As has happened 2 years straight now, while on my way to Tawas Point for the birding festival I received a phone call letting me know of a really rare bird just found near Tawas. Last year it was a Painted Bunting at a feeder in Mikado, which I missed by about 10 hours. This year, it was this beauty which Karl Overman clued me in to:
The bird was seen well between about 9:40AM and 11:00AM when I took these photos. Some final searching tips for those interested in chasing it. First, the location on the dike from which to search is shown in this photo, where a 10 foot wide break in the willows on the east side of the dike allows the greatest visibility for viewing east across the ~80 ft wide channel.
The location of this vantage is: 44.36690N 83.47276W (at google maps you can copy and paste these in to get an aerial view of the location), and it is approx. 250-300 feet prior to the second wooden structure you encounter as you walk north on the dike. As stated by Jim Lesser, the bird was east across the 80 foot wide channel, foraging surreptitiously in the grasses along the edge of the 'canal', and was repeatedly lost from view for up to 15 minutes at a time. It also moved several hundred feet north and south along that edge, to the point that it wasn't visible except through the dense willow foliage on at least one occasion. To the north of the 10 foot wide opening is another, smaller, opening where the bird roosted last night. Leonard Graf marked this location on the trail with this willow tree and stick assemblage:In any event, this bird is well worth going after. It is a beaut, as well as a great rarity (a would be 9th state record pending acceptance by MBRC).