Sunday, May 1, 2011

Magee Marsh - 30 Apr 2011

Saturday brought the promise of a good day of migration at Magee Marsh in Ohio.  The first clear skies in weeks (it seems) came w/ the prediction that this day could be good for warblers.  Unfortunately I would be a day early for the first real arrival of warblers.

The morning started w/ clear skies, low winds, and the promise of a good day. Four Cattle Egrets were feeding next to Highway 2 just north of the entrance to Ottawa NWR.  Robin and I arrived at the boardwalk just after 7 am, and within minutes I had Eastern Phoebe and Northern Waterthrush near the west end tower.  A Blackpoll Warbler was calling from high above. From there things began to slow.  Clouds moved in and things cooled off, temperature-wise and bird-wise.

I did find a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a House Wren, but that was about all.  Palm Warblers and Myrtle Warblers were numerous, but generally high in the trees.

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher made a brief appearance overhead, but refused to come lower. 
It was at this time that I ran into Charles Owens.  He had just photographed a pair of Virginia Rails, but they refused to show again. 

We would make a couple more passes around the boardwalk, but would fail to see anything other than Palm Warblers, Myrtle Warblers, and Common Grackles.  No thrushes, and only a couple of White-throated Sparrows.

We did come upon a pair of Black-capped Chickadees that appeared to be nesting in a cavity next to the boardwalk.  One of the birds appeared to have a dark belly.  It wasn't until I got home and reviewed pictures that it appeared that the bird has lost all of its belly feathers. 

One of the Screech Owls reported a day earlier was found in the crotch of a tree next to the boardwalk.
We took a few photos from distance before moving on.

Another loop of the boardwalk brought a couple more Palm Warblers close enough to photograph. 

A female Yellow Warbler brought a moment of excitement.  I was able to get some nice pics from a few feet away.

Just before leaving a Gray Catbird made a brief appearance.

It was great seeing Charles, and running into old/new friends Cherise Charron, Sherrie Duris, and her friend Ryan.

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