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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

Archive for the ‘Natural Areas’ Category

Point au Sable Bird Survey: May 14, 2010 by Erin Gnass

Although the morning started out a little chilly at the Point, it didn’t take very long for the air to warm and the birds to start singing and being active. Shortly after arriving and completing our first bird survey, a season’s first, beautiful white Great Egret flew over the Bay and landed within twenty five meters of us! It quickly began to forage along shore looking for fish and then flew further down the shoreline, at which point I was able to photograph this elegant bird. Additionally, we found ten species of warbler, including our season’s first Chestnut-sided and large numbers of Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, and Palm. In fewer numbers but just as wonderful, we found Cape May, Blackpoll, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, and Ovenbird warblers.

Throughout the entire Point, we found many regular, abundant species including House Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Chimney Swifts, and Gray Catbirds. Although less abundant, we also observed a few rather conspicuous Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Warbling Vireos, and Swamp Sparrows. Around the same area that we were walking two days earlier, we observed and heard a melodious Wood Thrush near the center of the Point within dense vegetation. We also observed large numbers of Tree, Barn, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows foraging for flying insects off shore and near the center of the Point. All together, we recorded 40 species.

Observers:  Erin Gnass, Aaron Groves, and Ashley Fehrenbach

Photographs by me:

Great Egret, flying towards the Point

Great Egret, foraging shortly upon arrival to the Point

Point au Sable Bird Survey: May 12, 2010 by Erin Gnass

Despite how cold it was upon arriving at the Point, we found the forest and shoreline to be quite active with many new and exciting season’s first migrant bird species! We were incredibly fortunate to stumble upon some very interesting species:  Spotted Sandpiper (three different individuals around the Point), Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Swainson’s Thrush, Wood Thrush, Chimney Swift, Cliff Swallow, and White-crowned Sparrow! Although much lower in numbers, Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers continue to forage and use the Point as they pass through the Green Bay-area and head north for the breeding season. House Wrens, Warbling Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and Tree Swallows, however, were still quite abundant and observed at several different locations around the Point.

Observers:  Erin Gnass, Kari Hagenow, and Aaron Groves

Note:  Nick Walton will no longer be assisting with the Point au Sable surveys for the season because he has headed north for his summer field work searching for and monitoring the nests of the Great Lakes endemic, Kirtland’s Warbler! He will return later in the summer and fall to continue surveying the birds at the Point.

Some photographs, taken by me:

UWGB graduate student, Kari Hagenow

Blue Jay, curiously and inconspicuously arrived within five feet of Kari and me in this small shrub

Male Yellow Warbler