Skip to main content

Presque Isle County, Michigan

I arrived in this incredible northern Michigan county last night, and spent the day today scouting for birds in preparation for some upcoming field trips. I'm here to work with the Nettie Bay Lodge, and a more beautiful place to stay could not be found. Within earshot of my cabin are yodeling Common Loons, singing Whip-poor-wills, dancing American Woodcocks and so much more.

Jack Pine country, and this crop is of just the right age to support Kirtland's Warbler. I stumbled into this area, only about one-half hour away from the lodge and far north of the traditional Mio/Grayling sites where most people go. There were four territorial males right here, along with beautiful territorial Clay-colored Sparrows and many other species of the sandy pine plains.

The main highway in this area, and typical of the roads up here. Next to no traffic!

While taking the photo above, an American Bittern was gurgle-pumping right next to me, in this beautiful glacial lake. Such habitat is common here, and all of the lakes and wetlands have bitterns. And in many cases, Common Loons.

Within a half-hour drive to the east is Lake Huron and some truly spectacular habitats. We were over there this morning and found so many cool plants, birds and insects I can't even begin to describe everything.

The beaches on this part of Huron are rocky cobble and quite showy. You are viewing this cobble through about two feet of water. The waters of the lake are absolutely crystalline.
In a day and a half we're well over 100 species, including 20 or so breeding warblers. More to follow...


Wil said…
Wow, what a cool place. I am green with envy. Looks like a naturalists dream as well as a nature recordists dream—no traffic.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…