Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last Day at Magee Marsh

As you can see from the top photo above, I have been one happy birder over the past 6 days at Magee Marsh. We arrived there again this AM around 8:30 (my wife wanted a bit more sleep). The bottom photo above is of a common nighthawk that was found roosting almost directly above our truck. Yesterday's star bird--the kirtland's warbler--was not found again by anyone today, but be sure to check my prior posting where I was able to add a very nice picture of the kirtland's taken by Adrian Binns.

We once again birded with our friends from Columbus, OH and Carson City, NV. The overall number of birds was down from yesterday, but the day itself was just as beautiful--sunny blue skies, light wind and temps in the 60's. Early on we had very good looks at a fully breeding plumaged male golden-winged warbler. While watching it, one member of our group saw a yellow-bellied flycatcher right after I saw only the back of a small flycatcher that had a greenish hue. This was one of our target birds for today, so we knew that some early arrivals were around.

After wandering thru almost all of the boardwalk, we finally all saw a different yellow-bellied, which became the 541st new bird for the year. The rest of our day was spent simply enjoying the birds, mostly warblers, that we encountered. The day ended for us about 3 PM so that my wife and I could drive up to Ann Arbor, MI to eat an early dinner at Zingerman's Roadhouse. We know Ari Zingerman, and wanted to eat at the Roadhouse.

We started our meal with 3 different kinds of east coast oysters. The beausoleils from New Brunswick, Canada were labeled as the chef's favorites, and were also the most expensive. In the end, after comparing these tiny but very delicious oysters to 2 others from Cape Cod , MA, we were in agreement with the chef's personal evaluation.

The main course included a smoked chicken and green chili mac and cheese for my wife, and the Amish buttermilk battered fried chicken with sauteed spinach for myself. I also had a side of pimento and pepper bacon mac and cheese, and my wife had a small house salad. We shared a glass of '07 St. Clement sauvignon blanc with the oysters. That was followed by a glass of '08 semillon from L'ecole 41, and a glass of '06 merlot from St. Francis. Dessert was a very fine example of key lime pie. We left most happy about our visit there.

The current week bird count is now at 100 birds, and the 6 days at Magee ended with a total of 127 different species seen. Also, the travel map has been updated.

I am now sitting in my motel room next to the Detroit airport while my wife is driving towards Minnesota in our truck. She will arrive there tomorrow afternoon to drop it off with our daughter for her use during the summer. I will be hopping a plane early tomorrow for 8 days of birding in southeastern Arizona. Stay tuned!

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