Northern Flickers passing through our area now

Monday was a cold and rainy day, but I drove to Tawas Point State Park hoping to walk and bird watch between the sprinkles. It was not to be. There was just too much wind and water to get out of the car. However, spotting birds from a car is restrictive, but I did capture a photo of these two flickers as I was driving back to the park pavilion area.

Northern Flickers - Tawas Pt. St. Park, 4-14-14

Northern Flickers – Tawas Pt. St. Park, 4-14-14

I saw seven flickers in total around the parking area, and later in the day, I observed three more in a small tree while visiting family at a home about 2 miles inland. Most likely, this means many more are passing through our area.

I also took these pictures of a small group of Buffleheads on the small pond next to the pavilion. The group was quite animated and you can see one of the females actively chasing the other ducks including one of the males. Enjoy.

Bufflehead Ducks - ducks in motion

Bufflehead Ducks – birds in motion

Bufflehead ducks - birds in motion

Bufflehead Ducks – birds in motion

Bufflehead Ducks - ducks in motion

Bufflehead Ducks – birds in motion

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Spring Good News and Bad News

Today, we had some Turkeys return to our yard. We had wondered how they fared as we had not seen them yet this spring and this was the first time we saw them. They stayed about the area for about an hour, moving from beneath one feeder pole to the woods and back to another feeder area. Here is a photo of the visiting hens. This is the group of six under a feeder.

Hen wild turkeys

Hen wild turkeys

This is another picture of a single hen taken as she looked up during grooming.

Turkey-2-webSadly, though, winter takes its toll and this past winter was harsh here. When this flock would move through our yard in the fall, there were 11 turkeys. One matronly hen with 10 good sized youngsters.

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New issue of Trumpeter Newsletter is available

Please check out our newsletter page for the latest version of the Trumpeter Newsletter. This will be the last Trumpeter newsletter. Ed Cole is setting aside publishing the newsletter as it has been superseded by communications improvements the AVA has made in our website and the chapter’s listserv.

We want to give a special thanks to Ed for all the communications he has provided to members in the past. Great work, Ed, and Thank you, on behalf of AuSable Valley Audubon.

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Recent Bird photos submitted from around Iosco

Its good to see (some) open water around here, although the big lake still has a lot of ice on it. Here are a couple of open water photos, a male Longtail and a Mute Swan photo submitted by Kathleen Swindlehurst. These three photos were taken on Lake Huron, plus a Pileated photo taken in her back yard. Following Kathleen’s photos is photo taken on 3-31 of some Turkeys taken in Wilber Township by Phil Odum.

Male Longtail Duck on 3-31-14 credit K. Swindlehurst

Male Longtail Duck (Oldsquaw) on 3-31-14

Mute Swan taken on 3-31-14

Mute Swan taken on 3-31-14

And this is another photo from Kathy’s backyard of one of our majestic Pileated Woodpeckers taken on 3-27-2014.

Pileated Woodpecker 3-27-14

Pileated Woodpecker 3-27-14

This photo was taken in Wilber Township on 3-31-14 by Phil Odum.

Wilber Twp. Turkeys, taken on 3-31 by Phil Odum

Wilber Twp. Turkeys, taken on 3-31 by Phil Odum

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Tawas Point Birding Festival Upcoming

With the advent of spring, (yes, it is spring, in spite of the snow still piled high around here), its time to sign up for the Tawas Point Birding Festival upcoming in May. This event is packed with great tours with knowledgeable tour leaders. Tours cover birds(!), wildflowers, bird identification, equipment use, etc. There are opportunities to assist in invasive plant removal at Tawas Point, great seminars with top notch speakers to broaden your knowledge of all kinds of interesting facets of nature and wildlife, and may opportunities to enjoy the company of birds and the birders who come to see them.

Check out the Tawas Point Birding Festival web site for more information. Get a copy of the program, pick out what you would like to participate in, and SIGN UP! Do it today. See you there!

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Spring Thaw heralds return of our waterfowl

Although it is still very cold and winterish around our area, the rivers are opening. Here is a recent photo of a Red-necked Grebe taken on the (thawed!) AuSable River on March 21 by friend of the AVA, Phil Odum. Thank you Phil.

Red-necked Grebe - Phil Odum

Red-necked Grebe – Phil Odum

 

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Owls Returning

Here is a photo taken by AVA friend Phil Odum of a Long Eared Owl.

Long Eared Owl Photo by Phil Odum 3/14/2014

Long Eared Owl
Photo by Phil Odum 3/14/2014

Phil captured this great picture in Bay county on Saginaw Bay. The picture was taken Saturday morning, March 14th. Great shot of this big guy, Phil.

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AVA member Peggy Ridgway receives Charley Curtiss Lifetime Achievement Award

At the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy Osprey Awards ceremony, held Friday, February 21 in Bay City AuSable Valley Audubon member Peggy Ridgway was honored.  Peggy received their Charley Curtiss Lifetime Achievement Award for her “huge contributions to Piping Plover and Trumpeter Swan recovery in the northern part of the watershed”.  She has been instrumental in the Tawas Point Birding Fest and has played a key role in the Conservancy’s growth in the area of bird conservation.  Peggy is also a past president of the Michigan Audubon.

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Winter Iosco Visitor

Phil Odum, a friend of the AVA submitted these two photos of a winter visitor to the Iosco County area. These pictures were taken on February 23rd.

Iosco winter Gold

Golden Eagle - courtesy Phil Odum

Golden Eagle – courtesy Phil Odum

Golden Eagle - courtesy Phil Odum

Golden Eagle – courtesy Phil Odum

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Photos from the Iosco area Great Backyard Bird Count

These pictures were taken in Iosco county during the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Iosco GBBC

Dark-eyed Junco - courtesy Phil Odum

Dark-eyed Junco – courtesy Phil Odum

White-breasted Nuthatch - courtesy Phil Odum

White-breasted Nuthatch – courtesy Phil Odum

Cedar Waxwing - courtesy Phil Odum

Cedar Waxwing – courtesy Phil Odum

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