Photo of the Week: Spotted Redshank, Rare Bird in Michigan

The birding community in Michigan and beyond is abuzz with the news that a rare sandpiper for North America was seen this weekend in southeast Michigan.

I should know, I’m as excited as everyone else who heard about it!

Along with hundreds of other birdwatchers, I made the journey early this morning to Washtenaw County in search of the reddish-legged Spotted Redshank.

Isn’t it a beauty?

I know, it’s not the best bird photo I’ve taken.

But it will remind me of seeing this rare bird in person.

Memories of the Ivory Gull in Flint and the Shiny Cowbird at Whitefish Point last year obviously came to mind when I heard of another rare bird sighting in Michigan.

Spotted Redshank

A shorebird that breeds in northern Scandinavia as well as northern Asia, the Spotted Redshank migrates in winter to southern Europe, northern Africa, western India and various locations in the Middle East.

The bird is also seen on the shorelines of the United Kingdom and The Netherlands in winter.

But it’s not a bird often seen in North America.

Which is why so many birdwatchers in the Midwest are making the pilgrimage to southeast Michigan to catch a glimpse of the rare bird.

From the Michigan birding list, I learned it’s the second time the Spotted Redshank has been sighted in Michigan; it was first seen in 1975.

And it’s the first time the Spotted Redshank has been found in Washtenaw County.

When I saw it this morning, it was hanging out with a Greater Yellowlegs on a mudflat.

After about five minutes, together they flew across the road to another pond.

Then they headed northwest to a wet area in a cornfield.

Ten minutes later, the Spotted Redshank was back in the mudflat. Hanging out with several Killdeer, pecking the ground for food.

As you might guess, it’s the first time I’ve seen a Spotted Redshank.

Life bird!

Photo of author

About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.
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