Its Been a Long Time

Greetings from duneland,

As our spring migration count ended and the warm air transitioned to summer, things simply got busy.  It’s true that we were too overwhelmed to blog the dune birds.  But, it doesn’t mean they weren’t moving.  We’re sorry we haven’t been on here as much.  We’re hoping to change that now that the winter season is setting in and some more free time will be available for us.

Let’s start with the obvious.  Snowy Owls are again on the move.  Though early indications say this won’t be of the same magnitude as last years’ unprecedented invasion, that should seem normal.  We’re not likely to see what we saw last year for many years!  But moving they are.  The lakefront has seen about 1/2 dozen Snowy Owl reports in the last two weeks or so, including this beautiful bird (below) photographed by Alex Forsythe.  As the season progresses, we hope to provide more updates on Snowy Owl sightings, as well as offer car pool tours for folks to see them.  They often sit out on the breakwalls and can be difficult for visitors to see if they don’t have the higher power optics that we can bring out to the site.

Snowy Owl at Miller Beach by Alex Fosythe, December 1, 2014.
Snowy Owl at Miller Beach by Alex Forsythe, December 1, 2014.

Another thing to watch for right now are some of the winter finches in the area.  Pine Siskins have been common at many feeders.  But, a few redpolls should start to be seen at a few feeders.  The winter finch forecast this fall made predictions of a good flight, but so far the numbers have been few and far between.

Common Redpoll seen in the dunes during the last invasion year.
Common Redpoll seen in the dunes during the last invasion year.

Finally, we’ll probably be beating this drum for a while, but mark your calendars for the first ever Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, May 7-10, 2015.  Get information now at the festival Facebook page!

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