Saturday, May 18, 2013

Magee and Beyond

On Wednesday, 5/15, I visited Magee Marsh in Ohio to try to clean up some of my missing warblers and other migrants I had yet to photograph. The winds looked good, and a Kirtland's Warbler had been seen the previous day. I was hoping the migrants would cooperate.

In short, they did. It was an awesome day. East Beach was loaded with warblers, including the female Kirtland's from the day before. I also added Chestnut-sided and Bay-breasted Warblers to the year list.

Bay-breasted Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Kirtland's Warbler
After enjoying the migrants at East Beach, I retreated to my car to avoid a nasty rain squall that looked like it would quickly pass. I moved to the boardwalk where the birds were just as numerous as the people. The one upside to a crowded boardwalk is that if a bird is around, some one will see it. However, I didn't need the crowd of people to point out this very vocal, and skulky Mourning Warbler.

Mourning Warbler
One of my favorite warblers, the Canada Warbler, was also present. I never see a lot of these warblers, so I always appreciate a sighting.

Canada Warbler
It was also neat to see this American Woodcock resting up right off the path, being admired by many. I wondered if I would be able to photograph this bird this year.

American Woodcock
There were a couple other migrants around the boardwalk, but you'll have to visit the flickr page to see them.

Today, 5/18, my dad and I birded Muskegon County, Michigan. I had three main targets: Ruddy Duck, Eastern Meadowlark and, most importantly, Upland Sandpiper.

On our drive over, near Coopersville, I spotted a white goose with some Canadas off the highway. I exited and backtracked, happy to find that white goose was indeed a Snow Goose. +1

Snow Goose
We drove to Pere Marquette Park to look for shorebirds. Only shorebirds present were a plethora of Spotted Sandpipers.

At the Muskegon Wastewater, Ruddy Duck was common and easy to photograph.

Ruddy Duck
Eastern Meadowlark proved to be a bit more of a challenge. I finally got one photo to show the white malar.

Eastern Meadowlark
While driving around the wastewater proper, we spotted a couple Eared Grebes. The lighting was the worst, and the picture is barely manageable.

Eared Grebe
This was going very well! Now to just find an Upland Sandpiper. On our first drive around the property boundary, we didn't see one. On our way back, we spotted one running around. If it hadn't been moving, we would have missed it.

Upland Sandpiper
We even made it back to Lansing in time to watch the Detroit Red Wings crush the Chicago Blackhawks. All in all, a great day!

I won't be doing a lot of birding in the coming few days. I need to prepare for my first field season as a graduate student, which involves a quick trip to Minneapolis. I leave for the field season  (in Nevada) on May 23rd. I hope to get one or two more birds in Michigan before I head out. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment