Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Wet Day at Magee

The weather forecast for today said it would be very wet, and this time the weatherman was right. We awakened to rain which let up about noon. I decided to see if maybe the afternoon would stay relatively dry, so I went over to Magee, leaving my wife back at the motel since she did not share my optimism for better weather. She proved to be correct. Soon after I had walked down the boardwalk it began to rain, and continued long enough that I retreated to the truck to dry off and warm up.

I did talk with one of the volunteer bird guides who said canada warblers and a black-billed cuckoo had been reported during the morning. This news got me back out on the boardwalk when the rain stopped. I had about an hour of pretty good birding when the skies opened up, so I once again hightailed it back to the truck.

Around 5:30 PM after that round of rain subsided I hit the boardwalk, and was able to bird until about 7 when the wind picked up. Throughout the day there were still warblers feeding in the trees, including a few prothonotaries (see photo above taken yesterday). I never did find a canada or a cuckoo, but I am hoping that tomorrow morning they will make an appearance.

I stopped at a bar not far from Magee, and had a beer and bowl of chili. While eating I watched the news about a small tornado that had briefly touched down an hour earlier not 30 miles away. Undaunted, I went back to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory at Magee to look for woodcocks that have been displaying there at dusk. About 8:30 PM one almost flew into me. Soon after a 2nd one came in. I then watched both of them for awhile, calling while standing in the gravel path, and occasionally flying up into the air. Damp and chilled, I packed it in at 9 PM, and drove back to Port Clinton to take a hot shower.

Even with the rain challenge today, 7 more new birds were seen for the week, and the woodcock was also a new year bird bringing the YTD number to 534. Tomorrow will find us again at Magee. Stay tuned!

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