Good news-- though much belated -- as a Limpkin
was photographed by Al Geist at Ludington State Park early afternoon (3:53 to 4:16 p.m.) on October 3rd -- not earlier today as assumed. I was informed of the sighting by Steve Begnoche around 6:21 p.m. via email. The bird was seen at the west end of the southern boardwalk below the dam, which is a brushy/swampy spot that held an immature, Black-crowned Night-Heron many years ago. This evening Suzie Knoll and I looked for the Limpkin on both sides of the river from around 6:45 p.m. to nearly 8:00 p.m., but no luck despite taped calls that Suzie played.
It turns out that several Limpkins have been seen in southern Michigan the last few years and the Mason County record is clearly the most northern so far (although Limpkins have been reported in Green Bay, WI and Minneapolis, MN). The closest Limpkin sighting to us was in Grand Haven close to Lake Michigan when one was seen Sept. 17, 2023 (70 miles south of the BSR site) and follows another seen last year along Grand River Islands from Aug. through October 2022. This Limpkin is Species #320 for Mason County and is the 4th new species seen in 2023 (thus far).
Congrats to Al Geist for documenting an amazing southern bird that has been wandering much beyond the usual Florida range (except the Florida panhandle).
P.S. For those interested in checking tomorrow morning before the rain (around 9:00 a.m. ?), sunrise will be at 7:49 a.m.