Seabirds Shmeabirds

Mia and I drove to da UP to see Whitefish Point, and among our many goals was to hopefully experience what the point is famous for: bird migration. It is also famous for shipwrecks but that is probably just because it has a funny looking lighthouse. But a migration hotspot it is nonetheless. We went in late October, and while the fall foliage was -bonkers-, unfortunately fall bird migration had already started to wind down. The type of birdwatching that it is famous for is called seawatching – basically a scientific study and count of what ducks and geese move through that area, most often at great distances. We even bought a book for it, intending to study the different minuscule shapes as they crossed the horizon, hoping to gleam what little info we could from the flickering shapes.

I think we saw a total of 6 migrating ducks the entire trip.

While the seabirds did disappoint, there were all these other cool species hanging around that we don’t normally have around here in great numbers in SE Michigan.

Here’s a good one – a Lapland Longspur. It’s these small brown birds that are really only special after spending years looking for all the other birds. This one poked around the sand and eventually found a worm.

Here is a Horned Lark, one we have seen regularly around us, usually in grass surrounding parking lots of all things.
This was a new bird for us, a Pine Grosbeak.

The bird above is a Rusty Blackbird. We spent quite a lot of time sitting atop a platform and trying to identify small dark birds flying by, pretty much only doing so if I got a decent picture.

This is a Black-Bellied Plover. It doesn’t have a black belly right now because that is it currently dressed in a white shirt and a nice looking but a tad dated grey speckled jacket.

This was the highlight bird of our trip, a Roughed Grouse. This was our first sighting of the woodland chicken, and it was made extra special by the fact that we saw a RIVER OTTER like 5 minutes before this.

We try our best to take our trips and vacations where there is wildlife. And though we didn’t see any moose or wolves or black bear or whitetail or porcupines or foxes or caribou or mountain lions, we did get see some really cool creatures. And I didn’t even get my car stuck this time. More on this trip next week.

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