Giving Tuesday – Help Non-profits in NE Michigan

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Last year, this world day of giving raised over $116 million online for nonprofits by tapping into the holiday giving season. Held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year Giving Tuesday is on November 29.

AuSable Valley Audubon is thrilled to be participating in this giving event through the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, and hope you will support our AuSable Valley Audubon by making a donation (no matter how small)! The services we provide to our local area are vital to our community, and on November 29 there is potential to create a huge amount of support for our organization in a 24-hour period.

Click on image for a larger view.

Click on image for a larger view.

So how can you help? Visit the Community Foundation’s website at www.cfnem.org/givingtuesday on November 29 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Look for AuSable Valley Audubon and click on it to make your Giving Tuesday gift.

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Annual Christmas Bird Count Approaching Quickly

The 2016 Christmas Bird Count is soon to begin. Please consider participating. It is fun and a great opportunity to learn more about birds.

See our page under AVA Initiatives on the menu bar, or click here: CBC.

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Sandhill Crane Counts

From Sue Duncan on 11/9:

We watched cranes circle in a ‘whirl wind’ shape tonight… one of their behaviors prior to departure. It was really awesome and accompanied a fabulous and unique sunset… a bonus!  Larry estimates nearly the same number of birds have gathered as the high count of 2015. Las year there were approximately 2,300.  The count is a rough estimate this year as the birds are not all coming to roost in the wetlands or flying off before dark in a predictable pattern. He/we may go out again in a day or so and see if they are gone or not, and maybe to try and get a better estimate, but that might entail a lot of luck or three more observer cars!

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Unusual East Tawas visitor

Yes, this is a coyote

Yes, this is a coyote

This wild canine has been sighted in  East Tawas recently (11/7/2016). This was taken at the edge of a back yard in the Tawas Lake area. It has also been sighted recently along Newman Street properties. Any sightings should be reported to DNR Conservation officers.

Its a coyote.

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Wonderful Day of Sandhill Crane Viewing

AVA and TBAS members view Sandhill Cranes

AVA and TBAS members view Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes - photo courtesy of Charles Tetzlaff

Sandhill Cranes – photo courtesy of Charles Tetzlaff

On Sunday, November 6, 2017 a number of Au Sable Valley Audubon members and friends gathered with Thunderbay Audubon members and friends for a delightful evening of Sandhill Crane viewing. A beautiful sunset and mild temperatures as well as a fantastic look at a sickle moon and two planets added to everyone’s enjoyment.

The many participants - photo by Charles Tetzlaff

The many participants – photo by Charles Tetzlaff

Prior to observing the cranes, everyone ate dinner at the International Café . The wide variety of foods offered  keeps drawing people back, as do the cranes,year after year.

The final count of cranes for this fall will take place  this week.  The initial count which was done in October was 1200+. Check back next week and see what the final count is!

Cranes incoming - photo by Charles Tetzlaff

Cranes incoming – photo by Charles Tetzlaff

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Sandhill Crane field trip on Sunday 11/6

Dear AVA Members,

Let’s do the Sandhill Crane visit while the weather is nice. 🙂   Sunday, November 6th we will meet at the gas station on M-55 and Sage Lake Road at 3:00 to car pool to the International Café. (The gas station is 6 miles west of M-65) We will meet about 8-10 Thunderbay Audubon folks for dinner at the Cafe’.  Isn’t it great they are coming all this way to see the birds!?!

 If you choose not to do the dinner tell me in your response. Then I can  give you directions to the birding site and a later time to meet at the gas station as well as names of others who may also want to just see the birds  Less cars is better than lots of cars as parking is very limited and the road narrow. Please do not show up with only one or two in your car. Thanks!  🙂

I will  also share names for those planning to attend dinner and see the cranes afterward. I will confirm getting your response and then Saturday late afternoon email again with names for each area.

Sunset is about 5:15pm so at 4:45 we will want to be at the alfalfa field on Mills Road watching the birds.

It is supposed to be mostly clear and in the 40’s, but this is Michigan (right?) and it is a pretty open area; so layers, hats and gloves as well as binoculars might be welcome.

Watch for an email on Sunday morning confirming or cancelling.  Larry and I will go check out the birds Saturday evening… just to be sure they are still there!

Please respond to smdunc@charter.net (as soon as possible) so I can let the restaurant know we are going to descend on them!  And let YOU know with whom you might car  pool.   989-701-5471 cell, or 989-362-2522 home.

Sue
VP AVA

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AVA Meeting Tuesday November 1 with Thunder Bay Audubon

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.

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AVA October 11 Meeting

Peggy Ridgway addresses the meeting on the Kirtland Warbler

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.

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Fall M-55 Road Cleanup Successful

roadcleanupm55-10052016On 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

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M-55 Road Cleanup Rescheduled – Update!

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 <smdunc@charter.net>, or by phone:
989-791/5471 (c)
989-362-2522 (h)

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