Yep, it was time to keep moving. I made the drive from western New York state out to southwest Michigan in a short day. I arrived in Berrien County just in time to get slammed with some nice thunderstorms; a huge highlight for me. And no, I'm not being sarcastic, I truly relish monster thunderstorms.
Anyway, I didn't have much to target in SW Michigan other than year birds like Willow Flycatcher, Henslow's Sparrow, and Cerulean Warbler. They all turned out to be easy.
I figured that seeing the endangered butterfly (Mitchell's Satyr) would also be easy. THAT... was not. In its place, here is a LITTLE WOOD-SATYR:
The only place I've ever seen APPALACHIAN BROWNS has been at this spot (Sarett Nature Center). This visit was no exception:
However, a lifer butterfly was lurking nearby. I was actually eager to see my first BALTIMORE CHECKERSPOT. It didn't disappoint:
I didn't stay in Michigan long though, less than a day in total actually. From here though I had a pretty open swath of country to cover. Which way should I get back to California?? Well, there was a lifer waiting for me in southern Texas though. Ok, I guess I'll drive to Brownsville!
En route, I got to bird in a couple of states that I had no lists for. One of them was Arkansas. I purposefully wanted to camp somewhere in AR just so that I could start a decent state list. Yeah, I'm lame like that. Nearby my campsite was this lightpole with a hole in it. See the body of a bird sticking out? Any guesses on what it is?
The nest hole belonged to a pair of GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS.
The campsite was actually pretty cool (as far as backwoods Arkansas goes!). For one thing, I woke up to CERULEAN WARBLERS singing outside my tent! Not only that, but there was a family of curious LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES nearby that would hop up into my campsite. Here's one on the fireplace grill:
However, I didn't waste too much time. Like I said, I was en route to southern Texas where I had a date with a sassy vireo species.