12 May 2013

The Warbler "low down"...OHIO (12 May)

Today was Mother's Day stateside, and if you mother happened to be a bird photographer, and you gave her the gift of a visit to the Magee Marsh boardwalk today, you will surely be her favorite son/daughter today! Our hopes were not high for the day however, when we were greeted by the widely predicted chilled air and high winds. With this greeting us as we left the hotel, we half expected empty woods and seriously poor birding for the day. How very wrong we were; the woods were sprinkled with a heavy dusting of warblers and with the high winds they were feed low down, very low down. This was quite frankly my favorite day I have ever spent on the boardwalk, with people regularly pointing out warblers foraging just above my shoulder, or just beside me arm, or next to my leg etc.

I started on East Beach where a female Cape May Warbler set the tone for the day, preening in the early morning sunlight at arm's length, a Northern Parula flitted around the edges of the stunted vegetation, and dozens of Palm Warblers hopped around my feet on the open sand.  

Then I moved into the woods, and very nearly never left, as American Redstarts, Bay-breasted Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Black-and-white Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, and Chestnut-sided, Wilson's and even Pine Warblers fed excitedly in the open to refuel in the wintery conditions, and prepare for another northern journey in the coming days. 

On top of that a good number of Northern Waterthrushes were in the woods, and perhaps expected, though the lone Louisiana Waterthrush, found by a visiting British birder (which was his very forst waterthrush of any species), was far from expected at this late stage in the migration season.

Chilly conditions are expected again tomorrow, and if this is what happens, I long for more of the same. Me, and my camera, will be ready. I have just 2 days more of the season to go...


David Gandy said...

great stuff Sam!

I'll be visiting New York and North Carolina during the second half of may and your reports from Magee are certainly whetting my appetite for some Wood-warbler action!!!

Best wishes,


Chris Townend (Jaffa) said...

Loving that mass of colour injection Sam - Makes me want to do a return visit some day soon!