Friday, September 18, 2009

Kirtland's Warbler at East Harbor State Park

One side-effect of having 700 birders in the area for the Midwest Birding Symposium is that there's a lot of birding coverage right now. So it was almost expected that something rare would appear, but we didn't expect the Kirtland's Warbler found today (Friday Sept. 18) at East Harbor State Park.

The bird was found during the morning and seen several more times (I saw it about 2 p.m.). To find the bird, go to East Harbor State Park, drive in the entrance, and take the first left/north (after about 100 yards) signed for Lockwood Picnic Area. From the parking lot for Lockwood, walk back south almost to the stop sign and take the trail entrance signed for the Meadow Trail. (There are three entrances for for Meadow Trail, this is the southernmost one.) Walk in (west) on the Meadow Trail for about 20-30 yards and turn right at the first fork; walk another 20-30 yards right (north) and watch the trees off to your right. The last tall tree off to the right is a locust (feathery foliage) and beyond that it's all shorter dogwood scrub. The Kirtland's was hanging around this locust, occasionally foraging up quite high and being fairly easy to see, then moving down into the lower cover and becoming more difficult to find.

There's no way to predict whether the bird will still be there on Saturday. Weather tonight won't prevent it from leaving, but fall migrants of other species often stop over for several days in this area.

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