Monday, May 23, 2016

Tuesday 10th May...USA Day 2...

This morning, a six hour time difference ( behind) found me wide awake and keen to get up by 4.30am. Problem being, it was still dark. So, a loiter around the tiny Chesterton hotel balcony drinking coffee, was time well spent. As the birds woke and began singing, some showed on trees in the car park and around the adjacent lake, but not before the second Racoon of the trip climbed down a tree, vanished into the woods, returning 20 mins later. I can only assume he was doing, er, the natural thing...
It was cool, overcast and drizzling, but it faired up by day break.

View from the balcony. The snapped off tree is the one with the racoon, the large green tree had House Finches and the confers had an American Robins nest...
Panning right the marsh and pond could be seen.
New species seen - 1 male Northern Cardinal, 1 Northern Flicker a pair of House Finches showed before we even ventured out doors properly. Then on the lake edge around the back of the hotel were 2 Killdeer, 2 Spotted Sandpipers, 1 Pied billed Grebe, an Osprey, 1 male Yellow Warbler, 1 male Yellowthroat, 2 male Baltimore Orioles, 2 Northern Rough winged Swallows, Coopers Hawk, a Northern Waterthrush, 1 Warbling Vireo, 1 Yellow throated Vireo, 2 Black and White Warblers, a Swamp Sparrow, a Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, a Hairy Woodpecker and 6+ Blue Jays.

Northern Cardinal, not only a looker, but a good singer too...
Male Common Yellowthroat, a common bird on this trip. Anywhere with wet ditches, ponds etc.

After breakfast we headed off to our next stop near Toledo, 150 miles away, en route seeing 15 Wild Turkeys inc sev males all puffed out, 1 Red tailed Hawk and 10+ Turkey Vultures.

We headed straight on to our main sought after destination, the one we have read so much about since planning the trip way back in 2014, Magee Marsh and its famous boardwalk. We had three nights booked here to check out the sights and reserves in the area. As this is the annual 'Biggest Week in American Birding' festival the area was very busy indeed with several hundred birders of varying capabilities around. Luckily the places are all big areas, so it is possible to get away from any mobs and do some birding alone.

Magee has to be one of the easiest places to birdwatch. It is all done on either wooden boardwalks or hard surfaces looking into open woodland with a scrub understory for migrant birds arriving.

The team arrive on the Magee boardwalk on a damp cold grey afternoon...
Four hours here produced a great list of birds, particularly those sought after warblers - 15+ Yellow Warblers, 10+ Myrtle Warblers, 2 male Cape May Warblers, sev Black throated Green Warblers, male Chestnut sided Warbler, sev Nashville Warblers, a female Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, a male Blackpoll, American Redstart, 2 Prothonotary Warblers, a male Blackburnian Warbler and 1 Ovenbird. Thats not all, we had many Tree Swallows nesting, Great and Snowy Egrets, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 4 Warbling Vireos, 3 Gray Catbirds, 2 Northern Cardinals, 3 Ruby crowned Kinglets, 1 Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, 5+ Rose breasted Grosbeaks, 3 White throated Sparrows, 1 male Scarlet Tanager, 6+ Baltimore Orioles, 1 House Wren, 1 Veery, 1 Grey Cheeked Thrush, 1 American Woodcock, 1 Eastern Kingbird and 2 fledgling Great Horned Owls...What an afternoon.

Protonotary Warblers are really this yellow.

Ruby crowned Kinglet, without a ruby crown. 

This Veery shared a small patch of wood floor with a Grey cheeked Thrush, pity it wouldnt sit still for a photo too. 
Ovenbird, skulking.

1 comment:

amanda peters said...

The birds you saw are just wonderful, great photos too.
Amanda xx