#ABArare - Great Shearwater - Michigan
by Nate Swick
Isaac may have moved through last weekend, but birders are still seeing the fallout. The most far-flung bird found yet from the Category 1 storm has to be an apparent Great Shearwater, reported this morning from Benzie County, Michigan, by Alice vanZoeren while she was participating in a shorebird survey. The bird was in Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Platte River. This is a first state record, and only the second tubenose to make it to the Michigan list.
Photos were reportedly taken. As of the time this post was written they are unavailable.
From the Michigan Listers website: If you are traveling northerly on M-22, turn left onto Lake Michigan Rd. just past the bridge over the Platte River. Take that all the way to the end where you can park. There is a self-serve parking fee, so bring some cash. You will need to wade across the river (Alice said the best place is near the restroom building, it is knee deep with a solid bottom) to get to the point.
As is the case with many storm waifs pushed far inland, the bird was reported to be in poor health and under harassment from resident Herring Gulls. Birders looking to see it would be well-advised not to wait too long and to avoid stressing the bird unecessarily in the event it lingers until tomorrow. Please refer to the ABA Code of Birding Ethics.
UPDATE: The bird was found dead this morning (9/9). The specimen was donated to the University of Michigan.
While not as strong as some storms, Isaac has proven to be a surprising bird mover. In addition to this bird, Great Shearwaters were also found in Bowie County, Texas, and Livingston County, Kentucky, in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane's passage.