Garden Peninsula birding
While on my vacation back in September, I visited Michigan’s Garden Peninsula, as that’s where the Fayette Historic State Park is located, which was the subject of a previous post. It was while I was at Fayette SP that I noticed hundreds of warblers in the trees around the park.
I thought that rather strange at first, since the Garden Peninsula is a peninsula after all, and I wondered if the birds had made a wrong turn in their migration. Many of the smaller birds won’t cross bodies of water if they can not see land on the other side. Then I remembered that there is a chain of islands extending from Michigan’s Garden Peninsula to Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, so I began to form a theory that the birds were working their way south down the Garden Peninsula, then would “island hop” to Wisconsin. Later research confirmed that theory.
I checked the eBirds hotspots map, and found that while very few entries had been made from Michigan’s Garden Peninsula, some of the islands in Wisconsin, along with the tip of the Door Peninsula were very active hotspots in Wisconsin. That tells me that my theory is correct, that the migrating birds do island hop their way to Wisconsin.
So, here are a few of the photos of birds that I shot during my very short visit to the Garden Peninsula. Not all the photos are good, there’s a few clickers in the batch, but this post is intended to show the wide variety of birds that I saw there. I’ll start with an American Kestrel that I spotted along the road as I was leaving Fayette State Park.
There are several Lake Michigan access points on the Peninsula, including a township park at Sac Bay, where I shot this crow getting a drink.
Some of these photos were shot in the Portage Bay State Forest Campground, I’m afraid that I didn’t pay enough attention when I uploaded the photos, as they are mixed up as far as when and where I shot them.
Back to the Kestrel again.
I think that you’ll get the idea that I am trying to convey here, just from the photos.
Birds aren’t the only subjects that I found worth photographing.
The next few were shot while on the short Bog Lake hiking trail, which starts and ends at the Portage Bay SFCG.
And finally, two photos taken from my vehicle as I was starting the trip back home.
In my travels around the peninsula, I noticed an osprey nest on top of a power pole. While I was eating supper in a local establishment, I was talking to several people about the birds I had been seeing and asked if the osprey nest was active. I then got to hear the story of how when the osprey first began building a nest on the pole, the utility company had tried to discourage the osprey for fear that one of the osprey would be electrocuted but they would not be discouraged, and that the utility finally gave in and let the osprey build their nest on the pole, then rerouted the power lines around the one pole that the osprey built their nest on. I didn’t see the osprey, as it was the last week of September, and they had already migrated south by then.
The best times of the year to visit the area would be April and September to view the birds migrating up the peninsula in the spring, and down in the fall, but I’m sure that there would be plenty of summer residents to keep a person occupied as well. I would make the Garden Peninsula one of my regular birding places if it wasn’t so far from where I live, but I’m sure that I’ll be going back from time to time while on vacations over the coming years.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!