Henslow's Sparrow - Southern Lower Peninsula, MI. May 8th, 2012.
Just back from a short trip to Ohio and Michigan. Two rare songbirds very much on my 'wish list' were Kirtland's Warbler and Henslow's Sparrow though I recognized that I was probably a bit early for both of them.
Having scoured multiple recommended sites in Central and Northern Ohio for Henslow's Sparrow without success, I gave up chasing ghosts and decided to let the little beast come to me......which it did in Michigan on my way up to Grayling. I found these birds by driving past suitable looking habitat with the car windows down listening for the distinctive but unobtrusive "tsillik" song. Three different singing males are featured in this image set, all of them from the same field which held a further two singing males heard but not seen. When perched up and singing the birds weren't too difficult to see, but they would often fall silent for fairly long periods (15 - 20 minutes at a time) when they would be impossible to detect, or least from the roadside. How fortunate I was to be driving past when the birds were vocal!
As for the Kirtland's Warbler, more on that story later..........