Any time you get a new yard bird, especially when it’s a Warbler, it’s a real treat. Sometimes i think that I’ve reached my limit as to how many new yard birds I’ll ever get. However today while I was talking to a contractor who going to do some work for me I heard a Yellow Warbler sing. I turned around and sure enough it was perched on the end of limb in some thick overgrown area. As I approached to get a closer look it flew away. Having seen a trillion up at Lake Erie these past few days it comes as no wonder I’m able to ID this bird without the use on my bins.
Just a quick note before we pack it up and head over to Maumee Bay Brewery for some lunch. The KirtlandWarbler was rediscovered again this morning by a photographer. We made a hasty retreat since we had already seen her and on the beach at the time. A passing thunder shower didn’t slow down any of the action on the boardwalk with a decent view of a Mourning Warbler and a Olive-sided Flycatcher. A Hooded was making itself known again with it’s very distinct song. And a real treat were Pine Siskins and Indigo Bunting and a Gray-checked Thrush.
And I think a scored my best ever in total number of different species of Warblers with 30. I”ll double check when I get home but the 2 from today might be the ones that got me there.
Anyway, it was a great trip and plans are already under way for next year. A complete trip list will be forth coming after I get home and review all my lists.
The morning started out a little overcast which was kind of disappointing because I wanted to see the sun rise over the marsh. Kathy was with me this early morning because she wanted to experience the boardwalk without all the crowds. So we hit the boardwalk real early and had a great time, for a while. It doesn’t take long for the crowds to appear, and in the past this week has always been quite fruitful for birds. And today was a good example of a good day.
After we left the boardwalk I told Kathy that I was going to walk the Estuary Trail and see if there was any hint of the Piping Plover seen there last evening. The walk out to the estuary was uneventful, and while I was scanning the mud flats for shore birds a couple of guides from Tropical Bird arrived to scope the flats as well. Seeing that there was nothing they walked further South on the trail for a short distance to a hole in the tree line that opens up a great view of the estuary.
It was at this point that one of the guides went further on, and the other guide told me that he was off to the East Beach to try for Kirtland Warblers. Remember this is the time that they show up and one of the reasons why I like to go during this particular week.
So I made my way back to the car to drop of my scope and tell Kathy that I was on my way to East Beach, which I was going to do anyway but with a guide from Tropical Bird heading that way I thought why not, they are top notch guides. Kathy had to run a quick errand and would join me later. After I got out of the car I noticed group of people in a deep conversation and asked what was up. They claimed that they had seen a Kirtland Warbler just minutes ago and just sent for a volunteer, which turns out to be the guides from Tropical Bird. In the mean time myself and about 10 others started to scan the beach in hopes of finding the “Needle in a Haystack”. But in defense of finding hard to find birds I did relocate the Clay-colored Sparrow on the same beach just few days earlier.
One of the guys from Tropical Bird shows up and the story was related to him by the lady who was one of the first people who saw the bird.
From what was being said the bird was working it’s way at first in a westerly direction. The guide thought that it might start to back track in a Easterly direction, so we returned to where it was first seen and then we spread out down the beach in a easterly direction. 10 minutes later it was seen. I was by the guide when the news reached us, so of we ran. There it was under a short shrub which dot the beach feeding. A beautiful female Kirtland Warbler.
Well I can tell you word spread fast as more and more people started to show up. This bird was a real celebrity. As the group swelled it became more and more difficult to view the bird. Being one of the lucky ones who saw it early I had some extended time to really see this bird and study the beauty of it.
Even though there were tons of people there to see the bird, it would have been awful if it was sighted during the festival when there are 20 time more people here on the boardwalk.
What a day!
Even though this isn’t as exciting as a Kirtland Warbler, we did get a good view of a Yellow-throated Warbler which is kind of unusual this far North. Being from the Southern part of Ohio we take this bird for granted since it is fairly common, however eBird didn’t like this and needed an explanation. And even more White Pelicans which is always a treat to see.
Well tomorrow is our last day and even Kathy is excited about going back tomorrow morning. It’s amazing how seeing a rarity like a Kirtland Warbler can create a budding new birders. I now think she understands when I fly off to see an unusual bird.
Just prior to Kathy and me driving to Port Clinton for a fish dinner I read my e mail and saw that a Piping Plover had been seen from the Estuary Trail at Magee Marsh. Since the message was over 45 minutes old I decided to try anyway since it was on the way to Port Clinton. well I dipped on the bird, however I did pick up 3 new birds for both my trip list and my year list. Black-bellied Plovers, Willet, and Ruddy Turnstones were some very cool birds.
After leaving we were making our way to the restaurant when we both saw 2 mature Bald Eagles chasing after each other right in front of us. It’s sights like this excites Kathy and hopefully get her get more involved with birding.
And then to top it off as we were leaving the restaurant we heard a Eastern Towhee sing from this small stand of trees.
It certainly has been a good day, with more to come tomorrow.
The weather here has taken a turn for the better with more sun and less wind. Even though it has been pretty cool in the morning, the sun really warms person up quickly.
This place can be pretty amazing right after the festival is over. I arrived at the boardwalk at about 6:15 and besides myself there were only 8 other cars in the parking lot. I practically had the whole boardwalk to myself and it was wonderful. You can really hear the birds when less people are around. However this treat is short lived as more and more birders started to show up after and hour or so. Not nearly as many as Saturday or Sunday but still a good many people, e for a week day.
Some of the highlights of the day are 20 Warbler species including a Orange-crowned Warbler. Not a great count but not too shabby either. And a beautiful Snowy Egret that was right at the end of the causeway before you turned into the parking lot.
Tomorrow Kathy says that she’s joining me for another early morning boardwalk trip. Hopefully she will bring me luck and more Warblers.
More to come tomorrow.
Today Kathy drove the auto tour at Ottawa NWR while I was the passenger. It was another great day of birding as Kathy was the one who spotted the bird for the day. We were driving along a dike that separated 2 large marshy areas Kathy asked what kind of bird is this? Looking at the bird it turned out to be an American Bitterness. A very cool bird and one I”ve not seen for several years.
Tomorrow it’s back to the boardwalk MaGee for more Warbler action.
More to come tomorrow. Hopefully the winds will have died down and the weather warms a bit. Today it was very cold for Mothers Day.