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Noel's Quad 30 Journal

Thursday, June 24th
Crystal Falls, Michigan


I don't think I've done a BBS when I was so consistently cold. The temperature in the pre-dawn darkness was 43 degrees, then proceeded to drop to 40, and at the completion of the route - 50 stops and 4.5 hours later - my Vue's digital read-out glowed a cool 45 degrees. The heater and fan were on for the entire route, and the sun didn't do much warming until about stop 38. There was just enough wind to make the temperature feel even more chilling. I don't relish a return to the 80s, but are the 70s too much to ask for?

The final count was 65 species. An active Osprey nest was mid-way between 2 stops and therefore uncountable. The only "boreal wetland" stop was along a busily traveled state highway, but I did manage to hear a singing Lincoln's Sparrow and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and loved a sun-lit Palm Warbler singing from a dead spruce spire, One pick-up stopped and backed up when he saw the raised bins and asked if I was looking at a moose.

Much of the landscape along the latter half of the route was northern hardwoods - mostly sugar maple with some basswood, white birch, and oak. This is "hot" habitat for Red-eyed Vireos and Ovenbirds but not terrific for a diversity of species. I did have a cardinal living up to its name as it sang in the village of Crystal Falls - "northern." An enjoyable sight in one of the few fields along the route was seeing 8 closely spaced red turkey heads stretched above the blowing grasses. The lilacs are near their peak, and some of the fields are white with daisies in full bloom.

Tomorrow morning's forecast is even colder - brrrr!

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