Friday, May 21, 2010

Awesome First Day at Magee

Today was the first day of the Indiana Audubon Society trip to Magee Marsh in northwest Ohio. A few people arrived the day before the trip officially started and ended up having to brave the rain in order to get any birding in at all. Although the rain kept many of the birds from singing, we still had 23 species of warbler and over 100 species on the day. After having lunch at Maumee Bay State Park, we took a walk along their boardwalk and happened upon quite a sight!

There was a juvenile Eastern Screech-Owl sitting in a tree near a nesting box. As we approached, it fell out of the tree and gently landed in the leaves below. We watched as it climbed back up the tree to safety. When we got closer, we realized that we had been under the watchful eye of both of its parents. Not only did we get to see 3 screech-owls, but the adults represented both the gray and rufous morphs!

As we finished up there, I got a call from a very excited birder. There was a Kirtland's Warbler at Magee Marsh. As we sped over there, I hoped that the whole group would be able to see the bird. We arrived at the site and within minutes we saw it! Over the next half hour, the whole group was able to view the Kirtland's! It came within 3 or 4 feet of me while feeding and I was able to get head shots with my 400mm lens. It was one of the most exciting time I have ever had while birding!

Two shots are below. The first one is one of the head shots that I took. The second one was taken by my wife as the Kirtland's seemed to study her from a bush only feet away.

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