Join Keith Watson on this birding expedition to see Kirtland’s Warbler in central Michigan before venturing on to the fabulous and wild Upper Peninsula (UP) to experience its rich boreal forests and abundant bird life. After arriving in Traverse City airport, we’ll drive to Grayling and the jack-pine forests near Mio to visit Kirtland’s Warbler breeding grounds. We then travel into the eastern Upper Peninsula and base in Paradise for two nights, exploring the forests in and around Whitefish Point on Lake Superior. We’ll travel the back roads in search of Spruce Grouse, Mourning Warbler, Canada Jay, and other northern species. From there we head west to the Marquette area, spending several days exploring Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Kate’s Grade, Peshekee Grade and the Baraga Plains, all excellent hotspots for northern specialties including Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker and Spruce Grouse. It is at Baraga where we have our best chance for Connecticut Warbler, whose breeding range in Michigan’s UP has become increasingly restricted in recent years. To finish, we’ll drive back east and explore some of the eastern UP for grassland species such as L harp-tailed Grouse, Bobolink and more before heading back to Traverse City.
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
Lower Peninsula: Kirtland’s and Nashville Warblers, Upland Sandpiper, Brewer’s Blackbird, Lincoln’s and Vesper Sparrows
Upper Peninsula: Connecticut, Mourning, Blackburnian, Cape May and Bay-breasted Warblers, Spruce and Ruffed Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, Olive- side and Alder Flycatchers Black-billed Cuckoo, and Lincoln’s, Clay-colored, and Le Conte’s Sparrows, Red Crossbill, Evening Grosbeak, and a variety of shorebirds at waterfowl at Whitefish Point.