Sunday, May 20, 2012

My two days of The Biggest Week

Since I have never been able to get up to the Lake Erie region of Ohio in the spring, this year I decided to make that happen.  The Biggest Week in American Birding was already going strong, so there were plenty of other birders there with eyes and ears to alert to any good birds.  I really wished that I could of stayed for the entire event, but work wouldn't allow that to occur.  I caught the last couple of days of the event.

I had arrived on the lake on a Thursday afternoon having had a six hour drive due to traffic from a automobile accident.  I got there just in time to attend Birdchick's Birds and Beers event.  It was nice to meet many of my online birding friends as well as those that I have not seen in a long while.  Some of which included Birdchick, Janet Kissick Hug, Linda Rockwell, Dawn Simmons Fine, Debbie Miller and Gunnar Engblom

Since I have seen pictures of the many birders on the boardwalk at Magee, I kind of knew what to expect before hand.  I am not one that likes to bird in big crowds.  I usually bird by myself.  When I finally arrived at the boardwalk however, I found there to be not as many people as I expected.  Most were crowded along the first section to the observation tower.  After that, people were very spread out.

Here is a shot of some of the cars at Magee.  I would have taken a picture of the birders, however I want to assure a certain ODNR watercraft officer that I really do take pictures of birds and not people while on ODNR lands (there is a story to it).

Magee Cars

This was standing in the middle of the parking lot on one side (there are two sides for those that have never been there).  This is about half way between the two parking lots.  Cars were on both sides the same length as seen here.

Once on the boardwalk, I noticed that the most common warbler was Yellow Warbler.  They were everywhere.


Yellow Warbler 


I am used to seeing warblers far and up.  It was hard getting used to seeing them too close to focus my big zoom lens point-n-shoot camera!

Here is a very cooperative Chesnut-sided Warbler, almost too cooperative!

Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Seemed to "glow" in the low light like he was radio active.  Such a nice looking bird.  The warbler decided to come close and give some funny expressions.  

Chestnut-sided Warbler

I really love the expression here!

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Here is a Cape May Warbler that just sat on the edge of the parking lot for a while.  The heavy leaf out made lighting a challenge.  

Cape May Warbler

 I was expecting to see many more Magnolia Warblers than I did, only a handful.  As of this morning, I noticed a good deal of them around still.  I was only able to get the rear end of one.

Magnolia Warbler backside

There were many American Redstarts around.  Again, the lighting was a challenge.

American Redstart

Spied this Hermit Thrush walking around at my feet on the boardwalk.


One of my most needed group of birds is shorebirds.  I have a lot of holes in that area, as there isn't much in the way of quality shorebird habitat in this part of the state.  Have I known the area better, I think I could of gotten some that I need.  

Here is a shorebird that was right off the boardwalk.  This American Woodcock was with a baby.  I could not get a shot of the baby, as there were too many people to see it from my position.  


American Woodcock

After Magee, I decided to head to Maumee Bay State Park.  I have only been here a couple of times and always see good stuff here.  Just as it was getting dark, I saw shorebirds flying around on the beach.  I decided to go check them out and found three Ruddy Turnstones.  I have only seen this bird once, and it was a very brief glimpse at Caesar Creek State Park.

Ruddy Turnstones

Ruddy Turnstones

Ruddy Turnstones

Before seeing the turnstones, I took a walk on the boardwalk.  I heard a Wild Turkey gobbling and a couple of people I passed on the boardwalk said that there was a turkey ahead.  Here is what I found.  A young buck and a Wild Turkey in a standoff.

Deer / Turkey Standoff

I decided to end my two day trip on the boardwalk at Magee.  I am glad I did.  There was a report of a Kirtland's Warbler on the new Crane Creek Estuary Trial.  While not a life bird, the one glimpse I had of one was very brief.  This particular female was very cooperative and allowed many people to view her.  This was definitely worth the trip.

Kirtland's Warbler (female)

Kirtland's Warbler (female)

Cool looking back pattern

Kirtland's Warbler

Little bit of streaking on the head.

Kirtland's Warbler

Had a wonderful time, much needed escape.  Just wish I had more time up there.  Hopefully, I can make it up next year.  Not long after I got back, there was a Least Tern and White-faced Ibis up there.  Happens every time!

I will leave you with this sunset from the beach at Maumee Bay State Park.

Lake Erie Sunset (Maumee Bay)



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8 comments:

  1. Ah, well done Donald! It looks like such a marvelous event. I hope to make it up there some day too.

    It looks like plenty of the Warblers waited for you. Did you get any new birds or was this just a nice meeting with old acquaintances?

    Anyhow, nice way to start the summer phase. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. No new birds. Did have fun with friends.

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  3. What a lovely post - I acn appreciate the American Redstar and the Turnstone but everything else would be new for me... the Warblers are something else

    Superb stuff
    Dave

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  4. Awesome days Donald! That Kirtland's Warbler would have made the entire trip worthwhile for me! Love the American Woodcock too!

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  5. You have some amazing birds in your part of the world. All new to me. The warblers are stunning.

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  6. Nice post with excellent pictures. The pictures alone would make me want to go there, because they show how much character the place has!

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  7. Excellent trip and photos Donald would love to see any of those birds in the UK . Cheers Rob

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  8. Luxury Resort in Jim Corbett Park
    http://www.woodcastle.co
    We are back at home, after an adventurous and novel experience trekking in the forests around Jim Corbett National Park, and still recounting the stories of our trip.
    A big thank you to Wood Castle Spa & Resort Staff for the warmth and personalized care you extended to all of us; it made the trip very special . Arrangements of place of stay, food, itinerary and thumbs up to you in terms of understanding our needs in particular.
    This is a first rate resort. Everything is taken care of and they add that human touch which makes any holiday experience a little more fulfilling. Our bookings were taken care off by their Delhi Office the same day we requested the reservation. Corbett is a 5 hour drive from Delhi and Wood Castle is about 8 kms from Ramnagar, the last proper town before the National Park.
    The rooms are basic but have all the modern amenities. We requested rooms that opened out to the central lawns and got our wish. Out of the 64 beautifully designed rooms that they have, about 20 are located around the central lawn and the rest are on the path leading to the lawn. The swimming pool is of good size. The children's pool flows into the main pool which we found very convenient. Spa is located right next to the pool.
    The one facility which consistently impressed us was the Restaurant. Ours was an all inclusive plan and eating all Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners in the same place can sometimes get boring but one has to admit that was not the case. They offered variety every time and the quality was always top notch. They offered child menu for our 2 year old and even cooked food outside the buffet and child menu to our exact specifications. The soups were particularly good on all occasions.
    The hotel arranged for the Safari and Angling excursions. The fishing guide who accompanied us to Ramganga river was particularly knowledgeable and knew the exact spots and baits for different fishes. We caught about 6 mahaseers but had to release them back in the water since permits in Corbett are given only for "Catch and Release". The open jeep jungle safari was good fun although we failed to sight the tiger even in the 6-9 am slot.
    Evenings used to come alive with projector set up in the lawn showing wild life documentaries. On one occasion the dinner buffet was organized in the lawn's open setting. Kosi river flows right next to the resort and makes for an excellent evening relaxation spot.
    On all counts, this resort comes up trumps. Definitely going back sometime soon So that is the review of our trip and our happy experience with you.

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