Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kirtland's Warbler: detailed directions

On Sunday, May 17, a Kirtland's Warbler was found at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. Originally found, identified, and photographed by Andy Johnson, a very sharp teenaged birder from Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Kirtland's proved elusive, but was seen for a while by many birders around 3 p.m. and then rediscovered by Iain Campbell and watched for another period by several birders between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
With cool temperatures and light north winds prevailing tonight (Sunday night), it's possible that this rare migrant will still be in the area tomorrow. The map below shows where the bird was seen, on trails behind the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center. Andy Johnson found it first near the observation blind on the trail (right-hand letter "X") and the two later observations were farther west on the trail (left-hand "X"). During the later observations, it was foraging very quietly and inconspicuously within the conifers along the trail (pines and spruces surrounded by deciduous trees), and it could disappear for minutes at a time within a dense tree before reappearing on the edge.

For those unfamiliar with the general area, below is a low-resolution copy of our overview map of Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, to clarify the location of the Sportsmen's Center and the trails behind the center. This map is available through the BSBO website for free downloading and printing; go to the main birding pages and follow the links for "Birding hotspots: directions and maps."

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