Extra Spotted Knapweed pulling event Monday 7/28 9 AM

Spotted Knapweed is flowering at the Tawas Point State Park. So that we can have as much impact as possible, there will be an extra pull in Monday at 9 AM in addition to the Tuesday 9 AM pull if weather permits.

Come on out and help us clean up this invasive plant! Hiking clothes and good gardening gloves are all you need. We are working on focused areas on the Sandy Hook Trail. Pulling will be from 9 AM to 11 AM both days if weather permits. Meet in the pavilion parking lot near the bird feeding station.

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Removing Invasive Spotted Knapweed at Tawas Point St. Park

Volunteers from the AVA have been working for the last 5 Tuesdays at Tawas Point State Park working at removing invasive Spotted Knapweed from various high traffic areas. This event is a regular weekly volunteer opportunity to remove invasive plant material from the park. Sixty-six garbage bags full have been removed from the park during these last pulls.

Bag of noxious Spotted Knapweed ready for disposal

Bag of noxious Spotted Knapweed ready for disposal

Sue with a giant plant (and root) removed during our pull

Sue with a giant plant (and root) removed during our pull

The crew with the day's harvest

The crew with the day’s harvest

removing Spotted Knapweed near the Pavilion parking lot

Removing Spotted Knapweed near the Pavilion parking lot

We will be working in any weather other than thunder storms each Tuesday beginning at 9 AM and working for about 2 hours. These pulling events will be scheduled until the Spotted Knapweed reaches a growth point where it can no longer be pulled because of the risk of spreading seeds. At the present time, Spotted Knapweed at the park is just starting to flower. Because of the urgency of removing the plant at this stage of growth, two pulls (Monday and Tuesday) are scheduled for the week of 7/28.

Pitch in and help improve your park. Hiking clothes with a good pair of gloves are recommended.

See you there!

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M-55 road cleanup work project

On Friday, May 30th, volunteers from AuSable Valley Audubon and others assembled at Sand Lake and M-55 for the first of our yearly road cleanup work details.

AVA M55 cleanup volunteers May 2014

AVA M55 cleanup volunteers May 2014

The team picked up 16 bags of trash. It was mostly paper, three or four big car parts, and a few assorted other odds and ends … like a big chunk of foam rubber.

There were 13 volunteers total. Eleven AVA members and friends had breakfast
at Augie’s Restaurant in Tawas City before we began. Approximately one hour was spent cleaning up the road. It was a beautiful day to be outside, although it did get a bit hot before they wrapped it up.

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Public invited to provide input on new Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service have created a draft Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Plan to provide future strategic guidance on maintaining the KW population should it be delisted as an endangered species. MDNR recently sent out this notice about two methods of providing input on the new plan.

They are soliciting email comments and also hosting a public meeting scheduled for July 9, 2014 in Grayling. There is also a link in the notice where you can view to plan to be discussed.

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Huron Pines hosting the Kirtland’s Warbler Home Opener

Huron Pines recently sent out an news announcement about the Kirtland’s Warbler Home Opener which they are hosting on June 12, 2014. They are having a reception and presentation by Master Birder Greg Miller. Pre-registration is required. The event flyer is available from the Huron Pines web site or by this link to the flyer. The URL for the Huron Pines web site is http://www.huronpines.org/.

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Birding and birding events attract tourism business

Here is a link to a great article by Brandon Schroeder and Peggy Ridgway about the value added by birding tourism and birding events to Michigan communities. Check it out here: Birding is big business for coastal Lake Huron communities.

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The Tawas Point Birding was great

This year’s Tawas Point Birdfest is now complete. Thanks to Michigan Audubon and their great staff, and all of our AVA’ers  and the many other volunteers who helped to make this happen.

The weather was a little cool, but the birding was great. We had great keynote speakers, Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, authors of The Warbler Guide gave us a great presentation on Friday evening and their Saturday workshop on bird vocalizations was fantastic. Overall, about 185 species were observed. Something new this year was a pair of invasive species work efforts to remove Garlic Mustard from the area around the Tawas Point State Park office. 235 pounds of Garlic Mustard were bagged and removed.

See you all again next year!

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Tuttle Marsh Returnee

Phil Odum submitted these shots of an American Bittern he spotted on Friday, 4-25. He noted that he had seen 2 the previous day, but these birds are pretty reclusive, as you will note by the dry growth screening it. Enjoy. These birds can often be spotted on the Tuttle March tours during the May Tawas Point Birding Festival.

 

American Bittern - Tuttle Marsh - credit Phil Odum

American Bittern – Tuttle Marsh – credit Phil Odum 4/25/14

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh - credit Phil Odum

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh – credit Phil Odum 4/25/14

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh - credit Phil Odum

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh – credit Phil Odum 4/25/14

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Recent photos from Tawas Point

The following photos were contributed by AVA member Phil Odum. All three were taken at Tawas Point State Park on Thursday, April 24. Thanks Phil!

Ruby Crowned Kinglet - Phil Odum

Ruby Crowned Kinglet – Phil Odum

Pine Warbler - Phil Odum

Pine Warbler – Phil Odum

Northern Harrier - Phil Odum

Northern Harrier – Phil Odum

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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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