Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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  • Tuesday, February 09, 2021 1:04 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Gary Siegrist provided a tour to a few JAS members who braved a moderately cold morning today.  We had lots of sunshine and no real wind until the end of our walk.  Gary lead the group on a loop walk showing of the new section of trail from the woods into the prairie at the rear of the sanctuary.   

    Birds of note were an immature Bald Eagle and a Brown Creeper.  See eBird posting for more details.


  • Wednesday, December 30, 2020 7:09 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Jackson Audubon Waterloo Christmas Bird Count 2020

    With only a couple of leaders reporting in it looks like some good birds were found but with numbers of birds counted down. Joyce Peterson reported 5000+ cranes Saturday morning with other leaders that have reported in also seeing cranes in their areas. Rough-legged Hawk (2), Merlin, and lots of Bald Eagles were seen and Purple Finch and Pine Siskin filled in some of the winter finches. On the Hoffman Trail where the water flows over the old dike, I found in five minutes Swamp Sparrow (1), Northern Shrike (1), and called in a Virginia Rail. If you go look for the rail, wear knee boots as there is water flowing over the dike from the edge of the woods to the start of the grassland. 

    Gary Siegrist
    12/20/2020


  • Monday, December 28, 2020 4:59 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Sandhill Cranes - Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area - McNeal, AZ

    By Doug Leffler 12/01/2020


    When Sandy and I were in southeast Arizona a couple of weeks ago, we stopped by the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area (WDWA) which is situated a few miles to the southwest of McNeal, Arizona.  Access to WDWA can be reached by taking W, Davis Road west out of McNeal (U.S. Highway 191 runs north and south through McNeal) and taking N. Coffman Road about 2-1/2 miles south to the entrance.


    A trail leads back from the parking area to an overlook where MASSIVE numbers of cranes and other waterfowl can be observed at close range.  Afternoon sun is perfect for photography from the trail overlook, and it's fun watching individuals or groups of birds cavorting around.  There are also a couple of benches along the trail where one can sit and watch for an extended period.


    Attached are a few of my favorite photos from the visit.  I'm also including a shot of a canyon towhee that I took back at the parking lot as were were leaving.  He seemed oblivious to us, while snacking on tidbits on the ground!

    all photos by Doug Leffler

  • Monday, December 07, 2020 8:54 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Winter has arrived but some Black Ducks were able to find the small amount of liquid water left in Mud Lake Marsh.  We had a flyby of an adult Bald Eagle and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks. They flew by during one of the short periods where the setting sun lit up the vegetation and turned it a brilliant golden.   One lone muskrat was spotted feasting on some frozen veggies.


    And yes, we did have some cranes.  We expected to see none, so the 60 or so that came into the marsh were a bit of a surprise.  Some were coaxed out to find better digs for the evening, but 41 will be staying.

    This will be out final count for the year.  Once the ice is set in the marsh, the cranes no longer come to roost.  The Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary is open all year round and each season offers different opportunities.  So, while the cranes may not be here until next spring, you don’t have to be a stranger.  Please visit if you can and enjoy this gem of Jackson county.

    Crane counters:   Ross Green & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  41 (115 total observed)
    Species count:  19

    Canada Goose  67

    Mute Swan  3

    Mallard  36

    American Black Duck  6

    Sandhill Crane  115    41 roosting in marsh

    Bald Eagle  2

    Red-tailed Hawk  2

    Northern Flicker  2

    Blue Jay  1

    Black-capped Chickadee  1

    White-breasted Nuthatch  1

    Carolina Wren  2

    European Starling  9

    Eastern Bluebird  12

    American Robin  8

    Cedar Waxwing  31

    American Goldfinch  1

    American Tree Sparrow  5

    Northern Cardinal  1

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S77211321

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count


  • Monday, November 30, 2020 8:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The wonderful thing about nature is how variable it can be.  Last week we had a pretty big crane count, lots of flyovers.  This week, not so much, as they say.  Several groups of cranes came in around 4 PM so I thought his was going to be another great week, then the rush went to a trickle, then it was just cold and windy.   The final roosting count was 156, about 1/10th of last week. 

    Some cranes were coming down north of the Sanctuary but not in huge numbers.  Visibility was impaired by low light and some snow, so I’m sure we missed observations both in and out of the property.

    It was a pretty good raptor night including a pair of Red-tailed Hawks soaring from the east to the west behind the overlook.  They were quite vocal, and I heard them before I saw them.  Ross got a pair of juvenile Bald Eagles over at Eagle lake.

    We still are getting ducks and there was a large group of Hoodies over on Eagle Lake. The waterfowl in Mud Lake Marsh were tough to ID with the poor conditions.

    Crane counters:   Ross Green & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  156 (307 total observed)
    Species count:  19

    2 Canada Goose

    5 American Wigeon

    28 Mallard

    55 Hooded Merganser -- @ Eagle Lake

    307 Sandhill Crane -- 156 in Mud Lake Marsh

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Sharp-shinned Hawk

    2 Bald Eagle -- Juveniles

    2 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Belted Kingfisher

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    4 Black-capped Chickadee

    1 Tufted Titmouse

    1 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 American Goldfinch

    1 American Tree Sparrow

    205 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Northern Cardinal

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S76921720  

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 


  • Monday, November 23, 2020 8:49 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The pain in my clicker thumb told me it was going to be a good night.  We counted a total of  2,506 cranes from the overlook. Of those, 1,681 will be spending the night.  2015 was the last year we broke the 1,000 crane milestone. Early traffic was coming in from the western side. Then the eastern approaches started to get very busy as well.  The count was about even between the two sides.  In the past weeks the west side brought in the most birds. We were seeing multiple groups of 20+ coming in from both sides.  This is activity we’ve not seen in many years.

    Lots of ducks are coming in with Shovelers being well represented.

    If you’ve never watched the cranes leave in the morning, tomorrow might be a good time to try. They leave in a relatively short period of time and it’s quite a spectacle.  This occurs shortly after sunrise.

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  1,681 (2,506 total observed)
    Species count:  17

    35 Canada Goose

    6 Mute Swan

    35 Northern Shoveler

    8 Gadwall

    15 American Wigeon

    45 Mallard

    4 American Black Duck

    2506 Sandhill Crane -- 1681 In marsh

    4 Ring-billed Gull

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Blue Jay

    1 American Crow

    6 Eastern Bluebird

    150 Red-winged Blackbird

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S76617242


    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at
    http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count


  • Monday, November 16, 2020 7:32 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We had a banner day at the sanctuary with more cranes roosting than were observed passing through.  No huge groups came in, but we had steady activity for nearly an hour around sunset and beyond.  Also, lots of flyovers directly above us on the overlook.  While it was a bit chilly and windy, we had good sun and were able to see the setting sun hit a Rough-legged Hark perfectly to clinch the ID.  In addition to the cranes we had lots of ducks and a single Great Blue Heron, perhaps the last of the season.

    Crane counters:   Ross Green & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  699 (1113 total observed)
    Species count:  18

    45 Canada Goose

    18 American Wigeon

    300 Mallard

    9 American Black Duck

    1 Mourning Dove

    90 American Coot

    1113 Sandhill Crane -- 699 roosting in marsh 414 counted in the area.

    1 Ring-billed Gull

    1 Great Blue Heron

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Rough-legged Hawk

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    1 Blue Jay

    3 American Crow

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    9 American Robin

    1 American Tree Sparrow

    800 Red-winged Blackbird

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S76348497

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 


  • Monday, November 02, 2020 9:20 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We left Gary all by himself tonight while Ross and I counted other locations for the USFWS Annual Crane Survey. 

    Gary reported, “We had two new species arrive at the sanctuary from this weekend's storms. One was a American Tree Sparrow and the other was a  Rough-legged Hawk. We also counted 377 sandhill cranes roosting in Mud Lake Marsh with another 656 cranes flying by north of the sanctuary.”

    Ross counted 786 roosting at Hawkins Rd. near Portage Lake.  Always a popular spot.

    Ron Hoffman & I counted 698 on private property north of Haehnle Sanctuary. That was about a 4000% increase from last year’s count for that location.  It was a clear night and my region to watch was due west. I did my best Galileo impression by accidentally looking at the sun with binoculars while following a large group of cranes.  But we did have a beautiful sunset.

    The cranes did a great job getting counted tonight-be sure you do the same tomorrow on Election Day!

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist
    Compiler:  Gary Siegrist
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  377 (1033 total observed)
    Species count:  23

    23 species (+1 other taxa)

    Canada Goose  33

    Trumpeter Swan  3    Trumpeters nest in Mud Lake Marsh at Haehnle Sanctuary and this is 2020 family group.

    American Wigeon  12

    Mallard  19

    American Black Duck  15

    Pied-billed Grebe  1

    Sandhill Crane  1033    Had 656 flybys north of sanctuary with 377 roosting in Mud Lake Marsh

    Ring-billed Gull  2

    Northern Harrier  2

    Cooper's Hawk  1

    Bald Eagle  1

    Red-tailed Hawk  1

    Rough-legged Hawk  1

    American Crow  29

    American Robin  21

    Cedar Waxwing  20

    Purple Finch  2

    American Tree Sparrow  1

    White-throated Sparrow  9

    Song Sparrow  1

    Red-winged Blackbird  140

    Common Grackle  2

    blackbird sp.  400

    Northern Cardinal  2

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75765009

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 
  • Monday, October 26, 2020 9:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We’ve moved from cool to cold but we still had a lot of visitors watching for cranes tonight.  The rain last week likely moved our water level up a bit which makes our crane counts go down.  There were several good flyovers above the Harold Wing lookout despite the relatively low numbers of cranes that stayed in Mud Lake Marsh tonight.  Cranes are still coming down from the UP, so we expect traffic to continue through Jackson county.

    We saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans with a cygnet in tow-always good to see the generations continuing.  An egret and a heron  joined the ducks in the march while 3 harriers coasted above the water and grass.

    Next Monday we will be participating in the annual USFWS annual crane count.

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  58 (183 total observed)
    Species count:  33

    41 Canada Goose

    3 Trumpeter Swan -- 2 adult w/ 1 signet

    3 Wood Duck

    7 Gadwall

    4 American Wigeon

    2 Mallard

    8 American Black Duck

    3 Green-winged Teal

    15 Ring-necked Duck

    4 Hooded Merganser -- 2 pairs

    4 Pied-billed Grebe

    41 American Coot

    10 Sandhill Crane

    1 Great Blue Heron

    1 Great Egret

    3 Northern Harrier

    1 Bald Eagle

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Eastern Screech-Owl

    3 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    1 Blue Jay

    7 American Crow

    4 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    3 Eastern Bluebird

    55 American Robin

    15 Cedar Waxwing

    4 American Goldfinch

    500 Red-winged Blackbird

    4 Rusty Blackbird

    2 Northern Cardinal

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75466315


    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at
    http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 7:25 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    From Gary S.:

    We had 534 cranes seen last night from observation hill with 324 staying to roost in Mud Lake Marsh. Most of the crane flew right over where we were standing. Good raptor night with 3 Bald Eagles (one was an adult that caught prey so young could feed), 2 Northern Harriers (Adult male and juvenile), 2 Red-tail Hawks, and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk. There was lots of waterfowl to be seen with a scope including the Trumpeter Swans. Despite the weather it was a good night. 

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Ross Green 

    Compiler:  Gary Siegrist

    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  324 (534 total observed)
    Species count:  50
     

    Canada Goose  25

    Mute Swan  1

    Trumpeter Swan  2

    Wood Duck  2

    Blue-winged Teal  12

    Northern Shoveler  3

    Gadwall  70    See photo

    American Wigeon  50    Conservative

    Mallard  18

    American Black Duck  3

    Green-winged Teal  5

    dabbling duck sp.  50

    Ring-necked Duck  7

    Pied-billed Grebe  6

    American Coot  85

    Sandhill Crane  534    324 landed in marsh

    Wilson's Snipe  1

    Ring-billed Gull  1

    Great Blue Heron  2

    Great Egret  4

    Northern Harrier  2

    Bald Eagle  3

    Eastern Screech-Owl  2

    Red-bellied Woodpecker  2

    Downy Woodpecker  3

    Hairy Woodpecker  1

    Pileated Woodpecker  1

    Northern Flicker  1

    Blue Jay  2

    American Crow  2

    Black-capped Chickadee  6

    Tufted Titmouse  3

    kinglet sp.  1

    White-breasted Nuthatch  3

    Carolina Wren  3

    European Starling  300

    Eastern Bluebird  3

    Hermit Thrush  1

    American Robin  200

    Cedar Waxwing  4

    House Sparrow  2

    American Goldfinch  2

    Field Sparrow  1

    White-crowned Sparrow  6

    White-throated Sparrow  11

    Song Sparrow  2

    Swamp Sparrow  3

    Eastern Towhee  1

    Red-winged Blackbird  400

    Common Grackle  150

    blackbird sp.  100

    Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

    Northern Cardinal  2

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75194980

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 

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