Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sedge Wren, Wood Thrushes

A couple of brief notes. Tom Johnson, ace birder from Ithaca, NY, found a Sedge Wren singing along the Magee Marsh causeway on Wednesday May 20. I heard the bird sing a few times on the morning of May 21. The location was about 100 yards north of the first pulloff on the causeway as you start north from the woods toward the beach. Sedge Wrens in May are often just lone migrants passing through, but it would be worth checking to see if this bird sticks around.

There have been a few Snowy Egrets seen consistently along the Magee causeway also. These birds nest on West Sister Island out in the lake and come to the mainland to feed. The Magee causeway is one of the best and easiest places in the state to see this species.

There will be migrant Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes around for another week or more, and a few Swainson's through the first week of June, but Wood Thrushes have mostly passed through the migrant traps -- they're not being seen now in the woods at the Magee boardwalk, for example. A good place to see Wood Thrushes now is along the trails at Ottawa NWR. See our map of the refuge trails (through "hotspots: directions and maps" on the BSBO birding pages). If you take the boardwalk behind the visitors' center, and then go east on the dirt trail from the northeast corner of the boardwalk, you'll soon pass through territories of a couple of pairs of Wood Thrushes that apparently will be nesting here. This area can be great for seeing migrant thrushes, vireos, warblers, and others as well.

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