We experienced relatively warm weather and calm winds on Saturday, Dec. 20, and general consensus was that because of the good weather, birds were not concentrated in the areas they would be in worse conditions: feeders and harbors. Overall bird numbers seemed low, but we ended up with a respectable 44 species, plus 5 more during count week.
Notable species: Northern Pintail (count week, observed on Sunday at Dead River) is a new species for the count. Wood Duck has been observed on 3 of the past 4 Marquette counts, all at the Dead River. Merlin (count week, observed at Founder’s Landing on Monday) has been reported on 4 other counts. White-crowned Sparrow has been reported on 4 other counts. Two Northern Shrikes were seen at Cherry Creek and the Marquette compost yard. Three flocks of Bohemian waxwings were seen in Shiras Hills, Harbor View Dr., and Morgan Meadows. Also notable were Red-bellied Woodpeckers at 3 locations, a Belted Kingfisher at the Carp River in Negaunee twp., 1 each Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawk, Glaucous, a Great black-backed and a Thayer’s gull.
Significant misses were Horned Grebe, House Sparrow (becoming harder to find in the Marquette area), Snowy Owl which had been seen in the circle before and after our count week, and Purple Finch (all finch numbers seem to be extremely low in our area this winter.)
Thanks to all our participants, and especially Jeff Knoop who hosted our post-count gathering.
Marquette (MIMQ) CBC Compiler