Saturday, May 7, 2011
Day 2 at Magee Marsh
I had another good day of birding at Magee Marsh which began about 8:45 under mostly sunny skies and temps in the low 6o's. This week is now promoted as the Biggest Week in Birding up here which brings in even more birders than ever before. As a result, being here on the weekend is usually not the best choice because there are so many people walking the boardwalk looking at and photographing the birds. I was originally going to arrive here next Monday, but because of the Garganey I came up early. Fortunately, while there were many birders today it was never overwhelmingly crowded.
Yesterday was particularly impressive with the sheer number and variety of birds, and today was not far behind. One bird that was not seen today is the resting whip poor will in the top photo above (click on any photo to enlarge). The whip sitting on its day roost was a real crowd pleaser throughout yesterday. Even though the whip left, several woodcocks were still in the marsh today. The new "feature" birds of the day were the many black-billed cuckoos (middle photo above), and at least one yellow-billed cuckoo that posed for the photogs throughout the afternoon.
On a really good day here at Magee, and the neighboring birding spots like Ottawa NWR and Metzger Marsh, it is common to approach or pass 100 different species seen after a full day of birding. And one reason is the huge number of warblers that stop here before flying across Lake Erie. For example, yesterday afternoon in just 5 hours I saw 24 different kinds of warblers including the black-throated green in the bottom photo above. I also saw blue-winged and golden-winged warblers yesterday, but not today. Instead I saw cerulean, canada and blackpoll warblers for the first time on this trip.
This is the 3rd year in a row and the 5th time in the last 8 years that I have visited Magee Marsh during the 1st 2 weeks of May. As a result I am beginning to recognize other birders that also make it a point to be here at this time. Most are from Ohio but there are also many who come from around the US. My friends Dan and Doreene are coming up tomorrow from Columbus to spend the week here. For several weeks I have been looking forward to birding with them again. Stay tuned!