TWITCHING  by: wrigh 1pr

Twitch- To make an attempt to locate a previously reported rare bird.

Lots of birders do this. If a rare bird is reported at a specific location, it will be followed by an influx of “twitchers.” I haven’t done this before, but I regularly read the reports of recent bird sightings in my area.

So this week I was in the Ludington/Manistee area. I managed to locate a fair amount of waterfowl, despite cold temperatures and strong winds. Nothing special though, not like the Snowy Owl that has been spotted at the airport in Grand Rapids. Since the route home from Ludington goes by Grand Rapids, I decided to stop. I saw the owl sleeping in an open field, but it was too far away to take a (good) picture. So here is a picture of a Snowy that I saw in the upper peninsula last month. The Grand Rapids owl was much whiter, which indicates that it is older, and likely a male.

Snowy Owl7

I was glad to add a snowy to my 2013 list, but the sighting wasn’t very gratifying. Twitching isn’t quite the same as being surprised by a bird sighting. Even so, I decided to do it again:

Townsend's Solitaire

This is a Townsend’s Solitaire. While it may not look like much, it is quite a rare bird in Michigan. Since someone saw one in Lansing, I decided to check it out after work yesterday. Again, it would have been much more enjoyable if I wasn’t expecting to see it. 61 birds so far this year. Not bad, but not great. If only I had more free time.


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