According to 2013 stats the Great Lakes Piping Plover population was at 66 pairs with 124 chicks fledged, which is the second highest number since they were put on the endangered species list. Nesting success were documented in Ontario Canada, Wisconsin, as well as the UP of Michigan. They even recorded some birds return to former breeding grounds on the Leelanau Peninsula.
While predators continue to be a threat to the southern Piping Plover population, the diligent work of biologist at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore has helped in successful re-nesting of the plovers that summer in the area. Over 1/3rd of all Great Lakes Piping Plovers summer over at Sleeping Bear Dunes each year.
And in 7 days I’ll be there.
Finally my much anticipated, and needed, vacation is almost here. And we’re off to the quaint little hamlet of Northport Michigan on the Leelanau Peninsula. Besides taking in the sights and flavor that the area has to offer (there are 11 craft breweries in the area) I will be heading over to the Sleeping Bear Dunes to search out 2 species which even though are on my life list, I really want to get some better photographs of them. One being the Piping Plover and the other being the Clay-colored Sparrow.
The best Piping Plover I have is this heavily cropped picture of one while visiting Hilton Head back in October of 2013.
So needless to say I’m kind of anxious to get some better photos of this bird without disturbing the nesting area, which I’m going to assume will be roped off to keep riff-raff like myself out.
The Clay-colored Sparrow I’ve only seen once. It was during the bird festival at Magee Marsh on Lake Erie. Jon was there with his family and he told me about one being sighted over on the beach hanging around some other sparrows under the scrubby bushes. And sure enough I spotted him, but was unable to get a picture. So hopefully I’ll be able to track down a few since they do summer in the area.
The cabin we’re staying in doesn’t have internet service so I don’t know when I’ll be able to post any pictures unless I get to an area where they have wifi .
So I’m off to Michigan. Wish me luck.