AuSable Valley Audubon is hosting the annual meeting with Thunder Bay Audubon on Tuesday, November 1, at 1:00 p.m. at the Camp Inn Lodge, located on U.S. 23 about 4 miles south of Oscoda.
Dale Borske, State Chairman Elect, Michigan Ducks Unlimited, is the featured speaker. An optional off-the-menu lunch at 11:30 will precede the meeting.
Both the meeting and the lunch are open to the public. If you wish to join us for the lunch, please call Sue Duncan at 989-701-5472 or 739-4182 for reservations.
Peggy Ridgway addresses the meeting on the Kirtland Warbler
Peggy Ridgway provided us with an interesting and informative talk on Kirtland’s Warblers on forty-five minutes notice when our featured speaker for our October 11th meeting cancelled due to an emergency.
We learned about obtaining tour permits for our AVA Sponsored Kirtkland’s Warbler tours held in June/July this year, ground nesting in 5-15 year Jack Pine habitat, protection from cowbirds, and the KW’s 1000 mile migration route. Peggy raised a concern about the effect of Hurricane Matthew on the KWs wintering in the Bahamians, as well as on the Plovers that winter along our east coast. Hurricane Hunters were surprised when they spotted a large group of birds flying in the center of the Hurricane.
The KW art work in the elementary school KW calendar was displayed.
On October 4, the intrepid AVA road cleanup crew spent just one hour clearing a 2 mile stretch of M 55. Each team of two walked only one mile. A grand total of 12 bags of trash was gathered.
The weather was beautiful, the trash was minimal, and lunch at the Whitetail Cafe was delectable! This is a project that is always satisfying and enjoyable on many levels.
If you missed this fall adventure plan ahead and keep the last week of April 2017 commitment free on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll need another (bigger) group of dedicated people.
A BIG THANK YOU to all the fall volunteers!
Sue Duncan and Larry VanWagoner
M55 Clean up Co-ordinators
Hello fellow birders,
Hopefully, the rain clouds will part and clear for a few days. Let’s try to do our road cleanup on Wednesday, October 5th. We’ll gather at the corner of M 55 and Sand Lake Road at 11:15 am, planning to be done about 12:30. We will then head to Tawas and the Whitetail Café for lunch, if you so chose.
In the event of more bad weather, we will need to reschedule until next year. Don’t hesitate to call if you are wondering… It is supposed to be partly sunny/cloudy with only a 20% chance of rain or better 80% without rain, high of 74. Forecast calls for a warm, 12 mph wind from the south to dry some of this recent dampness. Keep your fingers crossed !
Please confirm if you are coming, and if you intend to go to lunch or not. Thank you
Contact Sue by email <email@example.com>, or by phone:
This photo and story was submitted by AVA members Terry and Mary Baker. Click the picture for a larger image.
Sept. 21. Good ending to a potentially bad situation.
This little chickadee flew into our patio window and stunned itself. I was holding it for several minutes and then it recovered and flew away. Taken Sept. 21st in Tawas Township – Mary holding the bird and Terry Baker taking the picture.
Tuttle Marsh – on the banks
Friday, September 16, 2017 the first field trip for AVA was held at Tuttle Marsh, Iosco County, MI.
By 6:45 ten members and surprise alumni members, Bobby Kennedy and Margy Kutzera had gathered. A lovely and mostly bug free viewing of 12 species and a huge orange harvest moon was enjoyed. The 80 some expected Sandhill Cranes were elsewhere, but 5-6 Black Crowned Night Heron’s awed the late stayers who departed by 7:55pm.
Members enjoying a great evening with the birds!
Great Egrets – 24 or so
Greater Yellowlegs – 3
Lesser Yellowlegs -1
Great Blue Herons 5-8
Sandhill Cranes -16
Mallard Ducks -4
Belted Kinfisher -1
Canada Geese -5
Black Crowned Night Herons -6
Painted Turtles, too!
What: evening trip to Tuttle Marsh
When: Friday, September 16, 6:45pm
Where: Meet at the Water Control Structure about midway from either entrance, on top of the berm….about 3 miles in from either entrance.
How: Car pooling is good, talk to your AVA neighbors. Not sure how to get there? Call 989-362-2522 for directions.
Why: possibly see migrating shore birds, Sandhill Cranes, Egrets, Bald Eagle and friends.
Who: Audubon members and other friends or family.
Bring your binoculars and bird books, dress in layers, stay for the sunset! Do not worry about bugs… There haven’t been any. Cancelled only for a heavy rain occurring there and then!
At the Tuesday, September 13th AVA meeting, Peggy Ridgway mentioned the availability of a nice Trumpeter swan poster from the Trumpeter Swan Society. Here is the link: www.trumpeterswansociety.org.
When you go to the site, click on “gift shop” and the poster / stamp information will appear.
You may be aware there has a been major construction project at the Tawas Area Schools building site. We just found out the Tawas High School Library WILL NOT be available for our Sept 13 membership meeting. However, the East Tawas City Council Chambers in the East Tawas Community Center are available at that date and time, so we will hold our Tuesday, Sept 13th, membership meeting there.
The East Tawas Community Center is on Newman Street, 1/2 mile from the US 23 light. The Chambers room is on the end of the building near the basketball courts and on the wall opposite the gym.
Our plans for dinner before the meeting remain the same. We will meet at Mr. Jack’ss on Newman across the street from the Ben Franklin store at 5:00 pm.
By Peggy Ridgway
photo by Phil Odum
All photos courtesy of Phil Odum
It’s been a long, hot, dry summer ! Many tourists found their way to our sugar sand beaches along Lake Huron for pleasant relief and cool breezes.
Earlier in the season several other two legged visitors descended on our shores, but their presence was undetected by most. When a few Great Lakes Piping Plovers arrived in early May, the tip of Tawas Point was mostly under water. Flooded and washed out beaches were the story all along the coast. In fact, many of the normally sought out sites were inundated with water. Therefore, this small shorebird that tended to nest in this vicinity, migrated further north towards Oscoda where the landscape provided more open beach space for the rare and protected ground nesters.
photo by Phil Odum
On both the north and south side of the AuSable River mouth, two pair of the federally endangered plovers found suitable habitat for nesting. The rather extensive and undisturbed light colored sand areas in front of two condominium complexes were perfect.
I was excited and felt privileged as I continued my seasonal volunteer monitoring of these special birds. So far, these were the only known nests on the Lake Huron side of America ! I was trusting that the residents of the condos would honor the postings limiting access to certain sections of “their beach.” They did so, and most residents showed respect for this dwindling species nesting practically right outside their front doors. What a great opportunity to observe this evolving story first hand ! Continue reading