Friday, May 13, 2011

Biggest Week in American Birding

Tom and I spent a few days at the birding areas along Lake Erie this past week.  We were there for part of the second annual "Biggest Week in American Birding" which was May 5-15 this year.  The boardwalk at Magee Marsh was the spot to be.  There were birders from all over the United States and Canada.  We also met a large group from England. 

 During spring migration the small swampy woods is filled with hundreds of warblers and other birds.  Tom and I call ourselves experienced birders because we have birded for many years.  An expert birder is a special breed of birder.  We know a few.  Those birders know songs and habits and habitats and expect to find over a hundred species on a good day at the marsh.  We look less vigorously and found 90 species over a four day span.  Most of them we found at Magee Marsh but we also found some at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and at Metzger Marsh, two nearby sites.

The boardwalk is crowded with birders and bird photographers with a huge range of equipment. I took two photos I was pleased with using my little focus and click Sony.

Green Heron

You may not see the American Woodcock. Even though this bird was only a foot from the boardwalk it was still and blended into the foliage.

Here is a closer view. His back is toward us. He has horizonal stripes across his head.

The photos below are some of the pictures were taken by Tom with his Canon and a bigger lens. He took photos one day of the four that we were there. As he said, "I can bird or I can take photos. I can't do both at the same time."

Common Yellowthroat

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Prothonotary Warbler

Trumpeter Swan

Barn Swallows

Gray Catbird


Magnolia Warbler


  1. Enjoyed reading about the birds.....hope to see you do a painting of the Green Heron someday...he's really beautiful. Tell Tom that I thought he was so good at what he does that he'd be able to bird & take photos at the same time with no problem at all!!! :)