AVA receives Award during August 26th picnic outing at Tawas Point

Certificate of Appreciation for Invasive Species Removal at Tawas Point State Park

Certificate of Appreciation for Invasive Species Removal at Tawas Point State Park

The AVA members and guests had a great time at the end-of-summer potluck picnic at the Tawas Point State Park on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. The weather was very warm and humid, and the breeze off the big lake made it perfect. Before filling our plates and eating inside the pavilion, we gathered outside on the deck. Lee shared about what he is planning with his study of wild rice in the area and Peggy Ridgway shared her report on this summer’s Piping Plover success. State park director, Chuck Allen, and his wife Peggy were present. All of us were surprised when he awarded the AuSable Valley Audubon with a DNR Certificate of Appreciation Award for Invasive Species Removal. Donette Spiekerman accepted the award on behalf of the AVA and those members who have worked to remove invasive species plants from the state park. Continue reading

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Upcoming September Meeting – new program schedule available

Our first meeting of the 2014-2015 schedule will be Tuesday, September 9, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Tawas High School Library. The speaker will be Jennifer Muladore, biologist and Communications Manager for the Huron Pines organization. The topic will be Invasive Species in the Northeast Michigan area.

This will be a great meeting topic as the AuSable Valley Audubon is active in a number of areas of community service and activism. Invasive species removal is just one of those areas. See our Invasive Plants Removal project page.

The 2014-2015 AuSable Valley Audubon schedule of programs, meetings and events is now available. You can download a copy here: 2014-2015 AVA Program Schedule

Get your copy now so that you know when and where the meetings and field trips will be held over the next year.

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USFS Lumberman’s Monument and AVA Birdhouse Workshop

AVA member Bob Kemnitz

AVA member Bob K.

On Saturday, August 9, 2014, the AuSable Valley Audubon (AVA) conducted a bluebird house build on behalf of the USFS as a part of their summer educational program. This program, titled the Lumberman’s Monument Birdhouse workshop was attended by approximately 20 children and their parents participated in the workshop. We had a beautiful summer afternoon for the workshop. Continue reading

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Tuttle Marsh Video – new just released

Cardinal Flowers at Tuttle Marsh - photo by Ed Cole

Cardinal Flowers at Tuttle Marsh – photo by Ed Cole

Several AVA members provided comments within this video on YouTube, which talks about one of our great area birding sites and nature areas, the Tuttle Marsh National Wildlife Area. More information on Tuttle Marsh is available on the DNR’s site at this link: DNR – Tuttle Marsh. The video was posted by Heritage Route 23.

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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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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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