Sighting archives 1995-1999


December 1999:

29 Dec:  A lone Pine Siskin was with goldfinch feeding in the alder trees along Fairlane Lake today.  Among the campus Canada Geese is one with a white bib-shaped neck collar that has been around since late October; this male was banded as a two-year-old in 1994 in Maryland, rather unusual for around here. Two Carolina Wrens were also found, plus one that appeared yesterday in the Craves yard.  The Fox Sparrow was also still present.

27 Dec:  A Fox Sparrow shows up in the Craves yard.

23 Dec:  A lingering Hermit Thrush has been seen the last two days in the Craves yard in Springwells Park.

22 Dec:  The White-winged Crossbill was last seen 13 Dec. A few White-throated and Song Sparrows remain on campus, along with two Brown Creepers.  A Common Grackle with a droopy wing remains in the Springwells Park neighborhood (although it can fly).

10 Dec: Still a few Yellow-rumped Warblers around, plus a Brown Creeper.  The White-winged Crossbill is staying put as well.

8 Dec:  A flock of 18 Snow Buntings was seen near Greenfield Road and Butler, near the Ford Rouge Plant.  The White-winged Crossbill continues at a Dearborn feeder, and there is still at least one White-throated Sparrow present on campus.

6 Dec: A little snow, and here’s what you get: a Rough-legged Hawk cruising over campus and a male White-winged Crossbill at a feeder near Rotunda and Outer Drive

November 1999:

26 Nov:  Two Pine Siskins are reported from a west Dearborn yard today, and a flock of Common Redpolls flew over the same residence yesterday.

23 Nov:  A Sandhill Crane was seen flying over Fairlane Estate this morning.

12 Nov:  An American Woodcock along the Rouge today set a late date.  Four more N. Saw-whet Owls were banded last night, bringing our season total to 20.

10 Nov:  A Northern Shrike was seen at Greenfield Village.  Yesterday afternoon, Jeff Schultz saw a juvenile Northern Goshawk on campus (near his truck bumper!).  Three more N. Saw-whet Owls were banded last night, along with a recapture from 7 November.

8 Nov:  Another good weekend for owl banding, with eight more N. Saw-whets banded, plus a recapture from 24 October.  A screech owl originally banded in the spring was also recaptured.

5 Nov:  A Savannah Sparrow at Greenfield Village shattered our late fall date by over a month.  A Red-shouldered Hawk was also seen at the Village.

October 1999:

31 Oct:  Jim Fowler found an adult male Merlin at Greenfield Village today.

29 Oct:  A Pine Siskin was banded yesterday, and a N. Saw-whet Owl was found dead at Greenfield Village.  An American Coot was on the concrete channel of the Rouge.  The fifth N. Saw-whet Owl was banded tonight, along with an Eastern Screech-Owl.

27 Oct:  Another N. Saw-whet Owl was banded last night.  The banders also heard a flock of Tundra Swans flying over in the night.  The winter finch of the day was a Common Redpoll, the first ever banded by RRBO and our 75th species of the season.  At least one other redpoll was flitting around.  Two more Fox Sparrows banded today brings our season total to 15.  Today we also surpassed our fall record for new birds banded, which was at 1344.  With a week to go we’re aiming for 1500.

26 Oct:  Two Tundra Swans flew over campus, and some Pine Siskins were heard near the banding area.

25 Oct: Three Northern Saw-whet Owls were banded last night.  Click here for more on this project.  Today a very late Black-throated Blue Warbler was banded.

22 Oct:  A Red-shouldered Hawk was seen flying over campus.

21 Oct:  A spectacular flight of American Robins took place this morning.  In the half-hour after dawn, we estimated over 1,000 flew over the front of campus flying west (their usual direction in post-dawn flights).  This was undoubtedly a small fraction of the robins that took off from the wooded Natural Area at the rear of campus.

14 Oct:  Today we banded several American Tree Sparrows, first for fall and our only Eastern Towhee of the season.

11 Oct:  A big surprise today in the nets was a Marsh Wren, only the second recorded for our area and the first ever banded by RRBO.

8 Oct:  A Purple Finch was banded.

7 Oct:  An Orange-crowned Warbler, traditionally a late migrant, was banded today.

5 Oct:  The first Dark-eyed Juncos were around today, as well as the first Fox Sparrow.

1 Oct:  A really nice selection at the nets today, including two Scarlet Tanagers, a Blue-headed Vireo, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, all species rarely banded in the fall.  Our first Hermit Thrush was also banded.

September 1999:

30 Sept:  An Indigo Bunting was banded today (we don’t get many in fall), and the first fall Swamp Sparrows arrived.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets were first seen on 28 Sept, and Lincoln’s Sparrows came in on 27 Sept.

25 Sept:  The first Golden-crowned Kinglets arrive.

24 Sept:  Still another Connecticut Warbler was banded today, along with fall’s first White-crowned Sparrow.  Thrush numbers remain high, with many more Gray-cheeks in the mix lately.

19 Sept:  The first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher of the season was in the Craves yard today.

17 Sept: Banded our first fall Yellow-rumped Warbler today.  Swainson’s Thrushes still going strong, and lots of White-throated Sparrows around.  We also caught 4 Black-throated Blues, and saw another, kind of a lot for one fall day.  In general, a good movement of migrants last night.  The juvenile Double-crested Cormorant that has been hanging around the lake has been joined by a buddy.

16 Sept:  Our first White-throated Sparrow for fall was banded today.

17 Sept: Gray-cheeked Thrushes finally arrive.

9 Sept:  The fall’s first Palm Warbler was banded today, and we finally caught one of the Red-breasted Nuthatches.

8 Sept:  Finally, some Tennessee Warblers.

7 Sept:   Another Connecticut Warbler was banded today.  The Craves yard hosted a Cape May Warbler, first for fall.  Red-breasted Nuthatches continue to be heard nearly daily.

5 Sept:  A Double-crested Cormorant was hanging out at the lake.

1 Sept:  The season’s first Connecticut Warbler was banded today, along with a slightly early Philadelphia Vireo.  Finally caught a Least Flycatcher; empids have been scarce at this location so far this fall.  A Common Loon was on the Rouge channel.  But for two early winter records, all our other records are from spring.

August 1999:

31 August:  The first Black-throated Blue Warbler was banded today.  Good numbers of American Redstarts, Blackpoll Warblers, and Swainson’s Thrushes were around, too.

30 August:  An Ovenbird banded today was the first for fall.

27 August:  Back at the nets today after getting rained out; things were a little slow except for catching the season’s first Veery and seeing an early Blackpoll Warbler.

24 August:  An American Redstart banded today was the first for fall.

22 August:  An Osprey was along the Rouge River channel at Greenfield, and a Nashville Warbler was a new migrant.

20 August:  The cool front ushered in a ton of birds this morning — like a good spring fallout in terms of numbers and variety.  Just a brief  look just in the banding area there were many Chestnut-sided, Black-and-white, and Magnolia Warblers, along with Black-throated Green (new early), Blackburnian (several, one singing!), Canada, Bay-breasted (new early), and Wilson’s (new early).  A Red-breasted Nuthatch was also heard.  The most interesting capture today was a Brown Creeper very recently fledged.  They have nested in our area the last couple years, and this almost certainly was a local youngster.

18 August:   New arrivals included banded Swainson’s Thrush, an observed Magnolia Warbler, and a heard Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  Today and yesterday a Red-breasted Nuthatch was heard on campus, and today another was heard in the Craves yard.

16 August:  Fall banding kicked off today with 37 birds of 10 species, mostly locally breeding birds.  Migrants included a Chestnut-sided Warbler (new early fall date by a day) and “Traill’s” Flycatcher.  Other migrants seen today were an early Northern Waterthrush and a Red-breasted Nuthatch.  The nuthatch was a week earlier than Dearborn’s earliest fall date; two were also banded at Holiday Beach, Ontario yesterday, so be prepared for a nice flight of these cuties this fall.

May 1999:

31 May: A female Eastern Bluebird at the TPC Golf Course might be nesting.

28 May:  A Common Loon flying over ties the late spring date.

27 May:  A Louisiana Waterthrush was banded today, oddly enough the first one RRBO has ever captured.  It was a male in peak breeding condition…perhaps nesting nearby?  Otherwise a few migrants are still around: Magnolia Warblers, Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Blackpoll Warbler, flycatchers, etc.  A Yellow-billed Cuckoo is still being heard in the banding area in appropriate nesting habitat.

Eastern Phoebes are nesting at Greenfield Village after a 20-year absence.  This is only the second nesting in Dearborn in recent years.  Cliff Swallows are now the most abundant swallow in the vicinity of the Village.

21 May: A third American Woodcock for the season is banded, this time most likely one of the young.

20 May: A Ruby-crowned Kinglet ties the late spring date.

19 May: A Yellow-breasted Chat and Connecticut Warbler (right on time) were found just north of the Ford estate.  An Eastern Bluebird, pretty uncommon for us, was also seen.

18 May:  Philadelphia Vireos arrived, and we caught the first one in the same place in the same net that the majority of this species are caught, spring or fall.  We also caught three Red-eyed Vireos in a row, two of which were recaptures from previous years.  One was from 1995, the other from 1998.  Neither had been recaptured before.  We banded another American Woodcock and a male Blue-winged Warbler as well.

17 May:  Things picked up considerably again, with the biggest influx being flycatchers of all flavors except Yellow-bellied, Wilson’s Warblers, and both cuckoos.  At Greenfield Village, Red-headed Woodpecker.

16 May:  Markedly quieter today — what a difference a day can make!  We did have two widely separated White-eyed Vireos today.  Also present our first Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Willow Flycatcher, and Eastern Wood-pewee.  The first Common Nighthawk has arrived as well.  For several years there was a Northern Mockingbird present near Rotunda and Greenfield; one was recently (re?)located nearby at the Rouge River and Mellon.  One was seen today at I-94 and Michigan Avenue. A male Common Goldeneye has been on the Rouge channel for nearly two weeks now.

15 May:  For over 5 minutes Rick Crossland observed a White-tailed Kite flying north over the main meadow towards the lake at UM-Dearborn today at around 1 PM. This sighting is being written up for the Michigan Bird Records Committee, and if accepted will be a first Michigan state record.

Also today were two different Summer Tanagers, one male with some yellow (indicating a younger bird) and the other all red.  A Golden-winged Warbler was in the west Dearborn yard of Jerry Sadowski.

14 May:  Up to three Hooded Warblers were found way in the back 40 in the swampy area nearly behind Henry Ford Community College.  We banded a male Black-throated Blue Warbler with a black back, indicating it may have been of the Appalachian race.

13 May:  Huge day today, with 81 species recorded, 24 were warbler species including the seasons first Cerulean, Blackpolls, and Mournings.  We also had one of our best banding days ever, with 99 birds of 30 species netted.  37 of them were Yellow-rumped Warblers (2 got away unbanded) and one gorgeous male Northern Parula.

11 May:  First American Redstart, and a female American Woodcock banded with a brood patch, indicating nesting.

8 May: An unbanded White-eyed Vireo was found singing today; later a long distance away, two more were banded.  This species has been seen in good numbers regionally this year.  The Kentucky Warbler was relocated.  A Yellow-breasted Chat was banded today.  New arrivals were Orange-crowned Warbler, Gray-cheeked Thrush,  and Black-billed Cuckoo.  Not seen too often in spring unless attempting to nest was a Broad-winged Hawk.  A flock of plovers, likely American Golden, flew over.

7 May:  A number of notable birds today, the headliner being a female Kentucky Warbler banded mid-morning.  We’ve had about 10 records of this species at UM-D.  On our last net run of the day we caught a White-eyed Vireo.  We also had two returning male Wood Thrushes in the nets today: A bird from 1995 (color banded green-blue) that has been the most successful nesting bird in our area during our 5-year study, and another male (pink-pink) from 1997.

On our first run we came up with an Eastern Screech-Owl, not uncommon but netted only infrequently.  We were unable to conclusively age it, but some clues pointed to a young-of-the-year.  New spring arrivals were Wilson’s Warbler and Yellow- throated Vireo.  A large-billed, pale Northern Waterthrush, typical of western populations, was banded.

6 May:  Highlight of the day was a singing male Prairie Warbler in the pines around the Student Services Center building. This is our fifth campus record; the last was in 1993. It was quieter today, with fewer birds in fewer flocks, but still nice variety.  New arrivals were Northern Parula and Canada Warbler.

5 May: Good variety and moderate numbers today.  There were about 66 species recorded (15 warblers), and new arrivals were: Cape May Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, White- crowned Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Chimney Swifts (finally) and Scarlet Tanager.

There were at least 3 Blue-winged Warblers singing; one that I saw looked like a pure blood.  The American Woodcock is still performing at dawn, in fact today it sounded as if there were two of them.

4 May: Another nice day, with most of the species mentioned yesterday present (12 warbler species total), plus some new arrivals:  an early Bay-breasted Warbler, a Louisiana Waterthrush, and another Blue-winged Warbler were the niftiest.  Also new were Tennessee Warbler, Ovenbird, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Great Crested Flycatcher. Also started catching our first catbirds, including two returns from previous years (1997 and 1998), both adults when originally banded.

3 May:  Many new arrivals today: Least Flycatcher, Warbling and Blue-headed Vireos, Wood Thrush, Veery, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Catbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.  Many more Yellow and Nashville Warblers present today.

April 1999:

29 April:  A Whippooorwill is heard at dusk.

28 April:  The first Black-and-white Warblers were here today.  There was also a single Rusty Blackbird back in the swamp.

27 April: Things are picking up, with many more Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows, and Yellow-rumped Warblers around.  An American Woodcock was still displaying this morning.  We also netted our first Common Yellowthroat of the season, and Palm Warblers have arrived.  A Black-throated Green Warbler was also a new arrival.

22 April: Two Caspian Terns over the concrete channel are right on schedule.

19 April: The season’s first Eastern Towhee is in west Dearborn; 2 Common Terns fly over Greenfield Village.

17 April:  At the Ford Rouge Plant there are over 250 Double-crested Cormorants (one of the largest gatherings we’ve recorded) and about 25 Bonaparte’s Gulls.

16 April:  A Green Heron on campus is a new early spring arrival date. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher shows up at the usual time.

13 April:  Barn Swallows return to Greenfield Village.

12 April:  Two Common Loons flew over Greenfield Village.  A newly fledged Mourning Dove was in the Craves yard.

1 April: A Great Egret over campus was the spring’s first.

10 April: Two Winter Wrens were found, as well as additional kinglets and Hermit Thrushes.

8 April: Five days early than our previous record was a House Wren today near the Ford estate.  The Blue-winged Teal pair remained on the lake, and two Hermit Thrushes and a Fox Sparrow were also present.  In the Craves yard today were Yellow-rumped Warblers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and a Chipping Sparrow.

7 April: Two Blue-winged Teal were on Fairlane Lake this evening with a Pied-billed Grebe.  A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was in with a flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets.  Five Double-crested Cormorants kettling over campus was a new early spring date.

2 April: A Field Sparrow was singing on campus, and an Eastern Phoebe was found.

1 April: A Black-crowned Night-heron at Greenfield Village returned on its usual day.

March 1999:

28 Mar:  Two Wood Ducks near Fordson Island.

24 Mar:  As he was leaving for campus, my co-worker Rick Simek was amazed to see an immature Bald Eagle flying south over I-96 and Telegraph.  Fifteen minutes later, my other co-worker Dorothy McLeer, also heading into work, saw what had to be the same bird flying over her house at Southfield and Warren!  Our first Pied-billed Grebe of the season was at Greenfield Village, and so was an American Pipit, a pretty unusual bird for Dearborn.

20 Mar: A male Redhead was at the Ford Ponds today.

23 Mar: Last night and this evening the first American Woodcock performed on campus.  Two Turkey Vultures were seen today, seemingly checking out the area near Evergreen and Michigan Avenue where we’ve suspected them nesting the last few years.

17 Mar: The first Killdeer finally arrived in town.  Increasing numbers of blackbirds and robins are being seen.  Everyone’s tuning up…

4 Mar:  Today, the first female Red-winged Blackbirds was at the Craves feeder, a much more reliable sign of spring than the males, some of which stick around all winter, and always arrive before females.

February 1999:

22 Feb:  Today, the first batch of singing blackbirds hit Dearborn, with Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds being especially vocal.

16 Feb: Slowly, spring is knocking at our door.  Species heard singing on today’s survey included Song Sparrow and three different Brown Creepers, including one in the “traditional” nesting area on campus.  Red-winged Blackbirds are starting to sing, and a handful flew over campus today. There were at least three noisy Common Grackles in the Craves Dearborn yard this afternoon.

5 Feb:  The Bald Eagle was seen again today, this time soaring over the Ford Proving Grounds.

3 Feb:  Today a young male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was found on the bird survey, this is a good sighting for this time of year, as we’ve had no previous records between 8 Jan and 15 Mar. A Golden-crowned Kinglet popped up again in the Craves yard on 31 Jan.  The Ruddy Duck remained at the Ford pond as of 2 Feb.

January 1999:

29 Jan:  A male Ruddy Duck is at the Ford pond at Village and Oakwood.  We only have a handful of Dearborn records for this species.

21 Jan: A Common Grackle flew over the Craves yard.

17 Jan: Today Bert Ebi found a Merlin in the cottonwood trees at the south end of Levagood Park (6 blocks west of Telegraph and two blocks north of Cherry Hill).

15 Jan: Several American Black Ducks were at the Ford cooling pond on Village Road and Oakwood. Four male Brown-headed Cowbirds were in the Craves backyard.  The Bald Eagle was seen again at Greenfield Village.

14 Jan: A Snow Bunting flew over campus.

13 Jan: A Northern Shrike was reported yesterday near Military and Monroe in a residential area of west Dearborn. Today a Horned Lark was at Greenfield Village.  and a Golden-crowned Kinglet and a flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds visited the Craves backyard. Several White-throated Sparrows and Carolina Wrens, two Song Sparrows, and one American Robin continue as regular visitors along with the usual suspects.

5 Jan:  An adult Bald Eagle flew over Ford Field, going north towards campus and quite high.  Later a couple called and said they had been at campus on New Year’s Day and saw an immature Bald Eagle near the Henry Ford Estate, an addendum to our Christmas Count (the species but not the individual we expected!). An immature eagle was also seen by Jim Fowler and crew that day downriver; perhaps with the river freezing up the eagles are ranging far and wide. A Fox Sparrow, one Red-winged Blackbird, several White-throated Sparrows, and my regular Carolina Wren were in the Craves backyard.

1 Jan: The Detroit River CBC was held; Dearborn is included in this count.  Thirteen people in 6 parties grubbed around Dearborn and found 41 species.  Highlights included first winter records for 3 species: Pied-billed Grebe (3 at the Ford Rouge Plant), Tundra Swan (6 flying south over the Ford Proving Grounds), and Swamp Sparrow (1 west of the Rouge channel south of Rotunda).  Other notable birds were a Green-winged Teal at Ford Field; 12 Great Black-backed Gulls at the Ford Rouge Plant (there were only 7 records in the city prior to 1998); 10 Great Blue Herons; one lingering Northern Flicker; and 6 White-throated Sparrows in three groups.  There were good numbers of American Tree Sparrows (113) and Dark-eyed Juncos (208) despite the difficultly in finding passerines in the windy cold, especially in the morning.

There were only 43 American Robins this year, found in small groups. Last year we had over 700, but they stripped the berries on the hawthornes at the Ford Proving Grounds early this year.  We could not find our Bald Eagle (last seen on Christmas Day), and couldn’t come up with a single Brown Creeper or Cedar Waxwing.  Local feeders hosted two count week species: Brown-headed Cowbird and Common Grackle.

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