Throngs of birders came to Northwest Ohio to catch a glimpse of the magical spectacle of birds on their epic journey from as far away as South America on their way to their breeding grounds in Canada. Birders here are on the famed boardwalk at Magee Marsh near Oak Harbor, Ohio.
The last day of Biggest Week was chilly with winds out if the North–not prime migration conditions. But, the cold wind kept the insect-eating warblers low and conditions for photography were excellent. This Cape May Warbler looks like it could have used an extra layer of clothing. Continue reading →
The last couple days have been rugged. Actually, make that 10 days. I've been struggling physically with bouts of fevers and chills. Thursday night I was at Stat Care for several hours for a batter of tests. I have a kidney infection. I got an antibiotic (levaquin) and I'm also on prednisone for an unknown inflammation. I'm mildly better. I will take any improvement at this point. I'm currently up at Biggest Week now along the shores of Lake Erie.
Here is our intrepid crew of birders from yesterday looking at a striking male Summer Tanager.
I joined the group at 10am. Thanks to Jason Larson for covering for those first 3 hours so I could catch up up on som sleep from the long night before. We had many southern Ohio specialties including Kentucky Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue-winged Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Summer Tanager, and Black Vulture. We also had Red-headed and Pileated Woodpeckers and Orchard Oriole.
Some highlights from today's outing with Ken & Tad, winners of the day birding with Greg Miller offered by Space Coast Birding Festival. We spent the day birding in Ohio's natural gem, Shawnee State Forest.
It's always a treat for me to see Gray Kingbirds with their soft gray backs and disproportionately large beaks. Someday Ohio will have a record of one of these birds. Well. I hope so anyways. David Goodwin, Ray Webb, and spent a beautiful, Florida-style, sun-filled day on Honeymoon Island near Dunedin, FL. The migrants were slow that day but the birding was fun.
Saturday morning I went to Fort Desoto Park in St. Petersburg, Florida again. It's maybe the best place to bird on Florida's West Coast. (Ok. That's my opinion. You are entitled to your own favorite spot). The Yellow-throated Warbler pictured above is always a delight to see!
These cool warblers are often found in dramatic positions as they feed. I know I don't eat breakfast upside down.
And why is it that these pretty Cape May Warblers strive so hard to hide from my camera? I think they must be bashful. Or something.
This is our group actively looking at…a mulberry tree. Ha. Maybe it was really the migrant birds in the mulberry tree. Yeah. Probably.
The afternoon and evening were spent indoors listening to workshops and another keynote. And some guy gave a workshop on learning bird songs and calls and didn't even use slides. Egads! The audacity! (Yeah. It was me)