Four official teams with a total of 19 birders participated in today's One-Road Challenge, searching for birds on one Washtenaw County road of their choosing this morning until 11 AM. As a bonus for getting up and out, birders had excellent views of the partial eclipse.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas Bird Count season we experienced what appears to be the 'new normal'. After some average late fall weather in October and early November our area was hit with an impressive cold snap in the middle of that month – at this time of year lows in the single digits are not quite something we are accustomed to (yet), not even in our hardy neck of the woods. Then milder fall-like weather returned and all ice on ponds and lakes thawed out to reveal an abundance of open water.
On Saturday, December 6, Washtenaw Audubon escorted more than 20 enthusiastic birders to the largest landfill facility in the county, and one of the largest in southeast Michigan. Now owned by Advanced Disposal and occupying most of a square mile tucked into the extreme northeast corner of the county, this landfill is a magnet for gulls patrolling the region for some calories.