Monday, May 5, 2014

The Biggest Week is Finally Here! - 05 May 2014

If today is any indication then The Biggest Week in American Birding festival in NW Ohio is going to be rockin'! Despite it being cloudy, cool, breezy, and the day before the official start to the festival, the parking lot at Magee Marsh was packed, the boardwalk was packed, and the birds were hopping!  It was a great day, and a great indication to the May-hem that will be the next two weeks here.

I arrived a little after 7 am and parked at the east end of the boardwalk.  Almost immediately the three most prominent species of the day made appearances: Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Warbling Vireo.  All of these birds appeared to be everywhere, showing up in threes and fours at a time.  Birds like White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were all over the place as well.

Warbling Vireo

Black-throated Green Warbler

Wood Thrush

Highlights of the morning walk included Prairie Warbler (heard only), several Blue-headed Vireos, great looks at a Woodcock roosting near the tower, and a day-roosting gray-phase Screech Owl that also gave great looks to everyone passing by.

Blue-headed Vireo

Is that a beetle larvae on its chest or is this an inflatable bird?

Yellow-rumped Warbler
At one point I took a walk along the Estuary Trail to get away from the crowd and to see if any migrants were working the shoreline.  Baltimore Orioles were vocal, as well as (more) Yellow and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  I would see a pair of Winter Wrens, and even got a few pics of a skulking Swamp Sparrow.

A pair of Trumpeter Swans flew in overhead and landed in the inlet off the lake.  A resident Canada Goose took offense, and a tussle ensued over property rights.  The Trumpeters soon flew off, but a second pair of Trumpeters arrived just moments later, so the Canada Goose had to start another fight!

Most of the warblers were up high, but there were occasions when birds came very close.  On two occasions I had Chestnut-sided Warblers just inches from my face, and could only enjoy them w/ my naked eyes as they were too close to photograph.

A Least Flycatcher also put on a nice show just a few feet away.

I'll be at Point Pelee NP on Tuesday (Day 1 of the festival) but am looking forward to getting back there on Wednesday for more warbler fun!

As this Chestnut-sided Warbler is gesturing, "I pity the fool who misses The Biggest Week!"


Cathy Carroll said...

Great post Jerry. Wish I could have been there.

Paul Poronto said...

Great Shots Jerry!! Wish I was going down there this week... save some birds for next week..

~L said...

Such wonderful photos you captured, Uncle! I simply cannot pick a favorite. That must have been something to capture the tussle between that bully goose and the swans. :)

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