Friday, May 4, 2012

Just a Few Mminutes of Birding Today! - 04 May 2012

Today was a work day, so there was no getting out to enjoy the first day of the Biggest Week in American Birding Festival.  I had tickets for tonight's Keynote Presentation by Bill Rapai, author of the newly-published "The Kirtland's Warbler", so there'd be no birding today. 

However, I managed to get home by 4pm, packed and on the road to Ohio.  I arrived just after 5 pm, checked into a hotel, and decided to head to Maumee Bay State Park for the talk.  Since it wasn't going to start for another 1.5 Hours, I decided to keep on driving down to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory to eat my dinner.  Folks were leaving the area, as it was dinner time, but I drove in and pulled over alongside the main road next to the marsh.  It was sunny, and mild, so I sat on the car hood and sipped a soda while listening to the marsh. 

First bird I heard was the 'kiddick-kiddick-kiddick' of a Virginia Rail!  A few moments later I heard the whinny of a Sora far off in the distance.  A Spotted Sandpiper flew in and foraged just a few feet from the car. Barn Swallows were taking advantage of a late afternoon insect hatch and were swarming all around.  I heard Yellow Warblers by the dozen wherever I turned.    In only a few minutes of birding I was able to pick up some nice birds.  Heading back toward MBSP I spotted an Osprey flying across the field toward Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.  Not bad.

Mr. Rapai entertained a crowd of about 65 with stories of the Kirtland's Warbler, and how it became a symbol conservation for the State of Michigan. His book is more about the efforts of dedicated individuals who devoted time and sweat to help preserve a bird who's numbered dwindled to just a few hundred by the early 80's.  Thanks to their efforts, the Kirtland's Warbler is now enjoying a population of well over 4000 birds, and is expanding its range to include Wisconsin and Ontario.  If you get the opportunity, pick up a copy.  Everyone has been raving about the book, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I know I will!

ISBN-13: 9780472118038
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press/Regional
  • Publication date: 2/8/2012
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)
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