Monday, May 2, 2011

Awesome May 1st migration

Cerulean Warbler at Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, Ohio, on May 1, 2011. photo/Kenn Kaufman.
Sunday, May 1: We had predicted that this would be a good day for arrival of migrants, and it turned out to be outstandingly good, certainly the best day of the spring so far.  At least 29 warbler species were confirmed between the three sites of Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, and the Navarre unit of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (where BSBO has its main banding station). Numbers were very impressive at all three sites. Yellow-rumped Warblers were most numerous, as expected at this stage in the migration, but there were also large numbers of Nashville Warblers and Black-throated Green Warblers. (At one point, at the woodlot at the end of the road at Metzger Marsh, I counted 14 Black-throated Green Warblers in one small tree!  A couple of minutes later, the top of the next small tree held a Cerulean Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, a Cape May Warbler, a Northern Parula, and a Yellow Warbler all at the same time, for a stunning splash of color.)  At least two Cerulean Warblers (possibly three) entertained birders for hours at Metzger. Highlights at the Magee boardwalk included Worm-eating, Kentucky, and Hooded Warblers, plus Yellow-breasted Chat. Navarre had a female Cerulean Warbler, and a surprisingly early female Mourning Warbler.

 Non-warbler highlights included a good arrival of vireos, with at least five of the six expected species (I didn't see or hear about any Philadelphia Vireos). All five species of brown thrushes were recorded, and several Wood Thrushes were singing at Magee in the evening. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were numerous -- at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Kimberly Kaufman was able to get five males in one photo out the window. Two Blue Grosbeaks, a female and a young male, were on the beach north of the boardwalk parking lot at Magee. Eastern Kingbirds at many sites, Bobolinks and Cattle Egrets near the entrance to Ottawa NWR, and a Merlin at Metzger were among the other sightings. My own oddest bird of the day was a Whimbrel flying over the Magee causeway in the evening; this is an unusually early date for the species.

I haven't looked at the weather in detail yet, but with the sky overcast and the winds shifting to northwest during the night tonight, a fair percentage of today's birds should still be around on Monday.
Black-throated Green Warbler at Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, Ohio, on May 1, 2011. Black-throated Greens were very numerous at both Metzger and Magee on this day. photo/Kenn Kaufman.

No comments:

Nature Blog Network