Week Two – Learning Upper Peninsula Birds

Common Merganser

Oh boy, WHERE is Spring?

After a few days of teasingly nice spring days, the UP went into refrigerator mode over the weekend. I jokingly told Sheree’ I was ready to fly home to North Carolina, where it was edging into the nineties. Aha! There is the problem, too hot down there. I’ll wait it out. As I type this on Tuesday, the weather is fantastic.

So, to the birds and nature from last week, BEFORE the weekend arrived.  I birded four hotspots, Echo Lake Nature Preserve; Hiawatha NF–Little Bay de Noc CG; Laughing Whitefish Lake Preserve; and Peninsula Point. 

Echo Lake is where I am working this summer, and it was very quiet. Laughing Whitefish Lake Preserve, also a TNC property, has great potential but again, still very quiet.  I am slowly getting accustomed to the late arrival, in my eyes, of the birds of spring/summer in the UP.  

I decided to go native, heading for the hotspots local birders were having success at.  

Hairy Woodpecker

Almost spring!

Peninsula Point Lighthouse is located 90 minutes south of Marquette, in Delta County, MI.  According to reports, good migration flow had begun. But that, as they say, was yesterday. Hard not to have high expectations when you drive a distance. But, all in all, I really enjoyed the (cold) experience, all bundled up in layers and all that. It was a sunny day, a really wonderful location, but with a stiff northerly wind. If you look over at the Blue Jay photo, there were hundreds them, and they kept flying up into the wind, only to settle back down in a tree. Maybe later, guys.   The woods were very active with warblers, but as happens on a first visit, I spent a lot of time just finding my way around. I was able to identify 10 warbler species but I am sure I missed a few, including the Golden-winged Warbler seen just before I arrived.  But, hey, it was a good week until the weekend arrived – 55 species total. Can’t wait for the weather to clear.   Bird on!






Blue Jays migrating

Blue Jays migrating

Red-winged Blackbird (f)


  1. Thank you for your posts! Have you been to the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory?

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