We began the day looking for migrants at Maumee Bay State Park. This is quite a large area ( aren't they all) of wet woodland and reeds with a nice boardwalk running through it for ease of access.
As we left the bus, first birds up were a large colony of Purple Martins in a dove cot like structure at the visitor centre. There were loads, easily watched down to point blank range although 2 flushed Meadow Larks weren't so accommodating.
Today will best be remembers for the huge numbers of Blue Jays on the move. We had thousands going over all morning. A nearby ringing station estimated 25,000 before lunch. There were flocks of up to 500 at a time going overhead, looking for all the world like our own Fieldfares in the autumn.
A busy feeding station behind the info centre gave us good views of Brown headed Cowbird, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Rose breasted Grosbeaks along with the ubiquitous Red winged Blackbirds and Grackles.
Along the boardwalk, migrants became more obvious with 1 male Indigo Bunting, 2 American Redstart, 13+ Yellowthroats, 1 Yellow Warbler a nice Black billed Cuckoo, 1 Great crested Flycatcher, Blackburnian, Chestnut sided, Yellow Rumped and Magnolia Warblers all flitting about. Nearby a Bluebird, Downy Woodpecker and Red bellied Woodpecker added to the variety.
Two nest boxes near the path held broods of Eastern Screech Owls, one of the red form and one of the grey. At one box, a young one could be seen so I thought maybe the adult was sitting nearby? No chance of finding that. Then I turned, and right next to us was an adult posing as a snapped log, dozing with one eye open!
Almost back at the visitor centre we found a pair of Tufted Tits, 1 Broad winged Hawk, 1 Sharp shinned Hawk and a Coopers Hawk all soaring overhead, while 10+ Turkey Vultures formed a 'kettle'.
Outside were a nice little colony of 8+ Cliff Swallows under a culvert, 2 Eastern Phoebes were flycatching near the pond while Chipping Sparrow and American Goldfinch sang in the car park.
|Stalking a Green Heron in the reeds.|
|Brown-headed Cowbird, male.|
|The 'grey form' Eastern Screech Owl. Showing well.|
The trip reports dont really give you a clue of numbers of birds around these sites. At first arrival, it seemed quieter here, but give it an hour or two and you get a sizeable list-
2 Bald Eagles, 1 Northern Harrier, 2 Ospreys, 6 Bonaparte's Gulls, 1 Lesser Scaup, 8+ Cedar Waxwing, 3+ Warbling Vireo, 2+ Red eyed Vireo, 1 Philadelphia Vireo, 1 Blue headed Vireo, 1 Blackburnian, 1 Black throated Green, 2 Black throated Blue, 3 Yellow rumped, 1 Cape May, 1 Bay breasted, 1 Nashville, 1, Black and White, 1 Yellow Warblers, 2 American Redstart, 4 Eastern Kingbird, 1 Great crested Flycatcher, 1 Least Flycatcher, 2 Swainsons Thrush, 1 Veery, 1 Song Sparrow.
All in an area the size of a car park. I like that kind of 'quiet' spot.
|Metzger Woodlot. Yep this is all there is to it, a car park and tiny bit of wood.|
|Facing the opposite direction.|