26 May 2009

Nuclear Banding Station…(Navarre Marsh, Ohio): May 22, 2009

As a break from treading the boards at the Magee Marsh boardwalk Josh Engel and I went down to the local power station to see some bird banding. The “nerve centre” for all of this is the banding station at Navarre Marsh (on the southern shore of Lake Erie), in the shadow of the giant Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, one of the tallest ones around, and also reportedly the source of 2 out of 5 of the worst recent nuclear incidents in the US!!! An integral part of being a birder though is going to the strangest and most unlikely places to see birds. Onto the ringing though, Mark and Julie Shieldcastle were there carrying out their daily spring banding program for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, (and are two of the “famous five” that originally founded BSBO back in 1992). Mark pulled bird after bird out of the bag for our viewing pleasure, that included this male Mourning Warbler (sporting a good solid black “mourning” patch that led to its name), Red-eyed Vireo, and this female Bay-breasted Warbler (all pictured here). As a “banding virgin”, having never had the opportunity to observe this before, it was great to see a good selection of warblers, flycatchers and orioles fluttering around in the banders bags ready for our consumption.

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