Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Magee area continues excellent 5/9

Yesterday (Tuesday 5/8), as I posted earlier, had been the biggest day of the spring, so far, for variety and numbers of migrants at the northwest Ohio migrant traps (Magee Marsh, Ottawa Natl Wildlife Refuge, and associated areas). With south winds continuing last night, the question was whether today would be slower, with a lot of the birds having moved out. Short answer: no, today is not slower. The boardwalk at Magee Marsh had just as much variety as yesterday, and it was my impression that today's numbers of individuals were slightly higher. At least 27 species of warblers had been reliably reported by midday. Magnolia Warbler was the most abundant, as it often is here in big May flights, but Bay-breasted and Chestnut-sided were also impressively numerous; in five hours (so far!) on the boardwalk and along the edges I estimated 300 Magnolias, 150 Bay-breasteds, and 120 Chestnut-sideds. Also common but in smaller numbers than the above were Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Ovenbird, and Yellow Warbler, while Black-and-white, American Redstart, Nashville, Yellow-rumped (mostly females), and Palm Warblers were fairly common. Blackpoll Warblers and Northern Parulas seemed more numerous than yesterday, while Cape Mays were relatively scarce. Multiple Mourning and Canada Warblers were present and visible from the boardwalk, and at least one Kentucky Warbler was a crowd-pleaser.

Numbers of other migrants here seemed comparable to those of the day before. All five brown thrushes again were present, with Veery, Swainson's, and Gray-cheeked all in good numbers. Least Flycatchers were fairly common, I had at least two Willow Flycatchers, and might have heard one Acadian. Lincoln's Sparrows were fairly numerous along with the abundant White-throats in the understory.

Again, my sense that numbers were higher today was only an impression. It will be interesting to see how today's numbers compare to yesterday's at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory banding station. I heard from Kim earlier in the day that they were banding very large numbers of birds again today but I haven't heard final tallies.

Right now (early afternoon 5/9) there appears to be some thunderstorm activity to the northwest of us. The winds are supposed to shift to the west tonight and tomorrow, and then to the northwest Thursday night. Numbers of birds in the lake shore migrant traps may not be as high by the weekend but I suspect the weather will hold a lot of them in place, and variety should be excellent for International Migratory Bird Day this Saturday.

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