Sunday, May 6, 2012

Magee Marsh Birding

Thursday, May 3, 2012 - After a short work week I headed to Magee Marsh near Oregon, Ohio for the annual warbler migration.  This is my second trip here and I think I got a few good photos. That is at the end of the visit as I write this, but the journey was memorable. I departed Cadillac, Michigan at about 4:45 in the afternoon. I knew that there would be storms that I would pass through because the storms had moved through Cadillac at about 2:00 that afternoon and the sky was looking quite dark to the south as I headed in that direction. I caught up with the storms in Clare, Michigan and stopped a short while later for dinner. Although I had outrun the storms, they caught up to me as I was getting a bite to eat. Back on the road, I again rain into heavy rain, lightning ,  some gusty winds and even a little hail on the east side of Lansing, Michigan.  It was a warm and sultry night in Toledo, Ohio as I stopped at a hotel for the night.

Prothonotary Warbler

Friday, May 4, 2012 - After a quick breakfast, I headed to Magee Marsh at about 7:00. In the past I have found it difficult to find the correct turn into the Marsh. I remember one year wandering the levees and dikes with my heavy 500 mm lens and gear. That was not productive. This time it was easy to find. Just follow all of the other warbler watchers. My guess is that this would be a good time for the birds because of the warm southerly breezes all during the previous week. There were quite a few. Yellow warblers,
Great Egret
Palm warblers, and a Pronthonotary warbler. I will be the first to admit, I am not very good at bird identification. So, I listen to what others are seeing.  Here is the Prothonotary warbler. Very, very difficult to get this photograph as there was a group of photographers following this bird as it moved through the trees.  Wanting a break from trying to focus on warblers darting through the trees, I saw a great egret, standing motionless in the marsh. What a pleasure to have a bird sitting still.

Yellow Warbler
Black and White Warbler
In the middle of the day, a large thunderstorm moved in. Fortunately, I checked the radar on the smartphone, and headed for cover, just before huge drops of rain started to pelt down. After a half hour the rain stopped and it was back to the warblers with a few other birds thrown in. There were quite a few Black and White warblers and this is one of my better captures. Then,  the Yellow warbler as the variety was at Magee Marsh is just amazing. To finish off the day, it was a bird of a different feather. This time a grackle. These are actually very photogenic with the green head and the bright eye.  This again was a pleasure to photograph as it was not nearly as active as a warbler.  Well there were a few other birds, such as this one which I do not really recognize, perhaps a red-winged blackbird? After a lunch of a few crackers with peanut butter I was famished. So, I headed a restaurant called Cinco de Mayo - on the 4th of May! The food was great and the beer was cold. I was wondering what birds would surprise me the next day. 
Red-Wing Blackbird?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

To Be Continued ..................................