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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Manitou Island, Lake Superior

For the last year+ I`ve been very interested in some of the birding possibilities of Lake Superior, ever since I noticed Caribou Island on google maps (way out in the middle of the lake, and only visible on `satellite view`

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Since then, I have noticed that Michigan birders have been spending some time over the last several years exploring one of their Islands - Manitou... They have an excellent website which details what they`ve been doing...

http://www.manitouislandbirdsurvey.org/


Obviously the big thing for me is the rarities they`ve been finding. This was an email I wrote a while ago, but I figured it would also make for good blog material.

Below is a link to show where the island is (map).. The main thing I pulled form their notes isn`t the quality of rarity - but the VERY Impressive numbers of rarities they found (considering the average length of stay is only 3-4 days at a time)...

---------------------------------------email:

I went through the Manitou Island bird sightings, to show what they've
found over the years of doing surveys there. Here's the map:

http://www.manitouislandbirdsurvey.org/maps.html


Check it out - the total number of days they were there, and the
highlight birds:

May 4-7, 2002 (Raptor surveys) - Swainson's Hawk

June 17, 2002 - 2 singing Blackpoll Warblers, 500 hawks!

July 2002 (4 days, dates not listed) - Black Vulture 

Sept 8-10, 2002 - Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Apr 29-May 3, 2003 - A. White Pelican, Golden Eagle

Jun 28-Jul 1, 2003 - A. White Pelican

Oct 5-8, 2003 - nothing!

May 26-30, 2005 - Snowy Egret, 3 different Swainson`s Hawks!!!

Aug 20-23, 2005 - Piping Plover

Sept 20-21, 2005 - Forster`s Tern

Apr 23-May 10, 2006 - California Gull, Snowy & Great Gray Owls, Smith's Longspur, Harlequin Duck

Early June, 2006 - (Jun 11/12?) - Say's Phoebe!

Sept 2006 - (days not listed) Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Jaegers

2009 - May 15-19 -- Pacific Loon, Wood Thrush, Marbled Godwit, Yellow-throated Warbler, Prairie Warbler

Oct 2009 - 4 days in early Oct - Carolina Wren! 


It is also noteworthy that they spend a lot of time doing waterbird counts or hawkwatching, so there is possibly more rarities in the woods to be found(?)


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So yeah! Caribou Island would be the destination for Ontario birders. I have no plans to get there anytime soon, but I'm sure one day I'll get there. It is a lot more difficult to get to Caribou than Manitou! 






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Pictures of some of the Manitou rarities:


http://www.grovestreet.com/PicPage.do?id=1196126


http://www.grovestreet.com/PicPage.do?id=1155704


http://www.grovestreet.com/PicPage.do?id=1155701

http://www.grovestreet.com/PicPage.do?id=1167350

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