Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ohio to South Carolina

Traveling south out of Michigan, we skirted Toledo and headed back to Lake Erie to check out Magee Marsh that we had heard so much about from other birders.  Of course this isn't the best time of year for birding but in the Spring, hundreds of birders flock to see warblers and other migrants as they rest before crossing the lake heading north.

Water Snake

English Asters

Tufted Titmouse

We then headed southeast to West Virginia and stayed in two very nice state parks in the Appalachian Mountains.
Whirligig Beetles

White-tailed Fawn

Spiny Micrathena female spider

Fall was in the air, at least on the west side of the mountains,  it was still summer in Virginia when we arrived.  We stayed near Lynchburg, camping out in the driveway of our friends, Art & Betsy Cavanaugh who had moved up here from Florida in May.  Ty helped Art with some yard work and we did some day trips to natural and historical landmarks in the area.
Northern Mockingbird

Smooth Earth Snake

Art & Betsy at Natural Bridge State Park

Indian Village Exhibit at Natural Bridge

Blue Ridge Mountains

Osage Orange Tree to left of home

This is Patrick Henry's Red Hill Historical Site where we joined Art & Betsy's grandkids for a Homeschool field trip.  Exploring the life and times of that era.
Cotton plant in bloom

Floyd's Country Store

We joined hundreds of people in the little town of Floyd, Virginia for Gospel Blue Grass followed by Flatfoot dancing and lots of fun.
Appomattox Court House National Park

McLean House where Lee surrendered to Grant ending the Civil Wat

We then headed southeast through North Carolina and to the Atlantic Ocean, staying 3 days at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina.  A beautiful beach on the east and extensive marshlands on the west, full of wildlife.
Atlantic Fiddler Crab -male

Pile of baby Alligators 

Black & White Warbler

Gulf Fritillary 

Zebra Heliconian 


Cattle Egret

White Ibis

Great Egret

Semipalmated Plover extracting Green Oyster Worm

Roseate Spoonbill

Tri-colored Heron snags a catch

Snowy Egret & Little Blue Heron

Clapper Rail

Stone Crab

Brown Thrasher preening 

192 Wood Storks

Wood Stork balancing on pine tree

Wood Stork

Time to get "on the road again" and head toward Georgia and then Florida, enjoying God's creation at every turn.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Superior Birding and into Michigan

We spent 17 days birding from the beach at Wisconsin Point in Superior, and each day brought a different sunrise, and a different look to the lake, from glass smooth to red and rough.  And it also brought different birds migrating south from Canada.  We were blessed with all three Jaeger species: Parasitic, Pomarine, and Long-tailed.  Sabine's, Boneparte's, Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls,  Common, Forester's, Caspian and even one Arctic Tern.  Several shorebirds and lots of waterfowl.  We ended our Wisconsin Bird list with 277 species which isn't too bad for the short time we were in the state.
Common Merganser

American Golden Plover

Parasitic Jaeger scatters the gulls

Highbush Cranberry changing colors

Downy Woodpecker eyes caterpillar 

Mountain Ash

Painted Lady

Sharp-shinned Hawk - feather in beak

Rough, red clay silt caused by strong northeast winds

Bald Eagles also kept the gulls moving

Northern Pintail hen

Many birders came to watch for Jaegers

Ring-billed Gull chased by Parasitic Jaeger hoping to steal food

Parasitic Jaeger glides by close

Boneparte's Gull

Approaching storm over Minnesota 

Parasitic chases smaller Long-tailed Jaeger

Storm is coming, time to leave the beach

Last Sunrise on Lake Superior

Franklin's Ground Squirrel visits our feeder

Red-breasted Nuthatch with pine seed

Trumpeter Swan with stained head

We went across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and spent the night near Seney National Wildlife Refuge.  In the morning we took the auto tour through the refuge.
Busy Beaver getting ready for winter

Sharp-tailed Grouse walked right out in front of us

Horned Lark

We then drove to Whitefish Point and walked to the beach searching for more migrants.  We saw Common and Red-throated Loons soaring by in the distance.  Many American Pipits and Horned Larks rested on the beach.  A few ducks and shorebirds flew by, but the flies were terrible so we went on.
Black-throated Green Warbler

Uncommonly beautiful Common House Spider

We stayed at the Rivermouth Campground at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and the first thing in the morning we had five Ruffed Grouse near the road.  Of course, a car drove by and scattered them but one stayed for a photo, calling to the others.
Burt Lake Black Squirrel


Fall Aster

Next stops will be Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia for a week to visit friends.

Then it will be onward to Florida, not knowing what plans will have to be changed because of Hurricane Irma.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann