May 16, 2013
0415 – Kevin arrives as we prepare to head to Magee Marsh.. we discussed how we are going to get to my goal of a 175 Species… We need 2 more Warblers to get to 30 species.. Cape May, Kentucky, Prothonotary, Mourning, Kirtland’s…. which one will it be?
0630 – We arrived at Magee… first bird we heard was a Common Gallinule in the marsh area before the parking lot… There was no one there… only a couple of cars… its obviously not the greatest week in birding anymore… The woods are active, but all the birds are up high and not at eye level… bummer.. a good variety and we got a Prothonotary right away… very cool as I hear the Sweet, Sweet, Sweet and then see it sitting on a tree trunk… Kevin and I make it thru the boardwalk practically by ourselves and as we near the end of our first pass, I saw a Black-billed Cuckoo dart across the path in front of us… We walked the trail along the beach area and looked for the Kirtland Warbler that was seen the day before.. The beach was empty and there were no birds on the water… we head back to the boardwalk… Second pass we came up with a Cape May Warbler… there was a good variety,but we are working on our list, so we are not searching for the Bay-breasted Warbler calling above our heads… We heard that there is an Eastern Whip-poor-will by marker 5 and we headed down and found a large group of people looking at it… awesome bird… We got to see a Sora up close… A nice little boy told us about it… We pick up an Eastern Wood-Pewee and a Willow and Alder Flycatcher for our list. We walk the estuary trail and see a ton of Dunlin and listen to the trumpet call of the Trumpeter Swan… next stop is Ottawa Wildlife Refuge..
1000 – We arrived at Ottawa and found a Lesser Scaup in the pond area near the front… in the marsh nearest the parking lot we scoped it and found an American Coot and a Hooded Merganser, which was a complete surprise .. We are there for about an hour and then we headed to Metzger Marsh….
1100 – Metzger Marsh is a complete waste of time… a few Pied-billed Grebes but not much else… we don’t even get out of the car… we head to Oak-Openings Preserve Metropark..
1230 – I love Oak Openings… Great habitat and cool birds… Kevin had never been there before and after visiting it, I think he will be back. We pulled into the park and right away hear a Grasshopper Sparrow singing from a field along Girdham Rd… at Girdham and Reed Rd we found Lark Sparrows in the road… we pulled over on Reed Rd and found a pair of Summer Tanagers in about 2 minutes… Red-headed Woodpeckers were everywhere… We found the Blue Grosbeak on a trail that begins on Reed Rd near Girdham… while looking for the Blue Grosbeak, we heard a Hooded Warbler calling… Our 4th Hooded in 4 different locations in 3 days… It flew in front of us and into a tree… I looked at it and there was another bird right below it… Shoot!! its a Yellow-throated Vireo… Nice, very Nice… We spent a couple of hours in the park and then decided to head to Pointe Mouillee. We had 171 birds on our list… My goal was 175 so we had some work to do…
1530 – We arrive at Pointe Mouillee… we are going to hike out to cell 3.. its a long walk and we decided to start at the parking area off of Roberts Road… We immediately see a Black-crowned Night Heron… Hopefully good things to come… Cell 3 was rocking… We found a huge flock number over a 1000 Dunlin. There are Least Sandpipers and a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers.. The two coolest birds in the cell were two American Avocets and three Piping Plovers… We also found a pair of Northern Pintails, a female Canvasback and several Blue-winged Teals… We had an American Bittern calling loudly from the marsh near unit 3… We birded this area to near dark and then we headed home.. I was thinking of Owling, but after 6 miles of walking at Pointe Mouillee, I was too beat…..