Indigo Buntings moving through Iosco

From AVA member Mary Baker, taken May 15th in Tawas Township:

Indigo Bunting - photo by Mary Baker

Indigo Bunting – photo by Mary Baker

This male Indigo Bunting was seen at my feeder this morning holding bird seed in his mouth.

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Wonderfully Successful M-55 Cleanup

Great Volunteers Keep Doing Good

I think we had a record number of volunteers for the M-55 Road Clean Up on May 3, 2017!  This is so wonderful as at first it looked like only eight were going to be able to help. Four new to the AVA road cleaning experience and fourteen returnees; some  are seven year veterans of AVA clean up efforts.  The total?  Eighteen volunteers!!! IMGP2683-web

After a few safety reminders and getting geared up with vests and bags the crew got to work for about an hour.  The teams covered two miles of M-55, both sides of the road, and an additional really trashy two sides of south Sand Lake Road.  South Sand Lake leads to the transfer station for Grant Township which means lots of trash blown out of tucks and trailers on the way to disposal. That was a bonus gift to mother nature since it was only possible because of our enthusiastic and numerous crew!    Trash Total? Twenty-two bags.  (Probably not a record as the first year we had lots and lots of trash, too.)

Great finds?  A GMC logo, a mattress box spring, a one dollar bill (dirty but intact) amazing car part pieces, a couple really long boards and one pair of white lacy undies!! (Honest!)

Afterwards most folks enjoyed some tasty roll ups, soup and cheese for lunch, followed by delicious brownies. The first Indigo Bunting of the season appeared at our feeders, along with assorted other birds.  They were a part of the entertainment as was much congenial conversation.  Thanks to all who were able to help!!

 

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Spring Backyard Visitor

This photo was taken in Tawas Township on 4/21 and submitted by Terry & Mary Baker.IMG_0058

“We rarely see shore birds at our pond, but this Green Heron came to steal some goldfish last Friday.

It was camouflaged in the wild grasses beyond our pond.  It stayed briefly.”

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M-55 Spring Road Cleanup – Updated 4/30

UPDATE:

Greetings from sunny Sand Lake Road,

May 3rd, Wednesday!.  See you there.

Where:  M-55 and Sand Lake Road parking area. That is 12 miles west of US-23 intersection.  Only 5 miles east of M-65 intersection.

What: After a short safety review head out in teams in a high visibility vest to walk well off the highway for 1/2 mile, cross  M-55 and walk back.  Pick up trash as you walk. TaDa! Done. (Almost)

To be Totally DONE – Have a light lunch of some sort at Sue and Larry’s…. could be soups if it’s cool, may be sloppy joes if it’s warm.

Reminders – Bring gloves, wear a hat with a visor or sunglasses,  sturdy shoes or hiking boots are good as are ‘picker uppers’ if you have one!   A day or two prior, please be sure to view the safety video, even experienced helpers, at www.michigan.gov/adotablehighway

Reserve your spot by contacting smdunc@charter.net or call 989-701-5471 (c) or 362-2522 (h)  I will confirm your contact with me.  We’ll also keep our eyes on the weather map!

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April AVA Activities

Our April activities have been updated with dates and times. See our Upcoming Field Trips page for the details about the what, where, when of our Oscoda Salmon Projects outing and our spring kickoff of the M-55 road cleanup.

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2017 Kirtland’s Warbler Tour Information Is Now Available

Kirtland’s Warbler by Phil Odum of Oscoda

Kirtland’s Warbler by Phil Odum of Oscoda

In partnership with Huron Pines, Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance, U.S.
Forest Service, and Michigan Audubon, the AuSable Valley Audubon (AVA) Chapter conducts our second year of Kirtland’s Warbler tours in our most eastern section of the Huron National Forest called the Pine River Management Area (PRMA).

Please see our tour information page which is available under the Kirtland Warbler menu or this link.

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Mackinaw Raptor Fest Highlights

Grp-photo1 Nine of our AuSable Valley Audubon members attended the Mackinaw Raptor Fest in Mackinaw City on April 8.  The programs were varied and interesting, the dinner excellent. Even though the airline had cancelled the flight of the keynote speaker, he  was able to “attend” and deliver the presentation on Golden Eagles through modern technology!  Visits were made to Headlands Dark Sky Park to see Owl Banding and visit the beautiful new observatory which won the Pure Michigan award for this year. (The observatory telescope is expected to arrive soon.) On the return to Oscoda, some of us stopped at several of “Hotspots” on the Sunrise Coast Birding Trail. The weather smiled on the events as it was warm and sunny!Grp-photo2

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Don’t Forget – Tawas Point Birding Festival Is Coming Up In May!

The Tawas Point Birding Festival is coming soon, May 18 – May 20.

Join Michigan Audubon and AuSable Valley Audubon at Tawas Point for some of the best birding in Michigan. Loads of migrating birds, especially, but not only many varieties of warblers. Head over to Tawas Point Birding Festival at Michigan Audubon to get more information and to sign up. The speaker this year will be Joanna Eckles, the conservation program manager at Audubon Minnesota.

We are looking forward to another fantastic program and outstanding birding!

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Come and Join Us At Our April Meeting

The meeting will be at 7:00 p.m., April 11th at the Camp Inn Lodge, 3111 US-23, about two miles south of Oscoda.

Guests are welcome!  High School biology teacher Matt McDougall, in partnership with the Lake Huron Sports Fishing group, and sponsored by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, has directed the students in the raising, caring for and maintaining the salmon. Mr. McDougall’s power-point program will show the life cycle of salmon from eggs to hatching to smolt.

At the end of the school year, the students will release the salmon into a local watershed. We hope to see you there!

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Next AVA Meeting is April 11 at 7 P.M.

Schools were closed, snow plows were delayed in getting to side roads and  the wind was blowing, so we regretfully cancelled our Audubon meeting for Tuesday, March 14.

Our next meeting will be as scheduled, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Camp Inn Lodge on U.S. 23 just south of Oscoda. 

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