Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dearborn's North American Migration Count

The North American Migration Count takes place the second Saturday each May. It aims to take a "snapshot" of migration, and is compiled on a county basis. My husband Darrin is the coordinator for Wayne County, and we covered the city of Dearborn together on May 9.

The first half of the day was spent scouring the U of M-Dearborn campus -- my daily spring bird survey deluxe. Joining us was our good friend and RRBO supporter Jamie Jacob. A cold front was approaching, and while the first hour or so was okay, the winds quickly kicked up, making it difficult to hear or see birds. As I indicated in my last spring survey post, birding has been a bit slow lately. We ended up with just 76 species for the campus. Our highlights were a Hooded Warbler in the floodplain along the Rouge River, and a Red-headed Woodpecker in the swampy area near the river at the north end of campus. It was one of only 14 warbler species seen on campus. The first Eastern Wood-Pewee of the season was found. There was an obvious increase in the number of Baltimore Orioles and White-crowned Sparrows over the last few days.

Julie and Jamie, hitting the trails.

After campus, we checked out all the various sunflower/wildflower plantings around the city. The sunflowers are, of course, all spent and sagging. The wildflower fields have all been recently mowed, and several fields were not planted last year at all. Thus, they did not have ideal habitat. But we were hopeful for shorebirds at some of the fields with large puddles -- there have been Least Sandpipers in a couple recently. But we were skunked other than Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper. The wetland area near the Ford Rouge Complex visitor center is really maturing, and we had a lot of Red-winged Blackbirds and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. After these locations and a few others, time was running out. Darrin wanted to hit Grosse Ile, and I still had to roam around our neighborhood (where I had 30 species).

The species total for Dearborn was 83. Here is our list:

Canada Goose 67
Wood Duck 3
Mallard 10
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Blue Heron 7
Green Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 6
Cooper's Hawk 2
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Killdeer 13
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 39
Herring Gull 2
Rock Pigeon 9
Mourning Dove 35
Chimney Swift 11
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-headed Woodpecker 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 11
Downy Woodpecker 12
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker 9
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Least Flycatcher 3
Eastern Phoebe 5
Great Crested Flycatcher 4
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Warbling Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 4
Blue Jay 59
American Crow 2
Tree Swallow 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 25
Cliff Swallow 6
Barn Swallow 13
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Tufted Titmouse 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
House Wren 14
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10
Veery 2
Swainson's Thrush 1
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 165
Gray Catbird 18
Euro. Starling 261
Cedar Waxwing 6
Tennessee Warbler 3
Nashville Warbler 21
Yellow Warbler 4
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Magnolia Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 8
Black-throated Green Warbler 4
Blackburnian Warbler 2
Palm Warbler 4
Black-and-white Warbler 4
Ovenbird 4
Northern Waterthrush 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Hooded Warbler 1
Scarlet Tanager 4
Chipping Sparrow 11
Savannah Sparrow 11
Song Sparrow 11
White-throated Sparrow 4
White-crowned Sparrow 78
Northern Cardinal 34
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 11
Indigo Bunting 8
Red-winged Blackbird 46
Common Grackle 27
Brown-headed Cowbird 59
Baltimore Oriole 33
House Finch 5
Pine Siskin 2
American Goldfinch 43
House Sparrow 94

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