Saturday, May 29, 2010

IAS Field Trip to Magee Marsh

Last weekend, I led a group of about 40 Indiana Audubon Society members on a trip to Magee Marsh in northeast Ohio. As you already know, our trip started out right with a Kirtland's Warbler on the first day that was seen by almost everyone in attendance! While this was the biggest highlight of the trip, there were many other birds for us to see. We started early the next morning on the boardwalk and got great looks at many species. Some of the highlights for the morning were both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Connecticut, Mourning, and Canada Warblers. Unfortunately the Connecticut was not seen by everyone and was missed by a couple of people who have been looking for one for a very long time!

After lunch, we headed out to Metzger Marsh to try our luck with some marsh birds. Right as we started driving down the dike there were many cars stopped. We decided to pull in and see what they were looking for. Just as they were telling us that they had seen one of the recently reported Yellow-headed Blackbirds, I saw one fly across the road and completely disappear. While we never were able to see it again, we did see both and adult and immature Black-crowned Night-Heron and an American Bittern. As we continued down the dike, we saw a few Common Moorhens.

After parking at the end, we scanned the beach and found about ten Ruddy Turnstones with one Dunlin. We took one more hike around the boardwalk at Magee without many new highlights and then headed to dinner and some much needed rest.

We started off early on Sunday morning at the boardwalk but the birding was definitely slower than it had been the last two days. We managed to find a couple of nice flocks of warblers. The birding was slow all day but everyone enjoyed the great weather and wonderful company!

On Monday, most of the group decided to head to a park outside of Toledo called Oak Openings to try for a few grassland species. I choose to take a group out on the boardwalk again. I was another great morning to be out but, the birding was still slow. We managed to add two species to the trip list, Northern Harrier and Acadian Flycatcher! We started making our way home in the early afternoon.

It was a great trip with fantastic participants. We ended up seeing 158 species over the 4 days we were there! We have made many changes at Indiana Audubon recently and it seems to be making a big difference. People are excited and talking about where we will plan the next trip to already!

-Rob

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