Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday 5/15 update

Saturday, May 15: With the breeze shifting around to the northwest near morning, and then to the north, many birds seemed to have stayed put from Friday. Unfortunately, yesterday's star bird -- the Kirtland's Warbler that had been viewed by over a thousand birders over a period of ten hours plus -- apparently left overnight, as no one could find it today.

Even without that rarity, however, there was a lot of variety in the area. Almost all the expected warblers were seen, including several Mourning Warblers. An Orange-crowned Warbler at Metzger Marsh was on the late side for this species, which usually trickles through here in late April and early May. A Connecticut Warbler was identified in flight over the east beach at Magee, but so far no Connecticuts have been found as viewable stakeouts on the ground. This late migrant is most expected here during the last week of May.

Shorebirds were good today, with Marbled Godwit seen again on the east side of Stange Road (south of the observation platform) and up to three Upland Sandpipers seen from the west side of Stange a little farther south. Other birds on the Stange-Krause roads loop included Black-bellied Plovers, Short-billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlins, both yellowlegs, etc.

With the sky now lightly overcast and the breeze light out of the north, Sunday May 16 should have most of the same birds that were seen today -- that is, probably not many will leave or arrive. Of course, all of us from Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Tropical Birding, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, and Kaufman Field Guides will be out scouting around for last-minute rarities and good stakeouts, hoping to finish up the Biggest Week In American Birding on a high note.

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