As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Birding In The National Parks: Rare Bird Shows Up At Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Picture: RSPB
So, you’re a birder looking to add a nifty pelagic species like the Great Shearwater to your list. Where do you go? Most of us would head to the Atlantic coast, charter a boat, and float around a few miles offshore.

I can’t think of anyone who would go to Lake Michigan and stand on the beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore expecting to see shearwaters. It’s a bird of the open ocean that plunge-dives for squid. There aren’t any squid in Lake Michigan.

Michigan birder Alice VanZoeren knew all of that and wasn’t expecting to see a Great Shearwater from near the mouth of the Platte River in Sleeping Bear Dunes, but that’s exactly what she saw and photographed on September 8th from that precise spot.


More on the great shearwater (Puffinus gravis):

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