|Red-tailed Hawk, composite image from 12 frames|
I was able to get the scope on the bird, which was now perched in the trees. Winds were blowing at a constant 10-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph, so digiscoping was a bit of a challenge. I managed to grab a few record shots from the road. A lady was pulling out of Curleze Corner, so I asked her if she owned the place. She was an in-law, and gave me permission to walk out toward the back, but just as I reached the garage the owl took off along the tree line parallel to the road.
Here is a short video showing the wind-blown owl:
After lunch in the town of Rudyard, we made the loop down Hantz Rd. to M-48, over to Centerline Rd., then back north to the I-75 entrance ramp. We spotted 2 Snowy Owls, but both birds were several hundred yards out in the fields. High winds and distance discouraged me from any attempts at photographs, so we headed for home.
The only excitement we encountered was our attempt to cross the Mackinac Bridge. The car in front of us was hauling a snowmobile trailer, and the high winds flipped the trailer on its side, stopping traffic atop the bridge. We had to wait 20 minutes or so the trailer to be righted, then escorted across the span by a semi truck that acted as a wind break. Several large rafts of Redhead ducks were seen in the straights as we made our slow trip across the bridge. Winds would not slow down enough until we were half-way down the state, so we were glad to be heading home. I was a bit disappointed that the weather wasn't conducive for birding the U.P., but the Northern Hawk Owl more than made up for the otherwise lack of boreal birds.