18 October 2009

Birding at Indiana Dunes State Park

It had been a while since Lindsay and I had gone birding. We both get so busy during the summer that most of our birding is done from Fall to Spring. This past Saturday, the South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society took a birding field trip to Indiana Dunes State Park.

The photograph above shows part of the group on the beach looking at gulls on Lake Michigan. Our first birds of the day were seen here, including a Winter Wren hanging out on excavating equipment. We also saw Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls at this location.

Here, the group is on a platform overlooking a buttonbush marsh near the Wilson Shelter. We saw an Eastern Phoebe perched and continuously pumping its tail, Ruby-crowned Kinglets hunkered down in the buttonbush, and Red-headed Woodpeckers flying back and forth over the marsh. I also heard an Eastern Bluebird at this location.

We also did some birding in the oak savanna and forested dunes. Red-headed Woodpeckers were present in abundance. Other birds of note in the wooded portions include Brown Creepers, a Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Eastern Towhees, and White-throated Sparrows.

Below is our list for the day.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

That is a good list for the day. I know Beth will love this post because she has been maintaining a life list of birds seen.

Scott said...

Lindsay and I also have a life list, but we can only count birds that we both see. I've seen several birds while at work that I don't get to count on our life list because she wasn't there to see them with me. Also, when we were in Costa Rica, Lindsay did the ziplining while I did a canopy walk, and I saw a few birds that we didn't get to count. I do, however, have a secret life list that she isn't aware of!

Beth said...

Haha--oh yes, I would definitely want to keep a list of those "extra" birds!

That's a great list. I'm surprised you saw Juncos already, because they haven't hit our place yet. I was shocked to see a hummingbird at our feeder on Oct. 15. Our residents had been gone for quite a while by that time, but I keep the feeder up in case a late migrater comes by. I think that was the case with this late visitor.

And doggone it, with as many different woodpeckers as we have here, we don't have red-headed. I hear they're quite common in the area, but I have yet to see one here!

Scott said...

Juncos show up near the lake before we start seeing them further inland, though I did hear a report that they were outside the window at the most recent South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society meeting two weeks ago. I think that meeting was in Elkhart. Late migrating hummingbirds have been reported recently on both the Indiana and Berrien County, Michigan birding list servs, so they still seem to be moving through.

We've seen Red-headed Woodpeckers at the park from our property, but we've never had them at our feeders or near our house, unfortunately.

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