21 September 2009

Rollercoaster Birding...(Magee Marsh, Ohio, USA): September 20, 2009

Having just finished at the Midwest Birding Symposium in leafy Lakeside in Ohio I could not resist to check out one of my (recently-acquired) favorite spring time haunts: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area near Toledo in Ohio to check if any migrants were around. (After all, while I had been marooned on the TB stand at the symposium people had been wandering in with tales of a showy Kirtland's Warbler just down the road). At first it was kind of weird being in these woods at this generally more quiet time after the hurly burly of spring migration back in May. Few birders were walking the woods, and seemingly few birds too initially. Then we ran into others spilling over from the recently finished Symposium, and not long after that we hot a little corner with a flurry of migrant activity and memories of the glories of spring at Magee were soon revived. A "pocket" of more than ten species of warblers contained Northern Parula, Wilson's Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, American Redstart (see photo), Bay-breasted Warbler, a number of Maggies (Magnolia Warbler), Nashville Warbler, a strangely located Ovenbird perched above us in a tree, Black-throated Green Warbler, along with a few Philadelphia Vireos, a single Blue-headed Vireo (see photo), and a few Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, along with several local Black-capped Chickadees chattering away beside them (see photo).

This was all in sharp contrast to some afternoon non-birding activities, that I somehow got roped into. After the serenity and calm of the morning walk in Magee, an afternoon jaunt to the
Cedar Point theme park, that formerly boasted the highest rollercoaster on Earth. Thanks to this invite from some friendly Ottawa NWR staff I got to rediscover my very real fear of rollercoasters, and quickly realized that it is perhaps never a good idea for me to ride anything called "Millenium Force" ever again. Thankfully, my friend and collegue Iain bought the video of one of the more risquee roller rides, so there is little chance of me forgetting my rather pathetic reactions to all this in the near future!!! A good weekend all round though, after the event!

Looking forward now to returning to Magee Marsh next spring for THE BIGGEST WEEK IN AMERICAN BIRDING

1 comment:

Laura said...

I think you liked the RAPTOR (the one where your feet hung down and you managed to keep your eyes open while swearing profusely) just because it had a bird name. : )