Saturday, May 1, 2010

Migration update 5/1, predictions for 5/2

Saturday, May 1: In the migrant traps on the Lake Erie shoreline, today was the biggest day of the year so far for sheer variety of species. As of mid-afternoon, a minimum of 26 warbler species had been reliably reported from the Magee Marsh boardwalk itself, with at least 29 for the area as a whole. The rarest bird at the Magee boardwalk itself by mid-afternoon was a Kentucky Warbler (probably the same individual moving between #16 on the boardwalk and the woods adjacent to the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot). Two Cerulean Warblers were near #17 on the boardwalk, and Greg Links found another individual at the "Wildlife Beach" east of the boardwalk. A female Hooded Warbler was near #6. A few Blackpoll Warblers were somewhat early, including one hanging around the west entrance to the boardwalk. All five brown thrushes were along the boardwalk -- in fact, individuals of all five were seen just north of #6, as well as elsewhere. Other noteworthy birds included a Black-billed Cuckoo near 7a, a Yellow-breasted Chat that moved around quite a bit, and at least four Summer Tanagers (possibly more). For a reference on the numbered spots along the boardwalk, see our detailed map available through the link for "birding hotspots: directions and maps" from the BSBO main birding pages.

Elsewhere in the area, the entrance pool at Ottawa NWR had at least three Solitary Sandpipers, as well as both yellowlegs species and Pectoral Sandpipers. At the woodlot at the end of the road at Metzger Marsh, Greg Links found a Prairie Warbler.

The theme for today was variety, not abundance. Most migrant species were present only in small numbers, but most birders who persisted in searching wound up seeing a lot of different species.

Okay, so what about tomorrow? For Sunday, May 2, I expect birding conditions to be similar. There's still a good flow of wind out of the south-southwest, but there is also (as of early evening) a lot of rain falling in southern Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, so I don't expect many birds to be coming from there tonight. Undoubtedly there will be some turnover, and some birds will continue to move into the better patches of habitat, but I think the overall numbers and variety on Sunday will be similar to today's. We'll probably see heavy showers moving through the area in the morning, but in between rain showers, bird activity should be intense. To see a lot of variety, visit multiple sites: check out the woods at Ottawa NWR, Metzger Marsh, and East Harbor State Park. Look at shorebird habitat at Ottawa and along the Magee causeway: numbers of shorebirds are still building up.

If you're in the area, be sure to stop by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, just north of Route 2 at the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. The observatory will be open every day in May from 10 to 6. We'll be glad to share the latest sightings and we'll be eager to hear what you've seen!

1 comment:

Larry said...

Hi Kenn,

Thanks for the ongoing updates. I cannot wait to get out there on sunday the 9th for five days. Lets keep our fingers crossed for some great migrants.


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