Bird #169 — Whimbrel

numenius (of the new moon, for the curve of the bill) phaeopus (from phaios, gray, and pous, foot)

Tuesday, May 27, 1980 — 4:35 pm

Tawas Point State Park, Michigan — Lake Huron

I walked back along the inside shore of the point headed back toward my car.  I crossed an area of tall grass and flushed this huge bird from the grass not more than twenty feet in front of me.  It flew over the main lake and circled north out of sight.  I had gotten a good look, but had no idea what it was.  After much soul-searching and research, I was convinced it was a Whimbrel.

Just to make things absolutely legitimate, less than two months later, the Chicago hot line reported two Whimbrels on Lake Michigan in Waukegan.  I drove up with Larry and Dave Wightman and found them on the beach just south of Illinois Beach State Park.  I crept through the sand to within fifty feet of them and got a great look.

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