Sunday, May 8, 2011
Day 3 at Magee Marsh
It was another fine day at Magee Marsh, Ottawa NWR and Metzger Marsh. I arrived at Magee about 9 under sunny skies and temps in the high 50's. There were far fewer birds today which meant that the majority had moved out and across Lake Erie overnite. Dan and Doreene arrived about 10 and we hit the boardwalk to see what we could find. Since there were far fewer birds we spent a fair amount of time catching up as well as chatting with other birders that we knew. There were still enough warblers around that I was able to get the top photo of a blackburnian. Since the photographers put out sliced oranges to attract the baltimore orioles, it was also easy to get the middle photo above.
We checked out a young male blue grosbeak that was feeding along the beach, but since things were not exactly hopping, we took a lunch break and visited with Laura Keene, who lives near Cincinnati, and her daughter. Laura had met Dan and Doreene during a winter trip to Minnesota to look for owls. I had met her last year on a pelagic trip out of Monterey, and saw her again on Thursday afternoon when I was looking for the garganey.
After eating we decided to take the car tour of Ottawa NWR which is only available 1 day a month except during the big birding week when they open the road on both Sat. and Sun. on consecutive weekends. We did not find a lot of birds but did see yellow-headed blackbirds and a horned grebe--both new birds for the trip.
We then checked out Metzger where nothing was happening when we first walked into the small wooded area, but quickly came alive as a group of warblers dropped out of the sky to eat. On the drive back out we also saw a sora (rail), and the tri-colored heron that has been there for over a week. At a wet area nearby we found a small group of dunlins, and a greater and lesser yellowlegs.
We finished the day back on the boardwalk where we found more warblers than during the morning. I was able to get the bottom photo above of a prothonotary warbler. We heard a swainson's thrush calling--my first for the week. We called it a day about 7:30. After 2 and 1/2 days of birding at Magee I have seen at least 20 warbler species each day, and a total of 27 kinds of warblers so far. There are still a few more different warblers that could show up in the next few days. Stay tuned!