11 May 2013

MAG-nificent Day...OHIO (11 May)

The temperature dropped considerably in this northwestern corner of Ohio, with the visiting Texans, and me, in particular, wrapped up to the max. However, this did not stop us birding, and bird hard we did. Scott Watson, Andres Vasquez and I threw out a new challenge today, to have our very own Magee Big Day, confining ourselves to Ottawa NWR and Magee Marsh. I spent most of the morning on the great new "Crane Creek Estuary Trail" which yielded Blue-winged, Orange-crowned, and Blackpoll Warblers, and even a stray Audubon's Warbler in spanking breeding plumage. Aside from that some passing Cedar Waxwings were my only ones in Magee this spring season, while a Hooded Merganser on the lake was year bird/tick. By the end of the day, after a little chasing here and there, I managed to emerge with a healthy warbler list of some 22 species. However, in the battle of the Tropical Birding guides I only achieved mediocrity, with second place achieved, with Scott winning this three-way duel, and Andres having to accept, for tonight anyway, the beers were on him!

Above is a photo of a delightful Magnolia Warbler that dropped down below eye level and challenged us outright, by its behaviour, to shoot it...and so we did.

With temperatures set to drop further with a northerly airflow taking grip again, we are unpacking our thermals, for, frankly, nothing is going to stop me enjoying my final few days of spring. I am a proud migrant junkie, and that will never change; it is an avian drug that is hard to shake off!

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