Sighting archives 2005-2009


December 2007:

30 Dec: Around 40 Common Redpolls were at he fields at the Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard.

29 Dec: Nineteen Snow Buntings were in the barren field at the Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard, along with over 300 Brown-headed Cowbirds, 3 Fox Sparrows, 5 White-throated Sparrow, and one White-crowned Sparrow.

28 Dec: A Hoary Redpoll was found at the north end of the lake along with a small flock of Common Redpolls. This is a first record for Dearborn!

18 Dec: A Common Redpoll was at the feeders on campus, along with several Pine Siskins and a half-dozen White-throated Sparrows. Over 200 American Robins are now feeding on the ornamental crabapples on campus.

15 Dec: A Common Redpoll was banded in east Dearborn along with — surprise — a Northern Shrike, in a residential yard. The young male Peregrine, along with six White-crowned Sparrows, were at the fields at the Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard.

11 Dec: A single Common Redpoll was at an east Dearborn feeder.

8 Dec: The following birds were found at the fields at Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard today: Merlin, eight Horned Larks, seven Common Redpolls, four White-throated Sparrows, and one White-crowned Sparrow. The Fox Sparrow first seen on 4 Dec was found again today at an east Dearborn feeder.

7 Dec: A single Common Redpoll was at an east Dearborn feeder.

4 Dec: A Fox Sparrow showed up at an east Dearborn feeder today.

2 Dec: Three Common Redpolls were seen in east Dearborn.

1 Dec: A Northern Goshawk seen briefly near Ford Road and the Southfield Fwy (M-39). One of the Peregrine Falcons was still being observed near field at Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard. A Northern Saw-whet Owl was found roosting in a tree in an east Dearborn yard.

November 2007:

25 Nov: A Winter Wren was seen in east Dearborn, and a Killdeer was also noted.

24 Nov: In addition to the Merlin, a young male and adult female Peregrine Falcon were seen in the field at Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard. Only one Common Redpoll was located there today.

23 Nov: A small flock of Tundra Swans flew over east Dearborn today.

20 Nov: One Common Redpoll appeared at the EIC feeders.

17 Nov: At the field at Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard the female Merlin was found again. At least 8 Common Redpolls and one male Purple Finch were in the flocks of other finches. In the bare dirt field, there were 13 Horned Larks, and at least one American Pipit was present. Sparrows included 5 or 6 each of Fox, White-crowned, and White-throated. Small numbers of American Tree Sparrows were also found.

13 Nov: A Common Redpoll (previously reported as a Red Crossbill) was heard flying over west Dearborn. In east Dearborn, several Golden-crowned Kinglets were still present.

11 Nov: A female Merlin was seen at the fields at Southfield Fwy (M-39) Service Dr and Hubbard.

3 Nov: Two Rusty Blackbirds in the nets today were only the second and third ever captured by RRBO; the first was our 10,000th bird banded, in fall 2005.

October 2007:

26 Oct: A single Pine Siskin was the EIC feeders today, as was a single American Tree Sparrow. An Eastern Phoebe was banded, along with our 14th Orange-crowned Warbler of the season, tying our fall record for number banded. A smattering of Purple Finches have been seen or heard nearly daily.

28 Oct: A tardy House Wren was banded today.

26 Oct: At the sunflower/wildflower fields at Hubbard and the Southfield Fwy. service drive, the first American Tree Sparrow and Fox Sparrow of fall were located. There were five Rusty Blackbirds at the sunflower field at Michigan Avenue and Mercury Drive.

25 Oct: An immature Northern Goshawk flew over campus today.

24 Oct: There is an obvious new pulse of Swamp Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Orange-crowned Warblers today, and there are still lots of American Goldfinch. One was a recapture originally banded in 2005. We also banded a one-legged adult Yellow-rumped Warbler. A House Wren is still present.

22 Oct: After more dull days and then a hiatus due to high winds, we were able to get back to the nets today. Our bird of the year was an adult Northern Shrike, the first RRBO has banded and the earliest fall record for Dearborn (previous early date was 10 Nov). A Rusty Blackbird flew over with other blackbirds. A House Wren is not our latest date, but past the typical departure of 15 Oct. Sparrows have waned, especially White-crowned Sparrows, but Hermit Thrushes have increased, as have both species of kinglets. One Orange-crowned Warbler was banded today, there were good numbers of Yellow-rumps around. American Goldfinch are present in large numbers. We also noted an Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Towhee.

12 Oct: Many more birds around today. Lingering migrants included House Wren, Magnolia Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and American Woodcock. Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers were also around, as expected. Red-winged Blackbirds were becoming more numerous in the flocks of Common Grackles. More sparrows were present, with White-crowned seeming slightly more evident than White-throateds.

10 Oct: What might end up being the last Gray Catbird of the fall was seen gleaning berries in east Dearborn.

9 Oct: The change in weather brought in a modest number of migrants. The most interesting bird was a Yellow-throated Vireo, only the second fall record for Dearborn and the first fall record for campus.

5 Oct: In contrast with yesterday, it was extremely quiet today in the unseasonable heat and humidity. A singing Blue-headed Vireo was near the banding area, but eluded the nets; the first fall Orange-crowned Warbler was captured, though.

4 Oct: More activity today, with Hermit Thrushes and White-crowned Sparrows making their first appearances. A very late Connecticut Warbler was banded; the previous late date was 13 September. A lingering Scarlet Tanager was also seen today, and the first Dark-eyed Juncos of the season were seen in east Dearborn.

3 Oct: There is still a Ruby-throated Hummingbird coming to a feeder in east Dearborn.

2 Oct: A Northern Mockingbird was banded today. The only other mockingbird we have banded was in May 2005.

1 Oct: Migrants, aside from Yellow-rumped Warblers, were scarce today. Thrushes were absent. The first Winter Wren of the season was found on the survey. A Green Heron is getting tardy.

September 2007:

30 Sep: The first fall Brown Creeper was in east Dearborn.

28 Sep: Today things were much quieter — at least in the nets and perhaps because of a strong breeze. We did band our first Golden-crowned Kinglet of the season, as well as a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher which is getting a bit late.

27 Sep: Things have finally picked up here on campus. There was a huge movement of American Robins at dawn. The most numerous migrant birds were Lincoln’s Sparrows and Palm Warblers, with continued good numbers of Nashville Warblers. Indigo Buntings are never numerous in our nets; our fall average is 3.5 birds and our record is 16. Today we banded our 20th. Many seasons I don’t band a Savannah Sparrow, but today we had three. We also banded our 100th new Gray Catbird of the season, two-thirds of our way to average numbers. Meanwhile, White-throated Sparrows and thrushes remain scarce so far.

What is very striking is the ratio of adults to young. Like most other banding stations, we band many more young birds than adults — about 85% or more are young birds, especially of passage migrants (species which do not nest here). Today, of the 41 birds of 14 species of passage migrants banded, only 53% were young birds. Our robin numbers are down in general, and only 50% have been young birds.

Should these figures remain like this the entire season, we might suspect that productivity was low for the species with low numbers of young birds. I would suspect that this could be due to the prolonged spring freeze. Perhaps fewer birds arrived on the nesting grounds, or those that did arrive got there in poor condition, or too late to nest. We had a very dry summer — and the drought in some parts of the far north was even worse — that may have also played a part in low productivity. We’ll have to see how it all plays out.

The first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the season was also found today in east Dearborn.

23 Sep: We banded a very late Yellow Warbler today — typical departure date is 5 September, latest date was 14 September. The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season today was exactly on time, with the typical fall arrival of 23 September.

21 Sep: The first Lincoln’s Sparrow of fall was banded today. Nashville Warblers are clearly on the increase.

20 Sep: White-throated Sparrows were found today on the survey, and a number of others were in east Dearborn later in the day.

18 Sep: New fall arrivals today were Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Gray-cheeked Thrush.

17 Sep: A Yellow-rumped Warbler banded today was a little earlier than our typical 19 September arrival date.

14 Sep: The first Northern Parula of fall was seen today.

13 Sep: Broad-winged Hawks have started to move, with a kettle of 57 flying over campus today — usually we don’t get groups at this location.

10 Sep: Today new arrivals banded were Purple Finch and Philadelphia Vireo. Blackpoll Warblers and American Redstarts were the most common warbler species.

August 2007:

29 Aug: Today eleven warbler species were found on the survey (Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Black-and-white, Wilson’s, Canada, and American Redstart) with an additional one (Ovenbird) being banded. However, only the Bay-breasted was a new species for the season.

28 Aug: The new arrival today was Black-throated Blue Warbler. A Broad-winged Hawk was also found on the survey.

27 Aug: The first Wilson’s Warbler and Mourning Warbler of the season were banded today.

25 Aug: New migrants found on the campus survey today were Blackpoll Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler.

22 Aug: Two American Redstarts were banded today before the rain started. A Swainson’s Thrush was seen in west Dearborn.

21 Aug: Fall banding started today. Among the usual suspects (including 27 juvenile Gray Catbirds) was the first Ovenbird of the season. We had two recaptures: both Red-eyed Vireos that were originally banded as adults, one on 17 Aug 2006, and the other on 25 Aug 2004. It was the first recapture for both of them.

17 Aug: Fall migrants noted today on campus were Black-and-white Warbler, Canada Warbler, Cape May Warbler, and Tennessee Warbler.

13 Aug: Fall migration has begun, with a Chestnut-sided Warbler showing up near Oakwood Hospital today. This beats the previous early fall date by three days.

July 2007:

11 Jul: A singing male Blackpoll Warbler showed up in east Dearborn on 9 July and was still present today; summer records in southern Michigan are virtually unknown.

June 2007:

23 Jun: A Red-breasted Nuthatch was in east Dearborn today. June birds seem to be post-breeding dispersers.

22 Jun: A very late male Black-throated Blue Warbler was along the main trail in the Natural Area today. It’s the second of the last several years that tardy migrants have showed up in the area.

8 Jun: An Acadian Flycatcher was singing in the floodplain today.

7 Jun: A singing male Orchard Oriole was found along the concrete channel of the Rouge River, in the same place one was found on 12 May.

6 Jun: A singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet in east Dearborn was two weeks past the previous late date for this species.

3 Jun: Probably the last Swainson’s Thrush of the season was found today. A Broad-winged Hawk was also on the floodplain on campus.

May 2007:

30 May: A few lingering migrants are still around: Black-throated Green Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, and Swainson’s Thrush (today); Northern Waterthrush and Blackpoll Warbler (yesterday).

25 May: Migrants today included Blackpoll Warbler, Canada Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Gray-cheeked Thrush, and Lincoln’s Sparrow (4) — all banded; and Magnolia Warbler, Veery, and Common Yellowthroat. Yellow-billed Cuckoos are heard daily.

21 May: Two calling Sandhill Cranes flying over campus provides our only date between mid-April and fall. Also late was a Peregrine Falcon on the ledge of an office building at Fairlane Town Center. White-throated Sparrow and Yellow-rumped Warbler were both recorded today.

20 May: Today, there were more birds around, though hardly enough to qualify as a “wave” any year but this one. The most unusual was the number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. There were four on campus (including one singing) and two in east Dearborn in the evening. The typical departure date for this species is 16 May, and our latest date is 22 May. White-crowned Sparrows usually depart between 20-23 May, but today there were at least six on the survey, and four were banded. White-throated Sparrows have a typical departure date of 19 May, but several were on campus, and another in east Dearborn. Red-eyed Vireos were also clearly around in higher numbers. Fourteen warbler species were recorded today.

18 May: A singing Connecticut Warbler was near the organic garden this morning.

17 May: Still ANOTHER Orchard Oriole was found on the concrete channel of the Rouge River, this one a young male near Michigan Avenue (the others have been older males).

16 May: Slow-motion, Migration “Lite” continues. Today, the first Philadelphia Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher were seen, otherwise…low numbers of a wide diversity of species.

14 May: Two flyover Bobolinks were unusual for campus. Yet another Orchard Oriole was spotted in east Dearborn, hanging around a Springwells Park feeding station with juicy oranges.

12 May: The North American Migration Count was held today, with all of UMD being covered. We had 80 species (20 warblers). The best bird was a briefly singing male Cerulean Warbler at Fairlane Estate near the boat house. Overall, we had only one really good warbler flock. Tennessee Warblers dominated, with 22 individuals for the day on campus. Yellow-rumped Warbler, with 15 birds, was the only other warbler species with double-digit numbers. Incredible! Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, and American Redstart are also still very scarce. Empidonax flycatchers, with the exception of a few Leasts, were still absent, although an Eastern Wood-Pewee showed up (first spring arrival).

An Orchard Oriole was found along the Rouge River channel, two miles upstream from the one seen on 7 May.

11 May: No new arrivals today, but a singing Clay-colored Sparrow was in the organic garden this morning. An Orchard Oriole was in east Dearborn.

10 May: Looks like some more migrants arrived, with Mourning Warbler being a new spring arrival. A Common Nighthawk, first of spring, was reported from near Oakwood Hospital.

9 May: Good diversity this morning before the rain, but numbers decreased since yesterday, as some migrants probably kept moving on favorable conditions last night. New arrivals today were Blackpoll Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, and Gray-cheeked Thrush.

8 May: Many new migrants arrived today. The highlight was a Prothonotary Warbler at the south end of Fairlane Lake; it was not singing and could not be relocated shortly after the initial sighting. A Red-headed Woodpecker was in the Hickory Meadow. First-of-spring species were Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Bay-breasted Warbler, Canada Warbler, and Indigo Bunting. A Golden-winged Warbler was singing a song that most resembled a Northern Parula or Prairie Warbler. There was a notable increase in the numbers of Gray Catbirds, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and — for their third wave of spring — White-crowned Sparrows. Off campus, American Redstarts were found near Oakwood Hospital.

7 May: A change in wind direction ushered in some migrants, but there was nothing around in any abundance. A second-year male Orchard Oriole was banded on campus, our second in 15 years; and an older male was found along the concrete channel of the Rouge River. Otherwise, species composition remained similar to the past several days, except there were many fewer Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows.

6 May: Strong east winds continue to impede much migration. Two Swainson’s Thrushes were banded today, and a Scarlet Tanager was also noted.

5 May: Migrant numbers are diminishing. Green Heron, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Tennessee Warbler were new today, but few species are around in good numbers. A Red-shouldered Hawk ties the late date for this species, which is more often seen in fall.

4 May: Another uptick in the numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers, but otherwise only one or two good clumps of migrants. Chestnut-sided Warbler was the only new arrival.

3 May: Numbers of migrants were diminished today. Common Yellowthroat was the only new arrival. Two Pine Warblers were also seen.

2 May: An Osprey was around briefly this morning, and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird today tied the campus early date. The first Spotted Sandpiper was on the Rouge River channel. Species composition was similar to yesterday.

1 May: A Grasshopper Sparrow was in the community organic garden this morning; this species is not common here and this is also a new early date for Dearborn. There were many migrants around, with new arrivals that included multiple Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Northern Parulas, and Least Flycatchers. Also new were Veery, Blackburnian Warbler, and Cape May Warbler. The most numerous species were White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and Yellow-rumped Warbler, with more Nashville Warblers also in evidence.

Apr 2007:

30 Apr: There was not a huge increase in the number of migrants, with the northeast winds, but Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, and Lincoln’s Sparrows (two banded and one seen) were new arrivals today.

29 Apr: The first Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, and Orange-crowned Warblers were seen on campus today. Black-throated Green Warbler was found in west Dearborn. A Common Loon was a flyover.

28 Apr: Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, and Great Crested Flycatcher were the new arrivals today.

27 Apr: Yesterday many migrants had cleared out, but today there was a marked increase in Yellow-rumped Warblers. Among them were two Palm Warblers and the first Blue-winged Warbler of the season. A White-crowned Sparrow was a first near Oakwood Hospital.

24 Apr: Many new spring arrivals today: Chimney Swifts, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Brown Thrashers, Black-and-White Warbler, and Swamp Sparrow. The first Common Terns were seen on the Rouge River channel. White-throated Sparrows were continued numerous.

23 Apr: The first Nashville Warbler was found today. There was a notable influx of White-throated Sparrows, as well as a small increase in Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

22 Apr: Three Wilson’s Snipe were near the organic garden today; there are very few records on campus.

17 Apr: The first Savannah Sparrow of the season was found on the Rouge River channel today.

16 Apr: A pair of Lesser Scaup at the Ford Rouge Plant ties the late date. They were keeping away from the 600 or so Double-crested Cormorants gathered there.

11 Apr: Things are in sort of a holding pattern with the cold weather. The first Hermit Thrush was recorded today, and Fox Sparrows are still present in good numbers, but otherwise much the same as they’ve been for a week.

3 Apr: A Ruby-crowned Kinglet today was a new arrival.

1 Apr: Spring arrivals today included Eastern Towhee, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Great Egret. Six female Red-breasted Mergansers were on the Rouge River channel, following up on the good find on March 31. A pair of American Wigeon on a pond at the TPC Golf Course was only the fourth Dearborn record.

Mar 2007:

31 Mar: A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers on a retention pond on Oakwood Blvd. was an unusual find, with only nine previous records and none in the last six years.. An American Coot was also in the pond.

30 Mar: Fox Sparrows are still around in good numbers, with the concentration being in the Hickory Meadow. At least 12 were there this morning. The first Field Sparrows of the season were also present. A Chipping Sparrow in west Dearborn was a day earlier than our previous early spring date.

29 Mar: The first Barn Swallow was seen today on the concrete channel of the Rouge, a new early date.

28 Mar: Two Bufflehead and a female Common Merganser were on the lake this morning.

26 Mar: At least seven Fox Sparrows in the Hickory Meadow today.

22 Mar: The first Tree Swallow of spring was seen today, a new early date by two days. Two pair of Ring-necked Ducks were on Fairlane Lake today, along with two pair of Wood Ducks, the first of the season, as well as the first Pied-billed Grebe. Migrant Golden-crowned Kinglets have also arrived, seen this morning in a rowdy flock. Quite a few individual migrant Turkey Vultures were moving, and there was one loose flock of fourteen.

13 Mar: Two Eastern Phoebes were along the lakeside trail on campus today, a new early date. An American Woodcock was displaying in east Dearborn.

12 Mar: The first Killdeer arrived.

11 Mar: A migrant Fox Sparrow appeared in east Dearborn today.

10 Mar: A Sandhill Crane flew over east Dearborn.

8 Mar: Our first Turkey Vulture was seen today, with many others reported for the region. More grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds also arrived.

3 Mar: One report of a Common Grackle is our only spring arrival so far.

Feb 2007:

17 Feb: The Swamp Sparrow that has been wintering in the swamp is still present.

Jan 2007:

27 Jan: Two Golden-crowned Kinglets are still on campus, and two Fox Sparrows have remained at an east Dearborn feeder since fall.

25 Jan: A large flock of about 50 Snow Buntings were reported on the Ford Test Track today.

16 Jan: Yesterday, we had a report of an adult Bald Eagle flying over the Oakwood Hospital area. Today, a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was found in the pines along Fairlane Drive on campus, tending fresh sap wells.

12 Jan: Two or three Winter Wrens are still in the swamp, where they were found on the Christmas Count on 1 Jan, as well as a Golden-crowned Kinglet.

7 Jan: A Red-headed Woodpecker in west Dearborn is the first winter record since before 1985; in general, this is a pretty rare species here.

3 Jan: On the Dearborn portion of the Detroit River Christmas Bird Count, we tied the low number of species at 41, with nothing much notable found. A very warm December translated into open water all over the region, dispersing waterfowl and resulting in low counts for these species. Lack of snow cover and warm temperatures also provided increased food supplies for insectivorous birds, which were generally widespread and have been more difficult to find flocked up than in previous seasons. A generally wet fall and heavy rain the day previous to the count made sunflower fields saturated and difficult for birds to forage on ground. One field was not planted (Southfield and Rotunda) and another had no sunflower heads (Rotunda and Schaefer). The 204% increase in starlings over the previous high (and a 500% increase from the previous 10-year average) are from starlings found in the two oldest sunflower fields. A similar situation is found with House Sparrows, with this year’s new high a 328% increase from the previous 10-year average.

With the sunshine today, a number of species were singing, including Winter Wren, House Finch, White-throated Sparrow, American Robin (still over 100 on or near campus), and Northern Cardinal.

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