Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wednesday 11th May - Ohio Day 3....

We drove the 40 minutes or so from our hotel in Maumee, towards Magee again, arriving at 8.15am. Before heading out to the masses on the boardwalk, we stopped a few miles away at a farmland site called Stange / Kraus Road to look for some prairie specialities. En route 5 Sandhill Cranes showed well including one almost half the size, a Lesser Sandhill Crane. I had not heard about this type before, but is apparently a subspecies from a different part of the USA?

We pulled into an empty view point car park where a dozen White-crowned Sparrows and 2 Song Sparrows fed around the edge and a pair of Northern Flickers gave away a nearby nest site in a tall rotting tree stump. Killdeers were ever present running around the roads and a nearby wet field held 15+ Dunlin and a Spotted Sandpiper. 2 Double crested Cormorants flew over.

A birder driving past kindly stopped to give us a tip about a singing Henslow's Sparrow just along the road at Grimm Prairie, a large flat dead grassed area. As this was a main target for Bob we headed straight along and soon found our bird. It was a mere dot, singing the worlds most boring bird song ( google it) a long way off. A few hundred yards of stalking soon secured decent identifiable views of this quite rare species. Also new for me here was an Eastern Meadowlark, a female Northern Harrier or Marsh Hawk,  2 Horned Larks and 2 Buff bellied Pipits.

Henslow's Sparrow twitch. Is over there somewhere.
Andy grilling some warbler or other.. 
So it was on to the main course, a morning at Magee Marsh. 9.30am - 11.30am.

Warblers arrived on cue and a wide variety of guises. There were 6+ Magnolia Warblers ( what a bird), 6+ American Redstarts ( mostly black and red firey males), 4 Nashville Warblers, 3 Blackburnian Warblers, 8+ Chestnut sided Warblers, 3+ Northern Parulas, 5+ Bay breasted Warblers, 2 Palm Warblers, good numbers of Yellow Warblers and Yellow rumped Warblers down to arms length, 6+ Cape May Warblers, 1 male Black throated Blue Warbler, 4 Black throated Green Warblers, 3 Black and White Warblers, 1 Prairie Warbler ( a rare species here caused a twitch) and 1+ Orange crowned Warbler.

Above two - Bay breasted Warblers.

Above two - Blackburnian Warbler, a male. A fire in the woods.

Above two -  Cape May Warbler taking midges from cobwebs. Down to 6 feet.
Northern Parula female too close to focus, in danger of being stood on.
Chestnut sided Warbler, a common species here.
American Redstart, never sits still hard to photograph even though quite tame.
Yellow Warbler.
Magnolia Warbler, shade your eyes....

What can you say about that! They are truly amazing birds and a real joy to hunt out. At some American migration spots these are canopy feeders but here many were at eye level. What a treat.

You think that cast looks good for 2 hours at one site, well its not over yet. As a support cast, this looks as impressive as it actually was - 2+ Ruby-crowned Kinglets,  1 male Ruby throated Hummingbird, 2 Blue headed Vireos, 3 Warbling Vireo, several Baltimore Orioles ( common), 6+ White crowned Sparrow, 1 Indigo Bunting, 5 Rose breasted Grosbeaks, 1 Lincoln Sparrow, 2 male Scarlet Tanager, 1 American White Pelican flew overhead, 3 House Wren ( more like a gropper than a wren), 1 Veery, 1 Swainsons Thrush, Andy found a fs male Summer Tanager that almsot landed on Richard as it flew to the ground to snatch an insect, 1 Eastern Bluebird and nearby several Purple Martins at speciall hung gourd nest boxes in a garden.

Phew! This is going to be a long post by the time I get the photos in here, please bear with me.

Summer Tanager, not sure if FS male or reddish female?
Day three to be continued this is just till lunchtime.....


Jim Swalwell said...

Stuart, what an amazing set of ornithological gems. Outstanding. Jim

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

The Americans have much better warblers than we do!

Ipin said...

We had a lot of first year male summer tanagers like that in Costa Rica