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
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.