Sunday, 22 May 2011

Waterloo State Rec Area, Michigan. 20 - 21 May 2011

I spent 24 hours in Waterloo State Rec Area with the target species of Henslow's Sparrow and Acadian Flycatcher. I headed off to St Jacob Evangelical Lutheran Church on Riethmiller Road for Henslow's and after a bit of searching found at least 6 birds feeding in the long dry grassy field due west of the church (I saw 3 of these and heard at least another 3 singing). With a bit of patience you can get good views of the birds, usually feeding around the lower stems of the larger grass clumps. There was also a few Sandhill Crane and Eastern Bluebird in the area.

I then headed over to Mclure Road and birded the area between Bush and Loveland, where I also headed at first light the next day. I managed to see 3 Acadian Flycatchers before the light faded along with White-breasted Nuthatch, Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird and Red-eyed Vireo.
The next morning I revisited the area hoping to see Cerulean Warbler, but although I could hear birds singing in the canopy I couldn't get onto any. Wild Turkey, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-eyed Vireo and 2 Hooded Warblers (a singing male and a female both within 500 yards of the Waterloo Area Headquarters. I then headed off to Cassidy Road (where I had a ringtail Northern Harrier) and birded the area between the junction with Roe Rd and half a mile east of there. Along the road I had another 3 Acadian Flycatchers, Indigo Bunting, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blackburnian Warbler and just when I had given up seeing Cerulean Warbler found a pair nest building just metres from my car. The female did all the building whilst the male spent most of the time singing. I've put some video of the female nest building at the bottom of this post.
Photos: Acadian Flycatcher (3), Pileated Woodpecker, Scarlet Tanager, Cerulean Warbler (2 photos plus 1 video).

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