Friday, May 29, 2009

Migration update 5/29

Today (Friday May 29) I spent most of the day at my desk -- toward the end of May Madness, here in Migration Wonderland in n.w. Ohio, I’m so far behind on work that it’s ridiculous -- but I did get out for a couple of hours to see what was happening with the migration. In just a couple of hours at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, split between the wildlife beach and the eastern part of the boardwalk, I saw plenty of typical late-season migrants that don’t nest in this immediate area. Highlights were 2 Alder Flycatchers, 1 Philadelphia Vireo, at least 8 Swainson’s Thrushes (including 4 singing), 1 Tennessee Warbler, 4 Magnolia Warblers, 1 Black-throated Blue Warbler, 2 Black-throated Green Warblers (including a singing male), 10 American Redstarts (all females and young males), 1 Ovenbird, 2 Mourning Warblers, 3 Wilson’s Warblers, and 4 Canada Warblers (including 2 singing males). The local nesting warblers (Prothonotary, Yellow, Com Yellowthroat) put on a good show also. I didn’t go to the west end of the boardwalk so I don’t know what was seen there, but I know that at least one Connecticut Warbler was at the BSBO banding station east of Magee Marsh.

Looking at the weather tonight, I don't expect a big push of migrants to come in for the weekend. Winds are likely to be west or northwest for most of the night. Saturday's selection of birds will likely be similar to what was around today. Of course everyone is hoping that a cooperative Connecticut Warbler will be found along the boardwalk at Magee. There are certainly some in the general area; the trick is to find one that's actually viewable.

Tomorrow (Saturday May 30) there will be a public bird-banding demonstration at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, just north of Rt. 2 at the entrance to Magee Marsh, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. No guarantees on what birds might be around, but at this late date in May there’s a good chance that a few tricky Empidonax flycatchers might show up to be examined.

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