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Noel's Quad 30 Journal

Thursday, June 17th
Bergland, Michigan


If you are a "Yupper," please don't take offense, but I heard a great variety of car "songs" today on my first BBS in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Much of the route traversed through long tunnels of continuous hardwoods; all of these "songs" were certainly irritating. I heard cars that whistled, roared, chugged, back-fired, clacked, sputtered, belched, and more. I hate traffic more than anything while doing a BBS.

The morning stared well - on a little-used but newly graded road, I chased a Barred Owl down the road in front of me. Its 3rd perch was at stop 1 - at the second stop I heard 2 of them "speaking" to each other - another species added to the cumulative list along with a kingfisher later.

What do you do when you hear a bird during one of the 3-minute stops that shouldn't be there? Ignore it? Forget about the clock and go track it down? Think about if for the rest of the day and then ....? Add it to the data sheet knowing that you'll be questioned about it by the BBS office?

A few years ago I heard a "Hooded Warbler" singing in an aspen stand along the Amberg WI route (Marinette Co.). Fortunately, this individual was close, and with one soft "pish," it appeared immediately - a beautiful Hooded Warbler. This sighting turned out to be the most northern Hooded Warbler recorded during the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. Flash back to today - stop 5 - a singing "Hooded Warbler!" But was it, or was it an imposter? Could there really be one of these "southern" warblers this far north, only 11 miles from Lake Superior? Don't tell anyone but I also thought I heard one at stop 1, but it only sang a couple of times while the one at stop 5 sang throughout the 3-minute period. And the habitat certainly looked "better" than the aspen stand in Marinette Co. for a Hooded Warbler. For now, at least, I'm ignoring this one. Wish I could as easily ignore these noisy "Yupper" vehicles!

Most of the hardwood habitat along the west side of Gogebic Lake (for Miles) wasn't terribly exciting - 80 Red-eyed Vireos and 55 Ovenbirds. Tomorrow's route in Ontonagon looks a little more diverse but with limited wetland habitat.

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