Another set of Michigan natural history forays is in the books. This was the 9th year in a row that I've led excursions from NettieBay Lodge, and as always we saw LOTS OF STUFF. For the most part, we don't leave sprawling Presque Isle County, which is in the northeast corner of the lower peninsula. The biodiversity is staggering, as the county includes the shores of Lake Huron, sandy jack pine plains, boreal forests, glacial lakes, fens and bogs, and much more. Birds abound, and between the two groups this year, we probably found about 150 species. But there's much more - floral and faunal diversity is incredible, and we try to look at it all.
We've set the dates for next year's forays: Group One: May 20-23. And Group Two: May 25-28.
While scouting about on my own after the last group departed this year, I found a wonderful road that winds through the jack pine plains, not far from the lodge. There were booming common nighthawks displaying at close range, numerous whip-poor-wills calling from the sandy roadbed, American woodcocks doing aerial courtship displays, a pair of snowshoe hares along the road, and more. We'll add this as an evening foray next year, along with tested hotspots.
If you are interested, please contact Mark or Jackie at NettieBay Lodge, RIGHT HERE. We limit each group to eight people, in order that everyone has the best chance of seeing everything we find.
Following are a few more photos from this year (scroll back to recent posts for more from the latest Michigan trips).
Where we are, the jack pine habitat is very actively managed, and we see everything from brand new plantings to old-growth pine forests. It's a great immersion into the fascinating ecology of jack pine-dominated habitats, and the many interesting animals that occupy them.