Michigan …

We bypassed Detroit and headed north up the peninsula. Population density fell away as we went, northern Michigan has some of the least populated areas in the eastern half of the US and some absolutely gorgeous forests.

Our destination was Boyne City where we would be staying with very generous friends for a few days. En route we stopped at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. This is open to the public from June to October from an hour before sunrise until sunset. It’s a one way six and a half mile drive (10.4 km) mostly along an embankment giving good views over fields and wetlands. Views of the wildlife tend to be quite distant but it’s a good place to make the acquaintance of a few ducks, Sandhill Crane and Bald Eagle. Well worth putting on your travel plans next time you’re passing through Saginaw County.

Boyne City sits at the end of the north arm of Lake Charlevois an off shoot of Lake Michigan. We would get a cruise on both in our host’s very nice 40 footer. We also got to explore some nearby state forests and the Darnton Family Nature Preserve. Some of the highlights …

Green Heron
Common Merganser
Eastern Chipmunk
Red Squirrel

Eastern Grey Squirrels were also quite common, a good proportion of them were black in colour, the melanistic form.

The American Sparrows are nearly as much fun as the Warblers. I might have to revisit them. One to keep you going …

Savannah Sparrow