Friday, April 29, 2011

UPDATE for 4/30 - 5/1

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, April 29, 2011. photo/Kenn Kaufman.
UPDATE Friday night, April 29. The weather forecast for tonight has changed somewhat but it still shows the wind shifting to the southeast before morning, and I still expect that Saturday morning will produce at least a fair arrival of birds in the migrant traps along the Lake Erie shoreline. Please read the previous post for more details.

It appears now that Saturday should have beautiful weather, but Sunday may have many more migrants, because southerly winds will persist through Saturday night and rain showers will move in before dawn on Sunday.   Short prediction: Saturday will provide very pleasant birding, a wonderful chance to get outside and enjoy the spring.  Sunday will be messy weather, but with a lot of birds to look at for those who are willing to risk a little rain. 

On Friday, the numbers and variety of birds in the lakeshore sites were reduced considerably from the three preceding days. There were still large numbers of Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers, Palm Warblers, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area produced a few notable birds. A male Hooded Warbler was moving around (and sometimes singing) north of the boardwalk in the vicinity of numbers 7A to 10; at times it moved a little farther north and was visible from the edge of the parking lot, just east of the platform by the west entrance. A Kentucky Warbler was present for much of the day near number 16, mostly hopping on the ground on both sides of the boardwalk. A couple of male Blackpoll Warblers (notably early) were being seen near the west end of the boardwalk, including near number 6. A Red-breasted Nuthatch was working the trees near numbers 3 and 4. Two Eastern Screech-Owls were spotted on day roosts, one south of the boardwalk and just a few yards west of number 13, the other north of the boardwalk and just opposite the short spur that goes off by number 10. For a reference on all of these numbered spots, see our map of the boardwalk at

Also in the area, on the east beach (wildlife beach) at Magee, Sherrie Duris found a Red-headed Woodpecker Friday morning. Metzger Marsh was relatively quiet, but the Tricolored Heron was seen again.

Late Friday afternoon, I checked the woodlot north of the entrance at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (see “East parking for trails” on our Ottawa map: ). The birds were actually more concentrated there than out at the Magee boardwalk; they were mostly Yellow-rumped and Palm warblers, but a Prothonotary Warbler was there as well. The east side of this woodlot was hopping, probably because it was sheltered from the west-northwest winds. In birding this area in spring, we'll always do better if we pay attention to wind direction!

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