Summary: A total of 201 species from the Michigan Bird List were reported in the Saginaw Bay Area this summer. While this falls short of last summer’s all-time record, it is still well above the 25 year seasonal average of 185.5. This report lists each of the species reported, along with the highest reported individual count(s) for each, and a list of the SBA counties in which each was noted. Last departure dates and first arrival dates are listed for species that aren’t present during the breeding season. Observer coverage was on the low side this summer, particularly in Arenac and Tuscola Counties. The total number of observers was off a bit as well. Four Michigan Review List species were reported, and 75% of these were captured for posterity with digital images. How things have changed with the advent of digital cameras and accessories! One new SBA peak count was established, for Indigo Bunting, in early July none the less, a nice illustration of this species’ preference for continuing to sing strongly well into the summer. It is always a welcome event for this compiler to receive notes about the bird habitat that prevailed during the season. Dan Duso wrote that excellent wetland bird habitat emerged at Bay City SRA this summer. Continuing on a theme from the summary of this spring’s report, this situation is an excellent example of the importance of publicly-owned land to bird conservation. Climatically, the season was, as one observer described, “…pleasant…” Temperatures were seldom above or below the mean deviation, and there were no new all-time high or low records. Precipitation-wise, there was at least a trace most weeks, and with a 1.5” - 2” rainfall event in both months, it was not at all a dry summer.
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