13 May 2013

Warblers & Plovers...OHIO (13 May)

With precious few days left of my US spring left (I must return and prepare for a Sichuan tour on Wednesday), I am making the most of it. OK, so there was little new in today in terms of songbirds. Probably what was around, warbler-wise, was essentially what was around the day before. But this was great, as once again the warblers ignored the high canopies available to them and foraged at low levels, much to the joy of a hardy crowd, once again braving the frosty conditions. Magnolia Warblers took the cake in terms of approachability, with one very nearly landing on Brian Zwiebel while we were talking on the Magee Marsh boardwalk, and later rumours came through of a male Yellow Warbler actually landing on a birder's shoulder. I was green with envy, if only it could have been my shoulder! Blackburnians dangled low, and Red-eyed Vireos had joined the mix in small numbers today too, with one even seen uncharacteristically feeding on the ground. Other changes were a clear hike in the numbers of flycatchers around, with substantially more Least Flycatchers than of late. Warbler-wise, yesterday's Louisiana Waterthrush became today's waterthrush, and continued to be both present, approachable, and photographable through the day. 

Bay-breasted Warblers, Black-and-white Warblers, Northern Parulas, and Black-throated Green Warblers were some of the most conspicuous species, and even an Ovenbird or two got in to the warbler show, and joined the rest in coming in so close I had to back off in my attempts to photograph it! Although I only managed just one Prothonotary Warbler today, a species notable this spring, in its relative scarcity compared to recent Magee springs, it performed perfectly, foraging over the dark glassy waters of the pond, and shining bright yellow in the periods of warming sunshine. Late afternoon word came through (thanks Sherrie and Rebecca) of a Piping Plover along the new Magee/Ottawa Crane Creek Estuary Trail, and Scott and I raced over there to find it roosting on a shingle spit, with a flock of nine Black-bellied Plovers and a Ruddy Turnstone nearby too.

With the weather improving by the end of the end with typically spring like conditions returning to this corner of Ohio, we felt like spring was returning, and so the soothsayers of birding will have us believe. With notable movements of birds on the way over the coming few days. I for one have my fingers crossed for a "Special K" before I leave...Updates to come.

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