Friday, May 18, 2007

Migrants everywhere in northwest Ohio

Kudos to Ben Warner for finding a Connecticut Warbler in the woods at Ottawa NWR, and thanks for the thorough and helpful report on what was happening there and at Magee Marsh. I haven't been to Magee for the last two days, but based on what I've seen elsewhere, there are migrants all over in the Western Lake Erie Marsh region. Today (Thursday May 17), for example, I was at East Harbor State Park, just east of Port Clinton, and in just an hour on the trails south of the east beach I had 18 warbler species, including Cape May, Blackpoll, Tennessee, Canada, Ovenbird, and N Parula. Greg Links checked a woodlot inside Sandusky city limits and had 20 warbler species in a short visit. Yesterday, the 16th, Kim and I had Tennessee, Magnolia, and other warblers in small patches of trees near Medusa Marsh, and we found flocks of warblers (including Yellow-rumped, Palm, and Black-throated Green) just back in the woods at the Resthaven Wildlife Area, near Castalia. The main banding station of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, located about 5 miles east of Magee, has handled hundreds of migrants for the last three days. As of today, they're up to over 1,000 Magnolia Warblers for the spring!

We haven't had south winds to bring in new waves since Tuesday, and it doesn't appear that we'll have any more before next week, but the birds are here anyway. It may be that the recent heavy rains put them down where they were, so that any sizeable woodlot within miles of Lake Erie has a good concentration of birds. The point is that there are a LOT of migrants around, and you should get out tomorrow and this weekend if you get the chance -- don't wait for it to look like "perfect" migration weather.

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