AuSable Valley Audubon’s 2017-2018 Program Schedule

The new program schedule for the 2017-2018 calendar is now available. You may download or view a copy in PDF format at the following link: AVA program schedule 2017-2018

Be sure to get a copy to see all the upcoming meetings and events.

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AuSable Valley Audubon Selected to Participate in Michigan Bat Monitoring Program

Nik Schulwitz attaching microphone to capture bat frequencies to top of car.

AuSable Valley Audubon was among the Michigan groups selected by the Organization for Bat Conservation to participate in the Michigan Bat Monitoring Program and to conduct an acoustic bat monitoring survey as part of its Citizen Bat League.

We were sent the equipment for the survey—a microphone to attach to the top of the car, a Garmin blue-tooth device which plugged into the car cigarette holder and a pre-programmed iPad.  Any bat frequencies encountered along the route were recorded on the iPad.

Snapshot of Monitoring graph from the iPad

 

 

The survey had to start one-half hour after sunset and in temperatures greater than 50 degrees.

Members Larry VanWagoner, Alan Bernard and Nik Schulwitz each prepared a survey route of more than twenty miles which routes were approved by the organization. Bob Kemnitz, Jim Mortimer and Jean Howard also participated in one of the surveys. The equipment will be returned to the Organization for the analysis of the data and determination the identity of the bats encountered!

 

 

Route Map:

Join AuSable Valley Audubon for our program on September 12, 2017 at the E. Tawas Community
Center at 7:00 p.m. for a program on “Everything Bats!”

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Tawas Point Birding Festival Species Tally

Follow the link to review the species count from this year’s Tawas Point Birding Festival. Numbers were down a bit from previous years, but still lots of species spotted: BirdList 2017-TPBF-tally

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June AVA Field Trip to Tuttle Marsh Results

(This post is courtesy of Sue Duncan. Thanks Sue!)

Wow!

IMG_2352-webIMG_2361-webThe Tuttle at Twilight Au Sable Valley Audubon June field trip on Wednesday, June 7th started off with an exciting find of two Black Billed Cuckoos, almost within touching distance of the spillway where 14 members and one guest gathered. So Special!

IMG_2367-webIMG_2366-webThe birds gave us a great show and it was an auspicious start to a lovely birding evening.  See the list of 30 plus species -> ( Tuttle Marsh 060717 observations ), for proof of exactly how fantastic it was!  The photos give proof to the promise of a beautiful sunset.

Join us next time for a look through a scope at the Tawas Lake Black Terns, tentatively scheduled for the last week of June.  Contact Sue for more details. 989-362-2522, smdunc@charter.net

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Spring Backyard Bird Photos from Iosco

AVA members Terry and Mary Baker submitted these photos from their backyard.

These two nest photos were submitted on June 5:

There are 4 baby Robins squeezed into this nest which is not far from our front door.

Photo by Mary Baker

Photo by Mary Baker

There are 4 tiny baby Chipping Sparrows in this small nest near our garage door.

Photo by Mary Baker

Photo by Mary Baker

I had the rare opportunity to see these 2 Pileated Woodpeckers at my feeder today.  I have never seen 2 of them on the feeder at the same time.  They love my homemade peanut butter suet. (Submitted on June 7th.)

Photo by Mary Baker

Photo by Mary Baker

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Indigo Buntings moving through Iosco

From AVA member Mary Baker, taken May 15th in Tawas Township:

Indigo Bunting - photo by Mary Baker

Indigo Bunting – photo by Mary Baker

This male Indigo Bunting was seen at my feeder this morning holding bird seed in his mouth.

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Wonderfully Successful M-55 Cleanup

Great Volunteers Keep Doing Good

I think we had a record number of volunteers for the M-55 Road Clean Up on May 3, 2017!  This is so wonderful as at first it looked like only eight were going to be able to help. Four new to the AVA road cleaning experience and fourteen returnees; some  are seven year veterans of AVA clean up efforts.  The total?  Eighteen volunteers!!! IMGP2683-web

After a few safety reminders and getting geared up with vests and bags the crew got to work for about an hour.  The teams covered two miles of M-55, both sides of the road, and an additional really trashy two sides of south Sand Lake Road.  South Sand Lake leads to the transfer station for Grant Township which means lots of trash blown out of tucks and trailers on the way to disposal. That was a bonus gift to mother nature since it was only possible because of our enthusiastic and numerous crew!    Trash Total? Twenty-two bags.  (Probably not a record as the first year we had lots and lots of trash, too.)

Great finds?  A GMC logo, a mattress box spring, a one dollar bill (dirty but intact) amazing car part pieces, a couple really long boards and one pair of white lacy undies!! (Honest!)

Afterwards most folks enjoyed some tasty roll ups, soup and cheese for lunch, followed by delicious brownies. The first Indigo Bunting of the season appeared at our feeders, along with assorted other birds.  They were a part of the entertainment as was much congenial conversation.  Thanks to all who were able to help!!

 

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Spring Backyard Visitor

This photo was taken in Tawas Township on 4/21 and submitted by Terry & Mary Baker.IMG_0058

“We rarely see shore birds at our pond, but this Green Heron came to steal some goldfish last Friday.

It was camouflaged in the wild grasses beyond our pond.  It stayed briefly.”

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M-55 Spring Road Cleanup – Updated 4/30

UPDATE:

Greetings from sunny Sand Lake Road,

May 3rd, Wednesday!.  See you there.

Where:  M-55 and Sand Lake Road parking area. That is 12 miles west of US-23 intersection.  Only 5 miles east of M-65 intersection.

What: After a short safety review head out in teams in a high visibility vest to walk well off the highway for 1/2 mile, cross  M-55 and walk back.  Pick up trash as you walk. TaDa! Done. (Almost)

To be Totally DONE – Have a light lunch of some sort at Sue and Larry’s…. could be soups if it’s cool, may be sloppy joes if it’s warm.

Reminders – Bring gloves, wear a hat with a visor or sunglasses,  sturdy shoes or hiking boots are good as are ‘picker uppers’ if you have one!   A day or two prior, please be sure to view the safety video, even experienced helpers, at www.michigan.gov/adotablehighway

Reserve your spot by contacting smdunc@charter.net or call 989-701-5471 (c) or 362-2522 (h)  I will confirm your contact with me.  We’ll also keep our eyes on the weather map!

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April AVA Activities

Our April activities have been updated with dates and times. See our Upcoming Field Trips page for the details about the what, where, when of our Oscoda Salmon Projects outing and our spring kickoff of the M-55 road cleanup.

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