My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Memorial Day weekend, Monday, Negwegon State Park

On the last morning of my three-day weekend in the Alpena, Michigan area, I visited Negwegon State Park. Of course that was after shooting a variety of birds in the campground before heading to Negwegon.

Once again, I was up before sunrise.

Sunrise in Ossineke, Michigan

Sunrise in Ossineke, Michigan

And with the sun, came the birds.

Unidentified flitting object

Unidentified flitting object

Black-throated green warbler

Black-throated green warbler

Red squirrel

Red squirrel

Pine siskins

Pine siskins

Pine siskin

Pine siskin

By the time I had finished my coffee and blueberry turnovers, other people were up and breaking camp, so the number of birds dropped off.

My tent was still covered in dew, so I decided to go to Negwegon State Park first, then come back and pack up, since it was only ten miles or so extra for me to drive. So off I went.

Negwegon State Park is well signed off from US 23 between Harisville and Alpena, Michigan. Here’s the link to the Michigan DNR website on the park.

http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=476&type=SPRK

The park is almost 4,000 acres right on Lake Huron. A Recreational Passport is required for entry, and there are four walk-in campsites available to reserve for $14 per night.

Park Map and info

Park Map and info

Memorial plaque

Memorial plaque

I hadn’t even made it to shoot either of those photos before I was shooting birds in the parking lot.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Scarlet tanager

Scarlet tanager

Unidentified singing bird

Unidentified singing bird

Male American redstart

Male American redstart

By the time I started walking, a layer of clouds was obscuring the sun, and giving me a milky white background when trying to photograph birds overhead, but I did the best I could.

Female American redstart

Female American redstart

Red-eyed vireo hiding its eyes

Red-eyed vireo hiding its eyes

Red-eyed vireo hiding its eyes

Red-eyed vireo hiding its eyes

Red-eyed vireo not hiding its eyes

Red-eyed vireo not hiding its eyes

Wood thrush

Wood thrush

Wood thrush

Wood thrush

Wood thrush

Wood thrush

There were flowers along the trail as well.

Trillium

Trillium

IMG_4451

Gaywing

Marsh marigold

Marsh marigold

Marsh marigold, the largest I've ever seen

Marsh marigold, the largest I’ve ever seen

Yellow violet

Yellow violet

I hate to admit this, but at the two-mile mark of what I planned on being a 2 1/2 mile walk outbound, I wimped out. Two days of just two blueberry turnovers for breakfast and just a ham sandwich washed down with a small bottle of milk for supper weren’t supplying enough energy for what I had been doing this weekend. To make it worse, I hadn’t brought any water with me on the hike to save weight, and I was getting dehydrated. Silliness on my part, or stupidity, your call.

I also knew that I had to drive back to the campground and pack everything up for the trip home, which I figured would take at least five hours in the holiday weekend traffic, then unpack the Subaru at home. So, I turned back early, even though I was enjoying the trail.

Backpackers in Negwegon State Park

Backpackers in Negwegon State Park

As you can see from that photo, Negwegon State Park is more upland forest than Thompson’s Harbor, but both are very nice in their own way. I should have picked just one for the weekend, and spent more time at the one I did choose, but having never been to either of them, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Lake freighter northbound on Lake Huron

Lake freighter northbound on Lake Huron

I wish that both of these parks were closer than a five-hour drive from my home, as even on a three-day weekend, there really wouldn’t be time to thoroughly explore either of them, let alone try both of them as I did.

Thompson’s Harbor is lower, with many marshy or swampy areas, Negwegon is higher, with more wooded areas. I would say that Thompson’s Harbor is a better choice for seeing rare plants native to only Michigan, while Negwegon is a better spot for birding, but both are very nice places in their own right.

Anyway, I headed back to the campground, and as I was packing, I saw a large bird flash by, showing a lot of red, and that warranted investigation.

Male Pileated woodpecker

Male Pileated woodpecker

Male Pileated woodpecker

Male Pileated woodpecker

Male Pileated woodpecker

Male Pileated woodpecker

Yes!

I thought about trying to get even closer, but there was no reason to push it. So, I finished packing and headed for home, hating the fact that I had to leave with so much left to see and do.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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23 responses

  1. nice photos!

    June 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

    • Thank you!

      June 3, 2013 at 9:12 am

  2. watchwhereyoustep

    Looks like you had a great time last weekend, and you got a lot of fantastic shots! I had fun trying to I.D. the UFO bird. The closest I could find is a Philadelphia Vireo.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

    • Thanks Jan, I’ll have to spend some time IDing that one, I haven’t checked vireos yet, I was too busy with the warblers, shorebirds, and thrush to get to several others I have photos of.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

  3. That wood thrush is a handsome bird. I can’t believe you still have white trillium blooming. The weather must be perfect for them there. It’s nice to see such good shots of the pileated woodpecker. I had one land a few yards from me one day but too much brush was in the way to get a clear shot. i love the sunrise!

    June 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    • Thanks Allen! Northern Michigan is always two to three weeks behind my area as far as the weather and plant life. They may have still had frost again this morning, and snow in the UP this last weekend. Glad you liked the sunrise, I loved it too after all these years of working 2nd shift and never seeing the sun rise.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

  4. Nice close up on the Pileated !

    June 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    • Thank you, he was nice enough to pose for a few shots.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:36 am

  5. Looks to me like you found things to shoot that weren’t the least bit bland. You just have to keep your eyes open. ๐Ÿ˜€

    June 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    • Thanks, I suppose it’s because I see what’s here all the time that I think that it’s bland compared to other parts of the country.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:38 am

  6. Loved the woodpecker shots in a feast of interesting pictures.

    June 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    • Thanks Tom, I should have known that you’d like the woodpecker.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:38 am

  7. Another awesome place to visit! Love those pictures of the pileated. We get them at our place a lot but we are so wooded, I can never get a clear shot of them! Bet you are planning your next escape, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

    June 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

    • Thank you, Amy! I may head up north again over the 4th of July, but that’s way too far out for me to plan yet, and it will depend on the weather forecast, and how well my bank account recovers from the last two months. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      June 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

  8. Another great post Jerry, you outdid yourself on that last photo of the woodpecker, spectacular! Loved also the superb eastern phoebe and red-eyed vireo!

    June 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    • Thanks, but the woodpecker is the one that deserves the credit. He did the posing, all I had to do was hold the camera and shot. Maybe the easiest good photos I have ever managed.

      June 8, 2013 at 2:50 am

  9. I love the countryside you get to enjoy. So many wonderful things to explore.

    June 9, 2013 at 9:30 am

    • Thanks, Emily. I have to remember to take a better care of myself on these trips so I don’t crash before I’m finished.

      June 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      • You are right. We must take care of ourselves first. Rest day for me today so I can play next week.

        June 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      • You have that backwards, you should be asking me to work a day for you so that you’ll have time to play!

        June 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      • You are funny. ๐Ÿ™‚

        June 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

  10. Had to check out this post again because we are planning to visit Negwegon this weekend! Got our passport for the year and hubby is already checking out which trail we want to hike. Thinking we are leaving the old, fat beagle home for the weekend and just taking the 2 girls who can handle a 5 mile hike. The old guy craps out after about a 1/2 mile now. Thanks for the great info on this place! Can’t wait to see it for myself. (And again I was blown away by your pics of that pileated!)

    June 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    • Thanks, I think that you have picked a good weekend for your visit, it will be cooler right there by the lake. I hope that you see many birds there, it’s a good spot for it.

      June 20, 2013 at 3:18 am