The Biggest Week in American Birding Festival kicked off last evening. The bird didn't wait. Things have been hopping for almost a week now, and, with a delay in tree-leafing, should be a great year for seeing jewels of the birding world. A VERY strong thunderstorm hit the lower Great Lakes Region Friday afternoon, and many of the birds would move out with it, including such birds as Kentucky and Hooded Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, and Blue-winged and Cerulean Warblers. But, many new arrivals would replace them: Blackpoll and Black-throated Green Warblers (more about them later).
I left the house a little after 5 am hoping to get down to Magee Marsh as the sun was coming up. A motorcycle-deer accident slowed traffic (deer killed, motorcyclist was being tended to as I was driving by with ambulance on way). Not the kind of thing anyone wants to see...
Prothonotary Warblers were active near the tower, and made appearances at various locations farther east along the boardwalk. Not crushing views, but good enough looks by all.
|"The invisible perch"|
Warblers weren't the only draw. This American Woodcock put on a show just a few feet from the boardwalk. Bobbing and dancing while probing for worms it was all we could do to keep from squeezing it to death. House Wrens were vocal. Most of the thrushes moved on overnight, but a few Hermit, Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes were still around.