possibility for Spruce Grouse but I have looked for them two or three times there without success.

The Tahquamenon River mouth can be a productive spot for a quick birding stop on the way to Whitefish Point. Sometimes various ducks and stuff near there.

Tahquamenon Falls is worth checking out in its own right, some decent falls and autumn colors should be decent too.

 

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There’s probably lots of good fall migration in the St. Ignace area since it’s a southward facing peninsula but I am less familiar with that area unfortunately.

Boulevard Drive on Point La Barbe is one spot I have birded before.

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@AlexHenry, thanks!  The current plan is to come up from St. I., hit the Tahq mouth for a bit, have lunch in Paradise, and then head to Whitefish point.  I don't normally target particular species, but RBNU are on my very short list for this trip, along with Common Mergansers.  I'll check eBird again shortly to see what people have listed this month.  

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Should be able to get both of those species! Common Merganser possibly at Tahquamenon River Mouth. Red-breasted Nuthatch shouldn’t be hard to find around Whitefish Point, get familiar with the “yank yank” call if you aren’t already. 

There should be a Whitefish Point Bird Observatory counter or two around, especially at the waterbird count site at the sandy tip, and they can be really helpful with identification.

It might be worth doing some owling while you’re up there, if others are up for it. In spring it’s a reliable spot for migrating Long-eared Owls, and once while my friend and I were there watching a Long-eared Owl, we were told we had missed a Great Gray Owl right in the parking lot by one night!

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6 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

It might be worth doing some owling while you’re up there, if others are up for it.

Just my Darling Bride and I, and she's not a birder.  She's a very basic girl, not into shoes or jewelry or shopping.  Only occasionally does she say she'd like to do something extravagant.   COVID cancelled our trip to England in May, and a couple of weeks ago she said she'd like to go to Mackinac Island.  I don't know where that came from but we have the time and the plane fare from SC was cheap enough.  She get a day on the island, I get one birding, and we spend couple on various stuff - Sault Ste. Marie, drive over The Bridge, etc.  I lived up there for a couple of years in the late '60s when the Air Force stationed my father there, so two extra days is probably overkill, but we're easily entertained.

TL;DNR - vacationing with non-birders - what's the point?  :classic_blink:

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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32 species, including 4 lifers (Common Merganser, Amer. Golden-Plover, Merlin, Red-breasted Nuthatch), four species I'd only seen once before, a couple I'd only seen twice before, and some first-time photos.  Life is good.

https://ebird.org/MyEBird?cmd=lifeList&time=life&listType=US-MI

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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On 9/23/2020 at 6:29 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

32 species, including 4 lifers (Common Merganser, Amer. Golden-Plover, Merlin, Red-breasted Nuthatch), four species I'd only seen once before, a couple I'd only seen twice before, and some first-time photos.  Life is good.

https://ebird.org/MyEBird?cmd=lifeList&time=life&listType=US-MI

Out of reactions today, but great birds and congrats on the lifers!!

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2 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Out of reactions today, but great birds and congrats on the lifers!!

If you haven't already seen the ID photos, scratch the plover but add Common Raven.

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