Thursday, April 5, 2012

Birding at Lake Erie, March 28,29,30, 2012

The weather this year was similar to last year at the same time, raw, cold, and windy. On Wednesday afternoon and on Friday morning we did all of our birding from the van. For those of you who are interested in numbers...we saw fifty-one species, including two American bald eagles sitting on mounds in the marsh at Ottawa.  It was a closer longer view than we usually get of these birds. We enjoyed watching them with naked eyes and with binoculars. They were still sitting on the mounds when we drove on.

On Thursday, we braved the weather and spent over two hours on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. The first warblers have arrived. We saw a few male yellow-rumped warblers. Tom spotted a ruby-crowned kinglet. Quite a few fox sparrows were flitting in the trees. We saw a few winter wrens scurrying among the tree roots. They will be leaving for the north soon. None of the small birds sat long enough for Tom to snap their pictures. But we saw a lot of bigger birds that Tom was able to photograph. We saw rafts of American coots everywhere, at Metzger, Magee and Ottawa.

Here is a closer look at a coot.

The most exciting sighting was twenty-one trumpeter swans at the first big pond at Ottawa. Here is one grouping. Their necks are dirty pink because they feed by dipping their long necks into the marsh.

I was hoping to see shorebirds. Last year, when the only camera we had with us was my little one, we saw a flock of snipe at the first marshy area after coming into Ottawa. Click on the photo to see the snipes a bit better.

This year the water was deeper in the marshy area and we saw two great egrets.

This is the time of year when there are a lot of shovelers. Their name comes from their shovel-like bill that they use to scoop up food.

This shoveler is using his shovel.

The tree swallows have paired up.

And everywhere the male red-winged blackbirds were singing, hoping to entice the females to join them.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice photos. I am jealous of you getting to see so many wonderful bird species. The swans are my favorite.