Thursday, May 31, 2007

Metzger Marsh update 5/31

Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., northwest. Ohio, continues to be a good spot for shorebirds and other waterbirds. Most of the main unit has been drawn down (and I understand it won't be refilled until mid-August), but south of the dike that separates the marsh from Lake Erie there remains a large body of shallow water with extensive mudflats along the far edge; this is best viewed by walking out the dike that runs southeast from the parking lot, and looking across with a telescope. I was there at midday today (Thursday 5/31) and failed to see the Laughing Gull or White-faced Ibis that were there two days earlier, but I did see a Stilt Sandpiper in almost full breeding plumage, a rare bird for spring and the second one at Metzger this year. Also there among the shorebirds were five Black-bellied Plovers, 25 Ruddy Turnstones, and two White-rumped Sandpipers. The resting flock of gulls and terns at midday today included two one-year-old Bonaparte's Gulls, the first I'd seen locally in more than three weeks, as well as several subadult Forster's Terns. A single unidentified dark ibis flew over, and later a single Glossy Ibis came in and was foraging along the edge of the flats. There have been a few Glossy Ibises around the area continuously since late April, but for a while I was missing them repeatedly, and they showed up at Metzger only when I wasn't there. Hugh Rose and Judy Kolo-Rose had a standing joke that I was an ibis jinx, and that the best way for birders to see ibises was to go someplace where I wasn't going! But I guess the jinx has been broken. At any rate, birders who are coming to n.w. Ohio for the tail end of the spring migration should consider bringing a scope and stopping at Metzger.

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