Benzie Audubon Club

Welcome to our Photo Gallery!  (Last update:  October 1, 2017)

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Birds of the Benzie Area

There are always interesting things to see and photograph in the Benzie area. In September there were still nice birds and butterflies to photograph. (Click on pictures for a larger view.)


There are two "Lady" butterflies that look very much alike except for distinctive spots on the underwings. The more common one is the American Lady, which has two large "eye" spots on the lower wing. The one in the photo on New England Aster is the less-common Painted Lady. It has a row of smaller spots (that Carl did see). (Photo by Carl Freeman)


These King Salmon in the upper Betsie River offered more proof that many of them successfully navigate the Homestead Dam and make it upstream to gravel bars to spawn. The female in front is working on scooping out the bed. (Photo by Carl Freeman)


These juvenile Wood Ducks have become accustomed to kayaks, tubers and fishermen on the Lower Platte River---basically as tame as park-model mallards. They were constantly preening as they were molting their body feathers. Some are males, as is apparent from the white face pattern coming in on the cheeks of the two in the middle. Carl hopes they stay long enough to fully molt. (Photo by Carl Freeman)


This juvenile Green Heron nailed a dragonfly along the lower Platte River near the canoe take out. Notice the downy feathers on the back of its head. (Photo by Carl Freeman)


A family of Sandhill Cranes has been in the Carlson Road area all summer. They go to roost in the marsh near the Betsie Valley Trail every evening about an hour before sunset. (Photo by Carl Freeman)


The dark head marks this Turkey Vulture on the outer beach at Platte Point as a juvenile (adults have red heads). It is warming up to conserve energy, not to dry off. (Photo by Carl Freeman)

 


 

This immature Red Knot in the warm afternoon sunlight was also at Platte Point. (Photo by Carl Freeman)


Meanwhile up the beach at Platte Bay the Sanderling continued to be the most common migrant. (Photo by John Ester)


While not a shorebird, the American Pipit is often seen on the beach. This one was in a flock of seven along Platte Bay. The bird's drab appearance and quick movements (always in the other direction!) can pose a challenge for a photographer (or at least this one). (Photo by John Ester)

 


Another non-shorebird that regularly shows up on the beach this time of year is the Horned Lark. This one was also in a small flock along Platte Bay. (Photo by John Ester)


Ruffed Grouse seem to be abundant this year. This one was on the shoulder of Esch Road not far from the beach. (Photo by John Ester)


Immature Red-tailed Hawks (note the belly band) are usually seen in good numbers in the fall, perhaps because they are less wary than adults. This one stayed on its perch next to River Road even when the photographer backed up to take a photos. (Photo by John Ester)


Club Activities


At our September meeting Kama Ross of the Leelanau Conservation District and Forester Josh Shields of the Manistee Conservation District presented a program on forest mushrooms. (Photos by John Ester)


This little lake sturgeon was one of 140 about to be released into the Manistee River on September 2nd under the supervision of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. (Photo by John Ester)


At our July meeting Dan Mays, Fisheries Biologist for the Little Band of Ottawa Indians, told us about the Manistee River Nme (Lake Sturgeon)--a story of native species stewardship. (Photo by John Ester)

Fourteen people went on the dune wildflower trip in June led by Paula Dreeszen. They were able to hike to the dune and back before the heavy rain. (Photo by Paula Dreeszen).

Paula checking the radar to see how far off the rain is before walking onto the dunes. (Photo by Bryce Dreeszen)

Blooming today: Coreopsis, Wood Lily, Balsam Ragwort, and Orobanche (11 clumps!). Blooming, not pictured: Hairy Puccoon, Sand Cress, Harebell. Endangered Pitcher's Thistle is not blooming yet, probably next week. (Photos by Paula Dreeszen)


At our May meeting naturalist and gardener Tom Ford enlightened a responsive audience on making a yard wildlife-friendly. (Photo by John Ester)

We kicked off the new year with Stewart McFerran's presentation on the passenger pigeon, a now-extinct species with a history in Benzie County. Note that Stewart is using a new lavaliere microphone and lectern--both gifts from Benzie Audubon to our generous host, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. (Photo by John Ester)


At our annual meeting in November we elected a new Board of Directors before having our Members' Photo Show. (Photo by Joe Brooks)


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