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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Grand Haven Jaegers, 11 Sept

One of the real treats of living near Lake Michigan's eastern edge is the predominantly westerly winds, which during strong enough storms have the nifty habit of blowing in goodies from the middle of the Big Lake. Best of all are the jaegers, gull-like in shape and form but more aggressive, and strictly pelagic in the winter time. These birds are any inland birder's dream birds.

I noticed today's breeziness, and was happy to find that the lakeshore forecast was for 27mph winds directly out of the west at Grand Haven, so I decided to spend an hour on the breakwall after work. Here is a brief view of what I was rewarded with:
video

There are three birds in all, darting in and out of the waves in very quick fashion. They appeared to slice through the gales unlike any other bird out there- effortlessly, like a true seabird. These are jaegers (species unknown)- my first for the year, and one of only a handful of inland sightings I've come up with. Had they been closer to shore, I might have worked on identifying them to species, but at this distance all I could say was Jaeger spp.

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