09 May 2011

Cryptic 'cocks...OHIO (9 May)

Magee Marsh is usually talked about in terms of warblers (being referred to famously by Kenn Kaufman as the "warbler capital of the world", which is hard to argue with in May). Although to not mention some of the other birds would be a travesty. In addition to the warbler fare several neon male Scarlet Tanagers peaked our interest. Furthermore , so far this spring the Magee boardwalk has also been a regular hangout for American Woodcocks. They are daily right now in several spots, with even several sightings of "woodcocklets" with parents, jumping up and and down as if to try out their newly formed wings with the parent watching on. However, in spite of this, the regular views of a "four footer" today stole the headlines. To have a Woodcock at four feet away was pretty special, where we could absorb every tiny cryptic detail of its masterfully camouflaged plumage, and even see ants crawling across the body, and take in its bizarrely positioned eyes that give it 360 degree vision. A superb shorebird for sure and my highlight from today at the BIGGEST WEEK IN AMERICAN BIRDING.

Another late afternoon highlight was a Magnolia Warbler simply begging us to take its photos, which in due course we did, again and again...

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