Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Sept. 20-21 migration

In the area of Magee Marsh / Ottawa NWR, numbers and variety of migrant songbirds have been very good over the weekend of Sept. 20-21. More than 20 species of warblers were seen each day, as well as good numbers of vireos, thrushes, and other migrants. Blackpoll Warbler has been the most numerous species, but Magnolias, Cape Mays, Am. Redstarts, and others also have been present in good numbers. Most flycatchers have gone through already (although I saw a few Least Flycatchers) and the big influx of sparrows has not arrived yet (although a few Lincoln's Sparrows and others were around).

For the last three days -- Friday through Sunday -- the numbers of birds have been excellent in the immediate area of the BSBO center, just north of Rt 2 at the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. The new water feature right outside "Anna's Window on Wildlife" in the Observatory has been attracting a steady parade of warblers and other migrants, with knockout views of Gray-cheeked Thrush, good comparisons of Blackpoll and Bay-breasted Warblers, and other treats.

Numbers of birds also have been fairly good at the famous Magee boardwalk, but in general the birds seem to be spread out over a wider area. The Observatory is a mile south of the Lake Erie shoreline, and it appears that these migrants are using a band of habitat more than a mile wide rather than concentrating along the immediate lakeshore as they sometimes do in spring.

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