Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pure Birding Fury

Liam and I got up at 4am this morning to drive 4 hours up to Magee Marsh on Lake Erie near Toledo, OH.  Magee Marsh is the self proclaimed, and likely proclaimed by everyone else too, as the "Warbler Capitol of the World".  We got there at about 9:30am and the place was jammed with people.  It looked like ants on cheese!  We started cramming ourselves down the choked boardwalk and started seeing warblers right away. About 50 yards in, a little boy in homemade jean overalls told us there was a Kirtland's Warbler off the boardwalk and down the way a piece.  Liam and I bolted and others came following after.  We did a combo speedwalk and run as much as possible.  Liam could run the whole way but my fat ass wasn't running 1000yds or so.  Regardless, we streamed along with the zombie hoard and came to a tree being watched by about 100 or so people!.  Mercifully, the tree was by a very wide open area and we got right in there and saw the bird easily.  As we made our way back, 100s more were on their way to see the Kirtland's.  The best part was getting back to a radically cleared out boardwalk, making for an awesome 5 hours of pure birding fury!  We got 20+ new birds with most being gorgeous wood warblers to include a skulking Mourning Warbler.  Check the list to see the other fantastic birds!
I can't wait until Liam is old enough to drive!
Liam matched the plane at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum on the way home
Checking out the warblers at Magee Marsh!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Houston Birding

We finally got the big year bus rolling again with a day and a half in Houston and High Island Texas.  We met up with our new super duper birding friends Blake and Holly Wright who are doing a charitable "Photographic" Big year.  We added 36 birds and got a few that really made the trip worth while such as both whistling-ducks!

 Laughing Gull
 Tropical Mockingbird
Some say that the heavily worn tail adds weight to the arguement that this bird is an escapee.  I got good looks at the tail and not just the ends were worn.  The tail was a wreck and looked to have "chunks" torn out.  Could it not be that the other highly teritorial Northern Mockingbirds have been picking on him excessively?  I hope that determining a bird an escapee is akin to "Innocent until proven guilty".   I believe it should be "Wild until proven escapee"
 Black-bellied Plover
 Red Knot
 Black-necked Stilt
 Black-bellied Whistling-duck
 Texas flower - "Indian Blanket"?
A "good sign"!