A total of 248 species from the Michigan Bird List were reported in the SBA this autumn, continuing the recent above average trend, (the 1989 - 2013 seasonal average equals 236). This report lists each of these species, along with the highest reported individual count for each, first and last dates as applicable, and the SBA counties in which each was noted. The exception to this is Trumpeter Swan. Per request of the state seasonal compiler, all records submitted for this species are, in general, listed, which is becoming a lengthy list these days.
Each county had at least one observer reporting from it. Bay, Huron, Iosco, Midland and Saginaw Counties were well covered, Arenac and Tuscola less so. The total number of observers of record was down just slightly from last autumn. Higher water levels in the Lake Huron had an obvious effect of reducing the number of shorebirds stopping over in the SBA this fall. The other climatic event of note was an unseasonable cold spell in November, the result of Typhoon Nuri pushing arctic air farther south than normal. This could well have put the kibosh on any thoughts birds had for lingering late, and only two new fall late dates were recorded.
Numbers-wise, five new all-time peak counts were recorded, two of them from encounters with the spectacularly large flocks of migrating flocks of birds that occur in and along Huron County’s shoreline, (flocks that now face significant loss of life at the hands of large scale wind turbines that are being placed in locations outside of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s bird protection guidelines). Rarity-wise, four species on the MBRC Review List were reported.
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