Sunday, May 13, 2007

Magee area 5/11 and 5/12

In the area of Magee Marsh, northwest Ohio, the status of migration on Friday and Saturday (5/11 and 5/12) was about as predicted, with numbers of songbird migrants continuing to diminish gradually from the peak last Wednesday, but with good variety continuing. On Saturday the winds were fairly strong (and chilly!) out of the north, so in the area of the Magee Marsh boardwalk, there were very few birds out on the north edge of the woods adjacent to the parking lot. That outer edge is often excellent birding, but it wasn't productive under Saturday's conditions. Instead, the birds were concentrated inside the woods and toward the southern edge, meaning they were visible mainly from the boardwalk itself. With the throngs of birders who had come out for Int'l Migratory Bird Day, the boardwalk itself was extremely crowded! But those who were patient enough to move along the boardwalk were treated to great views of various warblers foraging low and close. Magnolia and Chestnut-sided Warblers continued to be very numerous, with a fair number of Bay-breasted Warblers and a generous sprinkling of others. Despite unfavorable winds for migration the last couple of days, numbers of Mourning Warblers seem to be picking up, while most of the thrushes and White-throated Sparrows seemed to have departed for the moment.

The auto tour route at Ottawa NWR was open Saturday but I didn't get over there -- spent the whole day between the boardwalk and the BSBO nature center area. Ottawa is supposed to be open this Sunday also, 9 to 4. I heard that Black Tern, Sedge Wren, and Yellow-headed Blackbird were all seen on the refuge on Saturday, while just a little farther west at Metzger Marsh, up to seven Glossy Ibises continue to be seen.

Weather predictions now call for the winds to shift around to the south again from Sunday night through Monday night, so there may be another arrival of migrants on Monday and Tuesday mornings, but I would guess that it won't be as big as the flight last Tuesday and Wednesday. But of course the overall variety should remain fairly good from now through the end of May.

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