Whitefish Point - 03 Jan 2023

Robin and I had an early breakfast and took off for Whitefish Point. Driving M-28 west to US-123 north we arrived at Whitefish Point shortly before 10 am. Roads were clear and less than 6" of snow were in the woods on either side. Of concern, however, was the ice cover on all of the trails and in the parking lot that made walking treacherous.

I walked over to the feeders and found them filled with sunflower seeds. However, the only action came in the form of a pair of Black-capped Chickadees, a single Red Squirrel, and this Hairy Woodpecker.

We then took a walk down to the beach next to the Shipwreck Museum and found it quiet but cold. Winds were blowing so we didn't stay long.
I headed back to the feeders, then took the boardwalk back out to the point where the waterbird shack was located. Again, the area was quiet, and I spent most of my time trying to avoid the rough ice on the boardwalk. But, once on the beach the walking was much easier.

I paused long enough to pay homage to the waterbird shack and prayed for future rafts of loons and waterbirds. 

Whitefish Point, Chippewa, Michigan, US
Jan 3, 2023 10:00 AM - 11:10 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:     Feeders and Point
5 species

Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  1
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S158802727

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

We then returned to town and headed toward the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery for lunch. Along the way we spotted a pair of Ruffed Grouse on the road. Turning around to get photos they scattered, but Robin was able to count four on her side of the car while I saw two on mine. Though they were in the woods I managed a few pics through the trees. Males were displaying while females were observing.

Farther up the road a pair of Red Crossbills were in the road. A red male and green female. I managed a quick photo burst before they both took off to deeper cover. We'd also come across 60 birds in the road but they were all American Goldfinch.

Pine Grosbeaks were just a bit more cooperative. We drove past small groups of birds feeding on grit in the road and managed a few pics as they flew back into the trees.

M123 Paradise, Chippewa, Michigan, US
Jan 3, 2023 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:     Driving back from Taquamenon Brewery on M-123 just before Paradise
4 species

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)  6
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)  12
Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)  2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  61     Flock in road eating grit; exact count. No grosbeaks or crossbills with them.

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S158803570

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Returning to the Soo we took a quick loop back down Riverside Dr. to check out the Dunbar Forest (quiet) then headed back down M-28 toward town. Just like yesterday I was able to find a Rough-legged Hawk perched high atop a tree next to the road and get a few images. 

M-28 Roadside, Chippewa, Michigan, US
Jan 3, 2023 4:00 PM - 4:10 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:     M-28 just east of I-75 in same area as previous day.
1 species

Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)  1     Same bird as previous day. On M-28 just east of I-75 in large evergreen next to road. Photos.

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S125935841

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

A quick dinner and we were back in the hotel room for a shower and much-needed rest. We'll be heading home tomorrow morning ahead of a winter storm, so our timing here was perfect. Perhaps we may see a Snowy Owl on the way home...