The fall migration is underway and birders are now reporting a much wider variety of warblers and a great diversity of shorebirds. It is now time to get out and comb the shoreline and mudflats as birders reported thirteen species of shorebirds in the past two weeks including American Golden Plover, Baird’s and Stilt Sandpipers, Sanderling and Wilson’s Phalarope. There were also nineteen species of warblers reported as the first decent numbers began showing up last week.
The significant rainfall last week unfortunately turned mudflats back into ponds for a few key locations but good shorebird numbers are being seen at the Onekama Sewage Ponds, Elberta Beach, and Platte Point. Other sites to keep an eye on include the Suttons Bay Sewage Ponds, Leelanau State Park, and Mill Pond. Shalda Creek empties into Lake Michigan and the course of the river changes often. Currently, there is a large backwater which stretches about a half mile and conditions are favorable for decent shorebird numbers. With Labor Day behind us, the locals own the quiet beaches again so get out and help us document an exciting time for rarities and unusual sightings!