On 30 December, Winter Wrens found below still present, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and six Canvasback on the Rouge, the first campus record (when found, they’re usually downriver at the Ford Rouge Plant).
On 27 December, two Winter Wrens, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-shafted Flicker and several Carolina Wrens. The Winter Wrens are only our third mid-winter record.
On 21 December, Julie Craves and John Lowry found a dark Red-tailed Hawk of the western subspecies (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) near I-94 and Greenfield (taking time to study it by engaging in marginally legal traffic maneuvers). This is the second B.j. calurus seen in Dearborn.
Jim Fowler saw a Northern Shrike on 9 December at the Greenfield Village, and Gary Hutman relocated the Northern Mockingbird that’s been around for months behind the office buildings at Rotunda and Greenfield.
Horned Larks were found on 17 November (nine near the Rouge south of Rotunda by Gary Hutman) and 25 November (two over Greenfield Village by Jim Fowler, Jr.). Gary found four Snow Buntings at the Horned Lark location on 28 November.
Gary Hutman found three Dunlin along the concrete channel of the Rouge River on 24 October 1996, the first sighting since 1953 in Dearborn.
Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and 1 to 3 Least Sandpipers have been spotted along the channelized banks of the Rouge River (thanks to Gary Hutman for monitoring this depressing stretch of river).
Dave Washington and Mike O’Leary first spotted a pair of mockingbirds near Rotunda and Greenfield back in May, and saw them through 2 June. We hoped to find a nest, but didn’t hear from the mockers until July, when a number of people reported hearing them sing during televised broadcasts of the Senior Players Tournament at the nearby TPC golf course! Mike then re- located an adult and juvenile in the original location on 3 August. This is Dearborn’s first nesting record for this species, which is still uncommon as a breeder in Michigan.
A colony of about 20 pairs of Bank Swallows was found in a large dirt pile at Greenfield and Butler by Dave Washington. Wielding his influence as a retired Dearborn cop, Dave convinced the city (who own the lot) not to demolish the pile until the young had fledged.
April – early May 1996:
- Pied-billed Grebes arrived on 18 April, and we’ve kept about 12 around…and one day last eek hit a high total of 16 grebes feasting on the goldfish on Fairlane Lake!
- Green Heron: 25 April
- On 24 April, I observed a male Cooper’s Hawk building a nest on the floodplain. He continued for several days, but hasn’t been spotted working on the nest recently. It was along a well-traveled path; perhaps he moved to a quieter location.
- Broad-winged Hawk seen 26 April over the area where this species has attempted to nest in the past.
- Bald Eagles are unusual in Dearborn, and two were seen being harassed by Red-tails on 28 April.
- Spotted Sandpiper:3 May
- Chimney Swift: 21 April by Gary Hutman was an early record
- Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers first showed up 19 April, and have been scarce
- Eastern Kingbird: 4 May
- Most swallows (Cliff, Tree, Barn, and Northern Rough-winged) arrived about 19 April
- The Red-breasted Nuthatch banded on 4 November 1995 that hung around our feeders all winter was still being seen last week
- House Wrens came back 24 April, and at least one pair of Carolina Wrens are on territory, one in the Rose Garden/south end of lake area
- Golden-crowned Kinglets were not seen in good numbers this spring after their arrival 17 April, but Ruby-crowns are still plentiful since they arrived on 24 April. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers came on the same day, and at least 6 were seen in one area this morning.
- Hermit Thrushes appeared on 18 April, but have been very scarce, with only a few reported
- Brown Thrasher: 18 April
- Wood Thrush: 3 May
- A singing male WHITE-EYED VIREO was found on 3 May by Jerry Sadowski and Mike Harhold. WEVIs nested here in 1983 and have been seen in most years, but this is the first sighting since two were banded in fall 1992.
- Solitary and Yellow-throated Vireo 1 May and 3 May respectively
- Tennessee – 2 May
- Nashville – seen early on 21 April by Rick Simek; none again until 4 May
- Yellow – 4 May
- Black-throated Blue – 4 May
- Yellow-rumped – 24 April
- Black-throated Green – 27 April
- Pine – 21 April
- Palm – 27 April
- Black-and-white – 30 April
- Northern Waterthrush – 29 April
- Common Yellowthroat – 4 May
- Eastern Towhee: 19 April, good numbers this year
- Chipping Sparrow: 19 April
- Field Sparrow: 18 April
- Fox Sparrow: 12 April
- Swamp Sparrow: 25 April
- White-throated Sparrow: 19 April, many this week, diminished today
- White-crowned Sparrow: 27 April
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