Sighting archives 2000-2004


Dec 2004:

30 Dec: A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds foraging in the sunflower fields on both sides of Hubbard Drive near Ford World Headquarters today. Also reported from campus were a Sharp-shinned Hawk and Brown Creeper.

29 Dec: An adult Peregrine was found at the Ford Rouge Plant today.

26 Dec: An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was at the Ford Rouge Plant today; second city record. Our faithful Northern Mockingbird was at the brush dump today, poking through the steaming piles of wood chips. Two Common Mergansers were in the open water beneath the waterfall at the Estate.

20 Dec: An Eastern Bluebird today at the EIC feeders is a first winter record. Forty Tundra Swans flew over west Dearborn.

15 Dec: This is the last date for the Snow Goose, again near Greenfield Village.

8 Dec: The Snow Goose is seen again, this time near Greenfield Village. We learned that it was frist seen there on 2 Dec.

7 Dec: Twenty Common Mergansers flew over campus.

5 Dec: The Snow Goose was seen again in the Evergreen median.

4 Dec: A white-phase Snow Goose was with a group of Canada Geese foraging along the median of Evergreen Road in front of campus. There are fewer than 10 records for Dearborn. A Common Grackle is lingering at a west Dearborn feeder.

Nov 2004:

22 Nov: Tundra Swans are on the move, with large flocks being heard overnight in west Dearborn. Today, a Merlin was seen from the concrete channel of the Rouge River at the TPC Golf Course. Along Michigan Avenue near Brady St. a probable Northern Goshawk was seen this morning. Three Snow Buntings flew over the lake; while this species is occasionally recorded in Dearborn, this is our first campus record.

18 Nov: There were four Ring-necked Ducks on the lake today; they are very infrequent visitors to campus and we’ve only had one other fall record. Fox Sparrows are still around, with three being seen today. With the mild temperatures, there are still a few tree crickets singing!

1 Nov: A Greater Yellowlegs is found along the Rouge River channel.

Oct 2004:

30 Oct: The first American Tree Sparrow of the year is found at one of the Ford sunflower fields, along with an Orange-crowned Warbler.

27 Oct: A Marsh Wren in the banding area (but, alas, not the nets) was an unusual find today.

25 Oct: A tardy Palm Warbler was seen yesterday, and today a Black-throated Blue Warbler tied the late date.

23 Oct: The usual suspects have still been around, with Nashville and Orange-crowned Warblers, as well as Common Yellowthroats, still being seen nearly daily, along with the standard Yellow-rumped Warblers. Today a Peregrine Falcon cruised over the EIC, and five Rusty Blackbirds were found in the swamp along with a House Wren; this was a new late date for that species. Purple Finches continue to be seen every day, and another was banded yesterday.

11 Oct: This week, noticable increases in the numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows, but still very modest numbers of Hermit Thrushes. Purple Finches (11 today) and Red-breasted Nuthatches (3 today) continue daily, which is fairly unusual for this site. The first Fox Sparrow was found today. Lingering warblers today (excluding the many Yellow-rumps) were Nashville and Palm, yesterday an Ovenbird was banded.

2 Oct: Finally, the first Hermit Thrush arrives, although we have not yet banded one.

1 Oct: The first Dark-eyed Junco of fall (winter?) is banded. Other treats today included a beautiful Blue-headed Vireo right outside the window of the banding lab, a Scarlet Tanager, another Purple Finch in the nets, and the tiny trumpet of a Red-breasted Nuthatch, which are being heard nearly daily.

Sep 2004:

29 Sep: The first Orange-crowned Warbler of the season was found today.

27 Sep: There seemed to be a slight increase in Nashville Warblers today, and the first Yellow-rumped Warblers and Golden-crowned Kinglets of fall were observed. A Blue-winged Warbler, one of only a handful of fall records, furnished a late date for this species. A Yellow-belllied Sapsucker was in east Dearborn.

26 Sep: White-crowned Sparrows have hit town. A good mix of birds was still around, and we banded 64 birds, our season high so far. Among them, eight Lincoln’s Sparrows and seven Common Yellowthroats, indicating a building number of these species.

25 Sep: A nice infux of migrants, with Blue-headed Vireo being a new arrival. A couple more Cape Mays were among 13 species of warblers found on today’s survey.

23 Sep: No new species have showed up this week with south winds, except for Cape May Warbler today.

20 Sep: Fall’s first Ruby-crowned Kinglets are found both in the nets and in the field.

19 Sep: A great day at the nets today, with Northern Parula, Swamp Sparrow, and Gray-cheeked Thrush being new arrivals. Three Winter Wrens were banded today, after yesterday’s early arrival. Red-breasted Nuthatches continue to be recorded nearly daily. This is unusual in our area which has only a few conifers. A Purple Finch was also found today.

18 Sep: A Winter Wren today is an early arrival date. White-throated Sparrows have also hit town.

16 Sep: Another Connecticut Warbler is banded today — a stunning adult male.

15 Sep: The first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher of the season is found on today’s survey.

14 Sep: A modest number of warblers and other migrants are in the area today, with the only new arrival being Philadelphia Vireo.

12 Sep: After a few slow days, another flush of migrants arrived. Highlights in the nets were Connecticut Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and 18 other species (12 warbler species total). We also banded our 100th new catbird of the season.

9 Sep: The cold front produced the expected influx of migrants. Several good flocks were found today. We had 18 species of warblers, including the first Black-throated Blues (10), Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Black-and-white, Mourning, and Canada. The first Lincoln’s Sparrow of the year was also banded. Our Northern Mockingbird was singing in the Rose Garden.

8 Sep: A breezy day made banding difficult, but our first migrant Common Yellowthroat and Palm Warbler were caught today.

7 Sep: The cool weather system brought in some warblers. In east Dearborn, Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, and Tennessee were found.

6 Sep: The first Swainson’s Thrushes were banded.

5 Sep: The first Chestnut-sided Warbler is observed.

3 Sep: An adult female Purple Finch in heavy molt was banded today set a new early fall arrival dates. A Wilson’s Warbler was also new for fall.

2 Sep: Our first American Redstart was banded today, and although migrants remain limited, five Magnolia and two Nashville Warblers were also banded.

Aug 2004:

31 Aug: A Magnolia Warbler was banded, first of the season.

30 Aug: A Red-breasted Nuthatch was seen in one of the few spruce trees on campus today.

23 Aug: A Veery and a Nashville Warbler were banded today, but otherwise there are very few migrants around yet.

20 Aug: The little cold front yesterday seems to have pushed a few migrants into town. Three “Traill’s” Flycatchers were banded (one with measurements inconclusive, the other 2 falling into the Willow camp), as was an adult Ovenbird molting wing feathers. A Tennessee Warbler was observed along with the season’s first Nashville Warbler.

19 Aug: An adult Tennessee Warbler molting wing feathers was banded today. This species is a known “molt migrant.” These migrate a short distance after breeding, molt, then continue migration.

18 Aug: Autumn’s first Least Flycatcher was banded today.

17 Aug: A Northern Waterthrush was banded today, our first true migrant of the season. Also banded was one of the American Woodcocks frequenting the area.

16 Aug: Banding began today, with 46 birds of 11 species netted, mostly young American Robins and Gray Catbirds. American Woodcocks have been found the last week or so in the banding area and surrounding woods. A Brown Thrasher has been in the banding area for several days as well.

Jun 2004:

30 Jun: Here’s a Wayne Co. Breeding Bird Atlas update. In the two blocks covered by RRBO than include Dearborn, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were confirmed on campus, two Common Yellowthroats were found, with one near the Rouge River channel still on territory on 28 Jun; and two Willow Flycatchers along the channel. A surprise find, just outside city limits in Allen Park, was a singing male Black-throated Blue Warbler on 18 Jun. This is probably just a tardy migrant.

A male Red-breasted Nuthatch was seen and heard in Dearborn today. Rather than an early migrant, this was more likely post-breeding dispersal. I know of at least one successful nesting, in Huron Twp., this year.

May 2004:

30 May: A variety of warblers can still be found (Mourning, Wilson’s, Black-throated Blue, Chestnut-sided and Magnolia), but in very small numbers. A Philadelphia Vireo in east Dearborn was a new late date.

23 May: A mix of late-season warblers today, mostly Mourning, Wilson’s, and Magnolia. A singing male Hooded Warbler was also found, a late date for Dearborn. Two American Woodcock were flushed from the banding area.

22 May: A White-crowned Sparrow in east Dearborn was getting late.

21 May: An increase in flycatchers was evident today, with Alder, Willow, Yellow-bellied, and Least, and Eastern Wood-Pewee all banded. Canada, Mourning, and Wilson’s Warblers were common.

20 May: A late Yellow-rumped Warbler was banded today.

19 May: Things picked up a bit, with many more female birds banded. The dominant species were Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, and Nashville Warbler. A White-eyed Vireo was reported near the south end of the lake.

17 May: An Olive-sided Flycatcher was reported today near the Estate.

16 May: While a quiet morning, we banded a female Hooded Warbler and heard a singing male near the south end of the lake, the latter first reported yesterday.

14 May: Still quiet, with the only new arrivals being Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Alder/Willow Flycatcher.

13 May: Many migrants have moved out. It was quiet today, and females of quite a few species are beginning to dominate. New arrivals were Mourning Warbler and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

12 May: One of the Clay-colored Sparrows reported Sunday remains on campus at the north edge of parking lot “C” adjacent to the parking structure. It has been singing in the pines and oak trees east of the storage buildings near the organic garden.

Our resident Northern Mockingbird was singing in the dump this morning. It was considerably quieter than it has been the previous two days, but there are still a good variety of birds around. After banding the season’s first Eastern Wood-Pewees weeks ago, we had our first singing birds today. Orioles and Lincoln’s Sparrows seemed in good numbers, too. Two female Hooded Mergansers, which were on the lake yesterday, were on the river today. It’s a little late for them here.

In east Dearborn, there was a White-eyed Vireo, Blackpoll Warbler, and the first Common Nighthawks of the season were noted.

10 May: Not much left during last night’s rain, and over 60 birds were banded this morning, including 9 Northern Waterthrushes. Twenty warblers species were recorded, with at least two Golden-winged Warblers around. Gray-cheeked Thrush, Philadelphia Vireo, and Bay-breasted Warblers were new arrivals. A Whippoorwill was heard in Dearborn this evening.

9 May: A decent fallout of birds occurred today. A highlight was two singing Clay-colored Sparrows; UM-D is one of the most reliable sites for this species during migration. One or possibly two Cerulean Warblers were singing in the rose garden. New arrivals included Golden-winged Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Northern Parula, and Blackburnian Warbler.

8 May: A Yellow-breasted Chat was in the big meadow today. The first Yellow-throated Vireos were also found. Two Bobolinks, one singing, flew over west Dearborn. Good numbers of Wood Thrushes and Ovenbirds were also present (10+ each).

7 May: An American Bittern, the 7th modern Dearborn record, was at the lake today. The first American Redstart was also found.

6 May: Our highlight of the day was banding a nice “Brewster’s” Warbler. New arrivals were Scarlet Tanagers and Chestnut-sided Warbler. A Purple Finch was near the interpretive center feeders.

5 May: A singing Worm-eating Warbler was tantalizingly close to the nets this morning, but was last heard heading toward the north end of the lake. North winds still kept migrant numbers down, with the only other new arrivals being Red-eyed Vireo and Veery. A Solitary Sandpiper was mudding around the puddles near the Interpretive Center.

4 May: Not a large increase in bird numbers, but a few new arrivals: Tennessee and Magnolia Warblers, Swainson’s Thrush, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

April 2004:

30 Apr: Lots of White-crowned Sparrows, Gray Catbirds, and Common Yellowthroats around today, and new arrivals Indigo Bunting, Northern Waterthrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and Wood Thrush.

29 Apr: New arrivals today were Great Crested Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, and one or two Orchard Orioles (new early date for them). The Cerulean Warbler was refound, as well as a different Prothonotary Warbler.

28 Apr: Two Eastern Wood-Pewees were banded today, and two Eastern Kingbirds were also seen. These are both early dates. A Chimney Swift was also found, and the first Nashville Warbler in east Dearborn.

26 Apr: A Lapland Longspur was a flyover.

24 Apr: Along the concrete channel of the Rouge River, Cliff Swallows have returned. A Greater Yellowlegs was also found, more common here in fall.

23 Apr: An early Cerulean Warbler was found today. The Blue-winged Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and (presumably the same) Lincoln’s Sparrow were also all present.

22 Apr: Both the Blue-winged Warbler and Prothonotary Warbler were relocated today. Look for the Prothonotary on the west side of the lake about midway between the north and south ends; it forages very close to the water. New arrivals today included Gray Catbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Palm Warbler, and Ovenbird.

21 Apr: Both the Lincoln’s Sparrow and Prothonotary Warbler were relocated today. A Blue-winged Warbler was a new early date. The first Blue-headed Vireo and Purple Finches were seen. Sparrows were everywhere — many White-throated Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows, and lesser numbers of Field Sparrows and newly arrived White-crowned Sparrows.

20 Apr: A Lincoln’s Sparrow was found on the survey today (a new early date). A Prothonotary Warbler was seen by the north end of the lake.

19 Apr: The first really warm weather of spring brought in a spate of new migrants over the weekend. Today the first Black-throated Green Warbler was found. A Common Loon flew over, and a Rusty Blackbird was singing by the lake.

On 18 Apr, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, a Green Heron, and a Spotted Sandpiper were along the Rouge River channel. On campus, the first Pine Warblers and Black-and-white Warblers were found. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Broad-winged Hawks were found on 17 Apr; a number of Broad-wings were seen migrating over the weekend.

The highlight of the year so far was Dearborn’s first Varied Thrush, found near Edsel Ford High School on the evening of 16 Apr. Despite much searching, it was not relocated over the weekend. This is Dearborn’s 256th species, and the third record for Wayne Co.

15 Apr: Banding began today for the spring season, and the only new arrival banded was a Swamp Sparrow. Other new migrants included Barn Swallow and Savannah Sparrow on the Rouge River channel.

12 Apr: The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet was on campus today.

10 Apr: The immature Peregrine Falcon was seen at the Ford Rouge plant again today. A Brown Thrasher was along the Rouge channel along with two Great Egrets.

9 Apr: A Bonaparte’s Gull and over 300 Double-crested Cormorants were at the Ford Rouge Plant.

6 Apr: Our resident Northern Mockingbird was seen again in the brush dump today.

5 Apr: The first Chipping Sparrow of the season was noted on campus today.

3 Apr: Double-crested Cormorants were on the Rouge River today. An Eastern Meadowlark was along the Rouge channel; they used to nest there but increased development seems to have prevented them from nesting the last few years. An immature Peregrine Falcon was seen at the Ford Rouge plant. A Rusty Blackbird was at the sunflower field at Southfield and Hubbard, perhaps the same one that wintered at the nearby field at Michigan and Mercury. An Eastern Towhee was on campus yesterday.

March 2004:

30 Mar: A Winter Wren was singing on campus today.

29 Mar: A Field Sparrow is found on campus.

28 Mar: Two Horned Grebes were at the Ford pond at Beech and Oakwood today, and two more were along the Rouge River channel near Rotunda. We have only a handful of records for this species. Also at the Ford pond were several Hooded Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe. Tree Swallows have returned to nesting locations along the Rouge River channel, where both an American Woodcock and Wilson’s Snipe were also found, the snipe being an increasingly difficult bird to find in the city. An Eastern Phoebe was on campus, one was also found along the Rouge channel. Five White-crowned Sparrows were found at the sunflower field on Michigan Avenue, where they overwintered. A Common Redpoll was at an east Dearborn feeder.

27 Mar: The first Golden-crowned Kinglets of the season were widespread today.

26 Mar: Migrant Fox Sparrows have returned to Dearborn.

20 Mar: An Eastern Bluebird was seen along the Rouge River channel today.

12 Mar: Two Wood Ducks were on Fairlane Lake, and two Ring-necked Ducks were on the Ford ponds at Oakwood and Village Road. Yesterday, four American Crows flew over campus — crow sightings are notable in Wayne Co. the last year!

8 Mar: Dearborn’s first Turkey Vulture of the spring was seen today.

6 Mar: A Northern Harrier was seen over campus.

4 Mar: Three Sandhill Cranes flew over campus.

2 Mar: Eight Tundra Swans flew over campus today.

1 Mar: A single Common Redpoll visited the feeders today on campus.

February 2004:

29 Feb: A single Sandhill Crane flew near the Rouge River in east Dearborn. The Lark Sparrow, not reported since 24 Jan, reappeared briefly at an east Dearborn feeder today.

22 Feb: The Rusty Blackbird is still present at the sunflower field at Mercury and Michigan Ave., and was singing today. Fifteen White-crowned Sparrows were also tallied there. Nearly 20 White-throated Sparrows have overwintered on campus.

21 Feb: A young Bald Eagle was flying near the Rouge River in east Dearborn.

20 Feb: The first Common Grackle of the season was seen today on campus, as was a Winter Wren.

17 Feb: A Pine Siskin showed up at the same west Dearborn feeder as below. A singing male Red-winged Blackbird, a presumed migrant, was on campus today.

16 Feb: Three Common Redpolls briefly visited a feeder near Michigan Ave. and Telegraph today.

8 Feb: Horned Larks have been recorded at the sunflower field at Michigan and Mercury, and flying over campus. The Rusty Blackbird was relocated at the sunflower field recently, and White-crowned Sparrows are still present.

January 2004:

14 Jan: A Lark Sparrow has been present at a feeder in Dearborn since 12 Jan. This is the first winter record for Michigan.

13 Jan: The Northern Mockingbird was behind the Fairlane Estate today, feeding on sumac. The Merlin was seen again on Michigan Avenue near Ford World Headquarters.

10 Jan: An adult Bald Eagle and a Tundra Swan were seen on the Rouge River channel today. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was on campus. Two Fox Sparrows are in an east Dearborn neighborhood, visiting feeders.

8 Jan: The survey today turned up a Swamp Sparrow, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

7 Jan: A Lesser Black-backed Gull at the Ford Rouge Plant today was a new species for Dearborn, #255.

4 Jan: Ten Great Black-backed Gulls were at the Ford Rouge Plant today.

1 Jan: A number of good birds were found on the Dearborn portion of the Detroit River Christmas Bird Count. Two of the best were found at the sunflower field at Michigan Avenue and Mercury — a Merlin and Rusty Blackbird. Both were new for the Dearborn count, and first winter records for Dearborn; the Merlin was also a new bird for the 26-year-old Detroit River count. A Chipping Sparrow was also found in this field. Eleven White-crowned Sparrows were counted in three locations. These last two species were considered very rare in winter until a few years ago. Two Snow Buntings were on the concrete channel of the Rouge River, the first on the count since 1995. Two Horned Larks were nearby. Our semi-resident Northern Mockingbird was spotted along Evergreen Road behind the Big Fish restaurant at Fairlane Town Center. Two Winter Wrens and a Swamp Sparrow were on campus. A Fox Sparrow visited a feeder in east Dearborn. A Mute Swan on the concrete channel was also new for the count.

At least two Northern Saw-whet Owls were found during count week. Because people have trampled numerous new paths in the vegetation on campus looking for owls, we will not post their locations any longer. If you visit the campus natural area for whatever reason, PLEASE stay on the trails! Going off trail spreads the seeds of invasive plant species, creates excellent corridors for predators including feral cats and dogs, compacts the soils, crushes native wildflowers, etc.

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