Monday, May 11, 2015

Blackpoll Warbler at Magee Marsh...

I made it to Maumee Bay this afternoon, and it's lovely. Right now I'm sitting on the couch in my little cottage listening to warblers...warblers…and warblers, although, as each minute passes, the bird song diminishes. It's almost 9:00 p.m., and the birds are all starting to tuck themselves in for the night. A cool breeze is blowing through the cottage thanks to a cold front that moved through earlier, and tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day. This evening I stopped in the lodge and met up with a lot of my birdy friends…and made a few new friends. BIRDY people are the best! I also won a "Squirrel Buster" bird feeder! Me…won!  All courtesy of The Biggest Week in American Birding!

A Blackpoll Warbler looks for insects along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. 
Warblermania and Spring Migration
When you visit the boardwalk at Magee Marsh (near Toledo, OH) in May, you get up close and personal with the amazing phenomena of spring migration. The trees along the boardwalk literally drip with neotropical migrants as they rest and fuel up for the last leg of their journey across Lake Erie to their nesting grounds up north.

In addition to seeing all the amazing birds--often at eye level--you get to meet other enthusiasts who love birds as much as you do. The atmosphere along the boardwalk is that of a festival where birders of all levels help each other spot and identify these amazing birds. If you're a beginner, don't worry, there are lots of experienced birders there happy to help you learn about the birds.

He with the yellow feet and legs!
Blackpoll Warblers resemble Black and White Warblers, but when you look closely, you can see their markings are different. One difference is they have a black cap like a chickadee, while a Black and White Warbler has a stripe, but the easiest way to tell them apart is look at their legs and feet. A Blackpoll Warbler's extremities are noticeably yellow!

I will be blogging about the Biggest Week over the next few weeks. The birds, the people, the events...everything about the Biggest Week is amazing!

I'm looking forward to teaching the field sketching class tomorrow. It starts bright and early. I'll let you know how it goes! 


L Livingston Studio said...

But were they all flitting? Have a great time kiddo. Wish i were there. Next year.

Frank said...

Thanks for the ID hints Kelly .. I recall trying to sort one from the other, in flight, at Cape May in the autumn and even the 'experts' were confused!!

Have a splendid day with the field sketching tomorrow.

Roy Norris said...

Hope you have a good time Kelly.
Sounds like a great place to be.

Elaine said...

Cute fellow! I wish Magee Marsh wasn't so far away.....

Kelly said...

@ LLS - yes…they were flitting here, there, and everywhere! More flitting than you could shake a stick at! :-)

@ Frank - Autumn warbler plumage is so much harder than the spring plumage…and add in flight! :-)
The class was fantastic, Frank! Thank you! We all had fun!

@ Roy - We did, Roy. Everyone walked out with new observation skills…and everyone learned how to draw flowers and birds. I'll do a post in a few days.

@ Elaine - You would love it, Elaine…but it is far away from Alaska!!! A lot the birds I'm seeing here are headed up your way for nesting!

Kathie Brown said...

What a fun find! I had them at the boat launch here in Maine last year.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful warbler. your sketching class looks great!