Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Beautiful Ending - 13 May 2018

Sunday marked the "official" ending of the Biggest Week in Birding. After another night of heavy rains the day brought heavy clouds and temperatures struggling to break 50F. Rain was still falling in NW Ohio, and wouldn't let up until after 10 am. I asked Robin if she'd be interested in making one last trip to Ohio and she jumped at the chance. So, we drove down and reached the east end of the Boardwalk at about 10:30 am.

We encountered birds almost immediately. At eye level! Magnolia Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Yellow Warblers, and Cape May Warblers!

I ran into Jack and Janet Volker just as we entered the boardwalk, and they reported a Black-throated Gray Warbler (female) found at the west entrance.  I was heading that way, but decided that I couldn't pass up the chance at the beautiful birds presenting themselves just feet away. Crowds were heavy, but the birds were heavier. It would take almost an hour to reach the west end, but I didn't care. The lighting and birds were spectacular. It was also great to run into such folks as Cherise Charron, Jeff Bueking, and Linda Rockwell.

I would miss seeing the Black-throated Gray Warbler, but I didn't mind. I was enjoying the views of birds too close to photograph. One woman held up an iPhone camera and had a Chestnut-sided Warbler land on it! I was actually too close to photograph one individual, myself. So, I watched it forage just inches away.

Northern Parula!

Prothonotary Warbler!

Black-throated Green Warbler!


Palm Warbler!

Black-throated Blue Warbler! Females outnumbered males 10:1. I couldn't get a lock on them as they were moving too fast, though.

Cape May Warblers were everywhere. Lots of females, as well. They came in flocks and chased other birds foraging at eye level.

Even a Philadelphia Vireo!

 Other birds seen included Veery, Ovenbird, Lincoln's Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. Gray Catbirds continued. The Screech Owl was rebound, as was the Woodcock.

Despite the festival being over, good birds will continue to move through the area for the next few weeks, so hopefully I can get back down there before leaves get too heavy.

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