Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 6 at Magee Marsh

We began birding this morning about 8:15 at the Magee boardwalk to see if the numbers and overall quality of birds had continued from yesterday's stellar late afternoon. We found the birding to be good but definitely down a notch. There were several rose-breasted grosbeaks (top photo above) and lots of baltimore orioles. The overall number of warblers was down but the variety was still enough that by the end of the day I had once again seen at least 20 warbler species.

Over the past few days I have seen several "vanity plates" indicating the car's owner was a birder. The middle photo above is an example of someone who could only fit screech instead of screech owl on the license plate. I saw a birder friend, Adrian Binns, taking a picture of one that read birdfrk. He told me that besides birds he also collects photos of birder vanity plates.

Two more birder friends, Rob and Ricki, joined us around 3 PM. They used to live in Ohio, and had flown in from Nevada to bird for the next few days. We worked the boardwalk with them briefly before getting a tweet that both blue-winged and golden-winged warblers were being seen next door at Ottawa NWR. We went over and found the golden-winged plus tufted titmouse and black-capped chickadee, neither of which is normally found on the boardwalk.

After returning to the boardwalk we continued to see several warbler species including a very hungry but cooperative canada (bottom photo above--click on any photo to enlarge). Finally about 6:30 we all piled into our cars to head back for dinner and then our respective motels. When I got back to my room I checked Gabriel's blog to discover that he had been able to see the garganey--way to go! The local bird cognoscenti are predicting another major wave of birds tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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