Tawas Point State Park is a birder’s paradise. It lies on a primary migratory flyway and thus provides respite for many avian species, not the least of which are Whip-poor-wills, Redheaded Woodpeckers, Trumpeter Swans, and migrating Warblers. It is reported that over 280 separate bird species have been sighted on Tawas Point.

On a good day I might be able to distinguish a Bald Eagle (saw one today) from a Crow (saw more than one today). But I will leave it to the “birders” to identify the bird in this picture as a Heron or a Crain.

The eye candy of the day were the flocks of Monarch Butterflies. They too are a migratory species that passes through Tawas Point flying thousands of miles south to Florida and Mexico. It amazes me that these seemingly fragile creatures are capable of such a feat.

The Monarch feeds on the ubiquitous Milkweed, the sap of which is poisonous to most other wildlife. The consumption of the sap by the Monarch renders them very unappetizing to erstwhile predators. The brilliant black and orange markings of the Monarch give an unambiguous warning that better eating can be found elsewhere.

Butterflies may be the only insect that brings a smile to human observers… although I am rather fond of the Preying Mantis. One large one once spent the better part of an hour watching me work on our house. He/she would cock its head and repeatedly focus from my task to my face in a fashion that mimicked curiosity.

Today was also a good day for a swim in Lake Huron…

For observing the relatively rare Black Squirrel (at first I thought one was a strange cat when it scampered by)…

Walking the beach…

Watching an unusual Kite-Surfer from Austria expertly maneuver and levitate his flying wing board upon and above the water…

And finally to contrast the utilitarian features of the modern navigational light station and fog-horn with those of the more romantic Lighthouse of the past.

At dusk the darkening sky to the west warned of the approach of thunderstorms. We secured our campsite just in time before the downpour.

Here inside our fiberglass Casita we thought we were being pelted by hail… but it was only hundreds of acorns being shake loose from the Oaks towering above us. I wonder how the Monarchs are fairing?

Peace Everyone. Pete

PS. We are off in the morning south to Port Crescent State Park for another night as guests of the Michigan State Parks. Thursday will see us crossing into Canada.

10 thoughts on “August 28, 2018. Tawas Point Michigan. Monarch Migration!

  1. Great Blue Heron (some say Great Gray Heron) Pete, there may come a point when I stop feeling happy for your travels and begin to fight dark thoughts of jealousy.

  2. Maxine Harrison says:

    Seems early for the monarch migration…ours does’t start here until next month. But yes, hard rain, hail and probably acorns can do some damage I’ll bet. The toxins in the butterfly is so vile that it makes birds retch. I remember an old experiment where a baby blue jay was ate a monarch, retched, then retched everytime it just saw a picture of a monarch ( I know the feeling!), but apparently a strong survival lesson for the bird…one of the reasons why “mimicry” works so well for butterflies like the Viceroy. And there is your nature tidbit for the day…..BTW..around here Heron and Crane are used to describe the Great Blue Herons…sometimes also called Great Blue Herrings….if only fish could fly!

  3. WOW, there are just too many reasons I want to go there but the main one is the monarchs. I am hooked on monarchs and hummingbirds. We might have to check the timing out and plan a trip!

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