16 May 2011

Biggest Week Finale...OHIO (15 May)

Well the Biggest Week in American Birding finally came to a close today in the Ottawa/Magee Marsh region of NW Ohio. It did not finish quite how we would have liked: rain lashed down and a strong northerly wind picked up and made birding along the lakeshore of Erie impossible. Thankfully though the well-sheltered boardwalk at Magee provided welcome refuge from this for both birders and birds. The birders were bundled up in winter clothes, and the birds responded to the weather by feeding extremely low and at extremely close quarters even by Magee's high standards. Some of my memorable moments of the day included a "fired-up" male Blackburnian Warbler feeding literally inches away from our noses (while my camera was tucked away from the rain in the car-frustrating!), a Canada Warbler just as close feeding on the ground while we watched on, a Philadelphia Vireo that too had abandoned its usual lofty position in the trees for much lower quarters, a female Bay-breasted Warbler making me look down at her, and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher found later in the day that was my first of this spring. Nashvilles were scarce now, having been super abundant earlier in the week, so I have added of photo from one from then that I completely forgot to post then!

Of course the Biggest Week ending does not mean migration has ended in Ohio by any means. Me and a few other guides will still be in the area this week and hope to see the next big push in the Magee region, that is usually touted as the biggest push of the season. So more birds are on the way, although not sure quite when with this awful weather sitting overhead, but I sure hope I get to have one more spring show before I head down south to the tropics again...

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