Kirtland's Warbler. Biggest Week 2012. Photo by Greg Miller
Northwest Ohio in May is…for the birds. No really. It is a very birdy place. It has been my favorite place to visit on the North American continent in May for more than 30 years. And I cannot wait to go back there again this May. It is home to one of the most amazing displays of bird migration. There are many migration hot spots in the East. Your home state probably has a few good areas. And maybe you have ticked all 37 species of eastern wood warblers that occur here in Northwest Ohio, seen all the thrushes, tanagers, buntings, and orioles (and many, many more species). So why visit Biggest Week? Aren't there huge crowds of people? Isn't it hard to find lodging and places to eat? Can't I see all those birds somewhere else? Even if you have all these birds, you should visit this area of Northwest Ohio at least once in your life and experience it for yourself. Yes. There are huge crowds. But with a little planning and patience, your experience should still be unforgettable–even if you don't enjoy big crowds. For lodging and food you should also plan ahead or you will find yourself 30 minutes (or more) away from the comforts and conveniences “civilization”.
Scarlet Tanager. Biggest Week 2012. Photo by Greg Miller
Friday and most of Saturday I got a chance to bird with fellow birder Nathan Madison. We had a great time birding starting on Kelley’s Island Friday morning, birding Western Lake Erie Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and then finishing up at Mohican State Park Saturday afternoon. The weather was very pleasant and birding was good. Although the largest numbers of peak migration had already passed, we still had a decent variety of species with a total of 108 for our trip list.
It was Nathan’s first Spring trip to the famed Magee Marsh Bird Trail. Many birds were up close and personal affording “Miller Views” (a Miller View is a crippling good look at a bird) of birds normally far harder to see in the tree tops. Some birding highlights included Mourning Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Gray-cheeked Thrush. And below, I’ve included some pics from our trip.