“On The Road” (Summation)

Magee Marsh/ Metzger Marsh/ Ottawa N.W.R.

As I sit here gathering my thoughts on how I can best sum up this birding trip you realize that it’s not just about the birds, it’s the people you meet along the way that can make a good trip into a great birding trip. Meeting Rick and Allan while I was there was a treat, however having some of the Amish youth speak to you was a surprise. This close knit group are great birders and can be seen all along the boardwalk as a family. Then there was Sally and her mother who I meet at Metzger Marsh where we birded for a couple of hours and then meet up again the next morning at the boardwalk. This common bond we have is the catalyst that starts new friendships that can last a long time. I love this aspect of birding. Birders love nothing more than to talk about birds with other birders.

Except for a brief thundershower in the morning on my last day, the weather was nothing but beautiful. The crowds were smaller than what you’d expect to see when the festival was going on. Getting a parking spot close to the East end entrance to the boardwalk was never a problem in case you had to run back to your car for anything. This played out on a couple of occasions when I would leave the boardwalk and walk a few hundreds yards to the Estuary Trail. I’d pick up my spotting scope on the way since you’ll need it as you look out over the estuary.

Birders along the Estuary Trail, with Lake Erie on their right.

2 views overlooking the estuary at Ottawa NWR

The channel of water in the fore ground links directly to Lake Erie. The water is pretty shallow here because as you looked out over the water you could see the backs of Carp break the surface.

The birds were great as usual and timing and weather can determine what you see. Also with the warmer than average Spring the ground cover was thick which hide birds that you would normally see. Thrushes which will forage on the ground were difficult to pick up. One of the surprise birds that I wasn’t able to find were the Ovenbird. A Warbler species that I’ve seen regularly in years past, not this time though.

Yellow Warbler was the dominate species here. They are everywhere you go, either on the boardwalk or at Ottawa or Metzger. Become familiar with it’s call or it will drive you crazy as you try to ID a Warbler you hear only to find out that it’s another Yellow Warbler.

If you visit here and not see any Yellow Warblers, then something is seriously wrong either with you or Mother Nature.

Prothonotary Warblers are friendly, aggressive, and easily photographed. Besides being a beauty to behold, they have no fear when it comes to us upright walking humanoids.

Most of all the other Warbler species were difficult to photograph since they were feeding mostly in the tops of the trees. Even the photographers with their big rigs were having a problem getting onto the bird and squeezing of a shot. If the bird wasn’t out in the open, they were out of luck.

On the last day we had a proliferation of Cape May Warblers near the observation deck near the East end of the boardwalk. My favorite and most beautiful Warbler species, wouldn’t you agree?

Black Poll Warbler

Female Baltimore Oriole

This male Baltimore Oriole was as close I you’d normally see while here. These tree top dwellers were always heard, or seen as a orange flash before landing into the thickest portion of the tree. A striking bird.

I always make a trip to Ottawa NWR since it’s a fabulous place to bird, and being right next door to Magee it would be foolish not to go. While having lunch you can watch the Purple Martins as they put on their aerial display.

Another one of my favorites, a Canada warbler showing off it’s trademark black necklace.

The omnipresent American Redstart

Remember this area just isn’t a jumping off point for bird migration. Nesting birds are very common throughout all the parks and preserves along the lake, like this American Robin.

Black-throated Blue warbler

As with all trips they must come to and end, and preparations need to be made for next year. As I reflect on this trip I would have to give it an A+, even though my original plans was to be there for another day. Well there’s always next year. So now here’s the list of all the bird species seen with 24 species of  the Warblers.

  1. Rock Pigeon
  2. American Robin
  3. European Starling
  4. House Finch
  5. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  6. American Finch
  7. Northern Cardinal
  8. Common Grackle
  9. Red-winged Blackbird
  10. Killdeer
  11. Semipalmated Plover
  12. Black-bellied Plover
  13. Veery
  14. Swainson’s Thrush
  15. Gray-cheeked Thrush
  16. Hermit Thrush
  17. Eastern Kingbird
  18. Eastern Phoebe
  19. Eastern Wood Pewee
  20. Least Flycatcher
  21. Willow Flycatcher
  22. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  23. Tree Swallow
  24. Barn Swallow
  25. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  26. Purple Martin
  27. Lincoln Sparrow
  28. Song Sparrow
  29. Field Sparrow
  30. Chipping Sparrow
  31. Indigo Bunting
  32. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  33. Mourning Dove
  34. Canada Goose
  35. Mallard
  36. Red-breasted Merganser
  37. Wood Duck
  38. Ruddy Duck
  39. Least Sandpiper
  40. Semipalmated Sandpiper
  41. Upland Sandpiper
  42. Ruddy Turnstone
  43. Dunlin
  44. Great Egret
  45. Snowy Egret
  46. Black-crowned Night Heron
  47. Green heron
  48. Great Blue Heron
  49. Short-billed Dowitcher
  50. Lesser Yellowleg
  51. American Coot
  52. Common Gallinule
  53. Herring Gull
  54. Ring-billed Gull
  55. Forester’s Tern
  56. Common Tern
  57. Black Tern
  58. Double-creasted Cormorant
  59. American White Pelican
  60. Pied-billed Grebe
  61. Trumpeter Swan
  62. Sandhill Crane
  63. Bald Eagle
  64. Red-tailed Hawk
  65. Turkey Vulture
  66. Eastern Screech Owl
  67. Great Horned Owl
  68. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  69. Downy Woodpecker
  70. Northern Flicker
  71. Blue Jay
  72. American Woodcock
  73. Scarlet Tanager
  74. Baltimore Oriole
  75. Orchard Oriole
  76. House Wren
  77. Marsh Wren
  78. Blue-headed Vireo
  79. Red-eyed Vireo
  80. Philadelphia Vireo
  81. Warbling Vireo
  82. White-eyed Vireo
  83. Black-capped Chickadee
  84. White-breasted Nuthatch
  85. Eastern Meadowlark
  86. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  87. Black-billed Cuckoo
  88. Gray Catbird
  89. Yellow Warbler
  90. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  91. Nashville Warbler
  92. Tennessee Warbler
  93. Northern Parula
  94. Magnolia Warbler
  95. Wilson’s Warbler
  96. Canada Warbler
  97. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  98. Black-throated Green Warbler
  99. Cape May Warbler
  100. American Redstart
  101. Prairie Warbler
  102. Black Poll Warbler
  103. Prothonotary Warbler
  104. Bay-breasted Warbler
  105. Blackburnian Warbler
  106. Yellow-breasted Chat
  107. Black and White Warbler
  108. Black-throated Blue Warbler
  109. Yellow-throated Warbler
  110. Mourning Warbler
  111. Connecticut Warbler
  112. Common Yellowthroat

2 responses to ““On The Road” (Summation)

  1. I’m counting 112. Great trip.

  2. Pingback: The Yellow Warbler Of Parc Des Rapides « docdavis15

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