Monday, June 10, 2013

Birding at Magee Marsh

There's a bumper sticker I see every once and while...when I see it, I know that person is like me. They share the same obsessive passion for our feathered friends. Maybe these creatures consume their dreams, as they do mine. Or maybe I'm crazy.
This bumper sticker says, "I'd rather be birding at Magee Marsh" and on almost any day of the week...that statement is 100% true for me.
I'd rather be birding.
This year I experience the Biggest Week at Magee(just Google it), you'll see photos of crowds of people with telephotos the size of baseball bats lined on a wooden boardwalk all pointed in the same direction. Waiting for that passing bird to stop on that branch to rest.
The thing about Magee and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory region, is that it is the last swath of trees for birds to make a migration pit-stop before flying over Lake Erie. So, clouds of warblers and other amazing migrating species stop here and make us birders go bananas!
I went twice during the Biggest Week (one day was far better than the other-but weather patterns greatly dictate how long the birds stick around) but I already can't wait for next year.
Black and white warbler-one I was looking most forward to. I started squealing when I saw it...then realized there were people around me. They just smiled and nodded-they understood. 

 Yellow warbler-very abundant, once you recognize their call Sweet sweet, little more sweet! It's hard to hear anything else.
 Chestnut-sided warbler-quickly became my favorite bird of the visit, so striking-and they let me get very close to them.
 Magnolia warbler
 Blackburnian warbler-even more impressive in person, the color is amazing!
 Black-throated green warbler
 Tree swallow-also very abundant, but I couldn't resist this shot when it landed in front of me.
We even saw a Prothonotary warbler, can you see his bright yellow?
And one of my favorite birds! American woodcock, sitting on her nest. Can you see her?
The list goes on for the birds we saw, common yellowthroat, palm warbler, Nashville warbler, yellow-rumped,  E. screech owl, great horned owl babies!, a million vireos(maybe an exaggeration). I think we saw 21 new species the first day and another 20 the second.
The point is...I may be a beginning birder-yes I consult my field guides(yes-plural) throughout the day, but I'd rather be birding...anywhere, any day.