Monday, September 30, 2013

Magee Migrants - 28 Sep 2013

Blackpoll Warbler
Patricia Rydzewski and I drove down to Magee Marsh to check out the boardwalk migrants.  Things were a bit slow, but still interesting and enjoyable.  Weather was perfect, and I commented at one point that I could lay down on the boardwalk and take a nap.  What a nice morning.

We entered the marsh area shortly after 8 am and found a pair of Trumpeter Swans next to shore along the Magee Causeway.  Just a short distance later a Great Egret and Great Blue Heron posed in the morning sun.


We parked at the east end of the boardwalk and immediately found a Cape May Warbler foraging Gray Dogwood Berries on the boardwalk itself.

From there on out we would only find Blackpoll Warblers until we reached the west end, where a Black-throated Green Warbler provided the only other species for us.  American Robins, European Starlings, Wood Ducks, Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Common Grackles, and Eastern Phoebes all made appearances, but provided only occasional looks.

We did run into a small flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets and Ruby-crowned Kinglets out near the parking lot, but they were high in the trees.

Blackpoll Warbler
We headed back to the car and drove back to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.  Mark Shieldcastle (Research Director) and Katie Zimmerman (Education Director) were conducting a bird banding demonstration.  Mark was banding some Blackpoll Warblers he had caught, while Katie discussed identification and handling tips.  Once banded, the birds were shown for closeup photos, and given to the younger attendees to release.

Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ovenbirds and White-throated Sparrows were also banded and released.

Hatch-year White-throated Sparrow (note brown iris and streaks on chest)

We then drove over to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and took advantage of the Auto Tour.  We did not see a whole lot on the drive, but a Brown Thrasher,  a pair of Snowy Egrets, a Northern Harrier and a scattering of Greater Yellowlegs made the drive worthwhile.

As we were leaving a Belted Kingfisher was quietly roosting in the tree next to the creek on our left, and astonishingly allowed us to pull up and get a few photos from inside the car.

1 comment:

Josh Wallestad said...

Trumpeter Swans are always a pleasure to find -- I found 9 of them when I went birding on Sunday in west-central MN. The Cape May is always a fun find, too.

You take some really great photos of birds. I have a birding site called, and I'd love if you'd consider adding pics to the Michigan and Ohio pages. I'm also always on the lookout for guest bloggers. Let me know if you're interested.

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