Friday, May 31, 2013

Birding Harrisville

I know, my birding has been pathetic lately. My ebird ranking has been slipping slowly but surely out of the top 100 for the state of Michigan, and I can foresee a time where I could be out of the top 100 for my own county too. 

But I have a plan.

The daily ebird alert (a real torture engine for a birder like me, since you basically receive every day a notice of all the incredible birds you won't have the time to chase anyway) that I have subscribed to for the last 2 years has shown, that, statistically, there is a spot in Michigan where the magic combination of a unique geographical location (along the shore of Lake Huron), and the recurrent convergence of strong winds coming from various birding paradises brings over flocks of exotic gulls from the pacific shores, charms of mountain finches, rafts of Eurasians waterfowl,  flights of asian sandpipers in numbers that defy human logic....

That site is Harrisville State Park. That site is that good, that a single birder has been able to reach the top 10 of the ebird patch ranking, (for the US) more than 20 species above the best birder at Cape May.

So I took a closer look at the ebird statistics (a painful job, since the ebird reviewer, weirdly enough, has been systematically removing every single of those sightings from the ebird database, so these rarities have to be extracted from each individual ebird checklists) I have been able to summarize. 

I figure out that in a single week end, I should be able to reenter the michigan top 100. A week or 2 in the spring should push me easily in the top 20. 

That's the plan at least. I don't really see what could go wrong.

                    Date Rare Bird Checklist
5/30/2013 Feruginous Hawk, Cassin's Sparrow, Bullok's Oriole
5/27/2013 Northern Gannet, Artic Tern, Bewick's Wren
5/25/2013 Blue Groskeak
5/24/2013 Virginia Warbler
5/23/2013 Sprague's Pipit
5/20/2013 Broad Tailed Hummingbird
5/14/2013 Bullock's Oriole
4/30/2013 Blackthroated Gray Warbler
4/13/2013 Sage Thrasher
4/12/2013 Baikal Teal
11/21/2012 Mew Gull
10/11/2012 Cassin's Sparrow
10/10/2012 Curlew Sandpiper
9/25/2012 Prairie Falcon
8/14/2012 Marbled Godwit
6/6/2012 Kirtland Warbler
5/18/2012 Bells Vireo
5/17/2012 Black-headed Gull
5/4/2012 Mew Gull+Lark Sparrow
4/29/2012 Great Tailed Grackle
4/14/2012 Sabine's Gull
3/10/2012 Eurasian Siskins (3)
2/18/2012 Eurasian Siskin
2/14/2012 Eurasian Siskin (2)
2/11/2012 Eurasian Siskin
2/8/2012 Eurasian Siskin
1/25/2012 Hoary Redpoll
12/21/2011 Yellow-legged Gull + Slaty-backed Gull
12/20/2011 Yellow-legged Gull
12/15/2011 McCown's Longspur
11/30/2011 Barrow Goldeneye (female)
11/28/2011 Glaucous-winged Gull
11/23/2011 Clark's Grebe
10/10/2011 Clark's Nutcracker
10/4/2011 Nelson's sparrow
9/28/2011 Heermann's Gull
5/25/2011 Larks Bunting
5/24/2011 Roseate Tern+great tailed grackle
5/19/2011 Great-tailed grackle
5/14/2011 Arctic Tern+Northern hawk Owl
5/2/2011 Canyon Towhee
4/24/2011 Glaucous-winged Gull+Thayer Gull
1/10/2011 Barrow's Goldeneye
1/5/2011 Barrow's Goldeneye
12/10/2010 eurasian Siskin
11/11/2010 black-headed Gull+spotted towhee
10/29/2010 Bicknell's thrush
10/8/2010 Fish Crow
9/27/2010 Slaty Backed Gull
9/24/2010 Mew Gull
9/21/2010 Harris Sparrow
9/17/2010 Slaty Backed Gull
9/14/2010 California Gull
6/3/2010 Leconte's sparrow
5/26/2010 yelllow-crowned night heron
5/21/2010 Artic Tern
5/17/2010 Artic Tern+thayer's gull
4/23/2010 Fish Crow
4/19/2010 California Gull
4/18/2010 Laughing Gull+snowy owl
4/14/2010 Prairie Falcon
3/23/2010 eurasian Wigeon
2/8/2010 Barrow Goldeney (2)+eurasian Pine siskin
2/4/2010 eurasian siskin
11/13/2009 Slaty Backed Gull+fish crow
10/26/2009 California Gull+thayer gull
5/11/2009 Artic Tern (2)
5/6/2009 Mew Gull
5/4/2009 Mew Gull
4/29/2009 Mew Gull
4/28/2009 Loggerhead shrike
4/27/2009 Eurasian Siskin
4/22/2009 California Gull+Fish Crow+thayer Gull
4/21/2009 California Gull
4/20/2009 Harris' Sparrow
4/13/2009 California Gull