|A male Bay-breasted Warbler, one of the classic, and classy, migrants of May.|
The Wildlife Drive (auto tour) at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is open every day from sunrise to sunset through next Sunday, May 15th (the entrance gate closes an hour before sunset). This route through the interior of the refuge is always worth checking. (Go to this link for a map of the auto tour.) Pool 9, north of the road near the end of the route, held 7 American Avocets on Sunday, and one remained there on Monday. The impoundments marked as MS 7, MS 6, and MS 3 on the map produced a fair variety of shorebirds, including Black-bellied and Semipalmated plovers, Dunlin, and Least, Pectoral, and Solitary sandpipers.
Looking ahead: A week ago, we thought that this coming Tuesday and Wednesday might be big flight days. The weather forecast has changed a lot since then. We'll probably see some turnover on those days, but conditions won't be particularly good for incoming migrants until Wednesday night. On the basis of the current weather forecast, it looks as if Thursday May 12 could have the biggest arrival of migrants for this week. (It's not a classic weather setup for a huge flight; but on the other hand, there are apparently a lot of migrants still held up to the south of us, and they have to move sometime.) So Thursday should bring a good supply of new birds, and many of those migrants should stick around through Friday and Saturday at least.