We then drove an hour north to Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon County. While there were no recent reports from the area, I always make a point to bird this county. Between Pere Marquette and the Wastewater, good birds can pop up at any moment. Once we got to Pere Marquette we started walking the breakwall. This breakwall is famous for hosting Purple Sandpipers every winter, but none had been reported for the past few weeks. However, it wasn't long before I spotted a shorebird working the rocks. Sure enough, Purple Sandpiper. The birds found here are notorious for being very obliging, and this one was no different.
On to the wastewater were we quickly had another Iceland Gull. This one allowed better pictures and closer approach.
We dawdled until sunset and we hoped to find Short-eared Owls. We had to wait until after sunset when it was quite dark for the birds to appear. Two Short-eared Owls put on a show for the last bit of remaining light. At this point, it was nearly impossible to get a photo, but that didn't stop me from trying. I managed one identifiable picture of the bird. Pulling this off was nothing short of a miracle. I'm not proud of the picture, but I'll count it!
The next day I went with my uncle to Cleveland. Little Gulls were basically a given and a Red Phalarope was sticking around. We got there to find a mass of birders enjoying the Red Phalarope. Unfortunately, the bird has a broken leg. It was feeding and pooping and able to fly and it couldn't have been more cooperative. The bird was within spitting distance!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! With less than a month left in the year, I'll be frantically trying to find new birds when school isn't consuming my life. Stay tuned!