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 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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Kate Palmer Walk by Mickey Kress

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 8:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

Tuesday Group’s Kate Palmer walk May 21

A record 21 Tuesday Group tourers came to the Kate Palmer Wildlife Sanctuary May 21 for a walk led by Allen King, the sanctuary’s volunteer steward and a retired science teacher.  The Group was rewarded by Allen’s descriptions good variety of birds and plants, and the topography at the sanctuary.

He started by explaining that the first coal discovered in Michigan was on this very site.  Because its quality was low, coal was never a money-maker and pits were less than 10 feet deep.  The only evidence today are overgrown holes in the ground and piles of spoil. Instead of coal, springtime now visitors see colorful, native wildflowers and songbirds.

Allen and other experts identified flowers and birds as the group walked for roughly two hours.  Drifts of trillium, with just a few fading blossoms, lit up the understory.  Birding highlights were two male scarlet tanagers perched in the same shrub, a ruby-throated hummingbird building a nest, and a pileated woodpecker.  See Steve Jerant’s species list at eBird.

The next-best part?  No bugs.

Get a feel for “The Kate’s” serenity from Lynn Eckerle’s accompanying images.

Trillium (Lynn Eckerle)

Mayapple (Lynn Eckerle)

Jack-in-the Pulpit (Lynn Eckerle)

No one on the tour had enough lens to capture bird images.  By coincidence, Chuck Mekbel found a pileated woodpecker on the same day at Oak Openings Metropark in Swanton, Ohio.  See Chuck’s stellar image below.

Pileated woodpecker   Chuck Mekbel

Free on Tuesday mornings?  Check Jackson Audubon’s events list.  If you like enjoy learning about the natural world, try a Tuesday tour on for size.


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