Fin & Feather Club to host CPL class Aug. 5-6, basic pistol class Sept. 3
The Fin and Feather Club will be holding a CPL Class from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 and all day on Aug. 6 at the clubhouse, 3276 N. Darr Road, Scottville.
Registration is required to take the class. The cost of the class is $100 for non-club members and $50 for club members. Call Jim at (231) 907-8330 to register.
The Fin & Feather Club will also host a Basic Pistol Class on Sept. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost of the class is $20 and it is open to men and women. Register by contacting Jim at 231 907-8330. This class teaches the proper handing of a pistol, loading, unloading and how to shoot.
Summer’s not over yet, but shorebird migration has begun
Across Michigan, new fledglings have left their nests and are learning what it means to be a bird. Mid-July is also when shorebirds begin their fall journeys, kicking off the migration season.
These early migrants will move through the state’s coastal mudflats, wetlands, beaches and flooded fields into August. Some will fly as far south as the coasts of Chile and Argentina. Michigan’s wetlands provide shorebirds and other migratory birds with water, food and shelter during their long voyages.
Because wetlands are such a valuable resource for migrating birds, many of these birds follow the Great Lakes coastlines on their journeys south. That makes wetlands and lakeshores some of the best habitats for birdwatchers to visit for shorebird migration. Prepare for your next birding trip by keeping a close eye on the weather. Cold fronts and storm events can result in an awe-inspiring migratory movement known as a “fall-out,” where flocks rapidly descend from the sky to seek shelter from detrimental weather. Check your weather regularly or visit BirdCast, a special forecast tool that predicts when birds will be moving near you.
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Here are a few Michigan migratory shorebirds to look for over the next month, with tips on how to identify them:
• Piping plover: This beloved, endangered shorebird has a pale grey back and head cap. Nonbreeding adult and juvenile piping plovers lack a complete breast band – a colored stripe that encircles the breast. You can help protect this endangered shorebird by sharing the shore and giving it space to nest, rest and migrate. If you encounter a plover with a research leg band, report your sighting.
• Semipalmated plover: Sometimes confused with the endangered piping plover, the small semipalmated plover is darker overall and has a complete breast band. Their name comes from their partially webbed feet, which helps them wade in shallow water.
• Greater yellowlegs: Sometimes confused for solitary sandpipers, greater yellowlegs are larger with longer, bright yellow legs.
Lesser yellowlegs: The lesser yellowlegs is smaller than the greater yellowlegs with a shorter, thinner bill and less streaking on the neck.
• Spotted sandpiper: This sandpiper often walks in a crouched position and bobs its tail up and down almost constantly. It has spots on its breast and belly, which disappear as it molts out of breeding plumage.
Submit your shorebird observations to eBird and help map these species. MI Birds, a public outreach and engagement program created by Audubon Great Lakes and the DNR, aims to increase all Michiganders’ engagement with public lands important for birds and local communities. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or sign up for email updates. You can find more tips and info at www.michigan.gov/birding.