Sunday, April 7, 2013

Magee Marsh Migrants April 7

Fox Sparrow: All along the Magee Marsh boardwalk in early April, before most of the songbird migrants arrive, they serve as a sort of "warm-up act" for the warbler show that happens later in the spring.

Sunday morning, April 7: As predicted earlier, local winds shifted to the south on Saturday and continued that way through the night, and this morning there was a major arrival of migrants in northwest Ohio.  At the Magee Marsh boardwalk, a pass through this morning revealed major turnover and a huge increase in numbers from the day before.  

Golden-crowned Kinglets and Fox Sparrows, which had been numerous already, were even more prevalent today, and the first few Ruby-crowned Kinglets showed up.  Hermit Thrushes arrived in force.  There was a big push of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (with more than a dozen along the boardwalk), and single Northern Flickers were passing overhead along the tree line all morning.  Major numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos were all along the road into Magee and around the edges of the woods, and a big arrival of Field Sparrows had them scattered throughout the area, including in such odd spots as deep inside the woods.  Other notable arrivals or increases involved Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow (probably tripled in numbers from the previous day), Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Purple Finch, Eastern Towhee, and Chipping Sparrow.  I had not seen any warblers at the boardwalk before today, but this morning there were close to 20 Yellow-rumped Warblers there, the vanguard of the great warbler parade that will be coming in the next few weeks. 

Early this morning there was a serious movement of American Robins along the lake shore.  This had wound down by a couple of hours after sunrise, but a few Eastern Bluebirds continued to move through the area.  Flocks of blackbirds were moving through the area from east to west, and I estimated over 350 Rusty Blackbirds, which would be an exceptional total in most places.  An Osprey, a few Bald Eagles, and a couple of American Kestrels were the only migrating raptors that I had seen by the time I left the boardwalk area, but there could have been more by midday, although winds were beginning to shift more toward the west. 

Late this evening, winds are supposed to shift more toward the north, and be more or less northerly overnight, so many of the migrants that came in today will probably still be around tomorrow.  It's likely to rain tomorrow, but if you can get out between showers on Monday (or if you can get to any good migrant spot this afternoon), most of these birds probably will still be around.  We are still in the early stages of the migration, but the next 7 or 8 weeks will provide some of the most exciting birding of the year! 

1 comment:

jeff said...

Hi Mr Kaufmann, a little off subject but I was wondering if you are coming to Michigan any time soon to speak. I also love your field guide, it has brought me to going out and enjoying all of the birds in my state, and genuinely caring about them and their daily survival. Thank you very much. Jeff

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