Sunday, May 27, 2018

Crane Creek...Butt Not a Single Crane...

 Can you believe it?! A Tree Swallow in a TREE!

So...there's a trail just west of the Mage Marsh boardwalk that's seldom used. I don't know why, maybe because it's a bit windy there. It certainly was windy...and chilly on this day and there were very few birders on the trail. It leads past the Lake Erie shore, into the woods then connects to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge trails. I made it as far as the refuge, which isn't all that far, butt it took me about five hours just to walk out and back. A non-birder would take about fifteen minutes. Butt what fun would that be?

For such a short trail, an amazing amount of birds can be seen there. If you bring a scope you can see the shorebirds on the far side of the creek and into the refuge. My camera gear is heavy enough for me, maybe one day I'll start to carry the scope too...maybe...

 Yep, all thrushes are now Swainson's Thrushes in my book..unless they're Orange-breasted Ground Thrushes...

 A much overlooked, butt extremely cute bird during the Biggest Week...Warbling Vireo and his crazy little song.

 I love it when someone says "Oh, it's just a sparrow."
Oh yeah? Well how often do you see a White-crowned Sparrow at your home?

 I'm still amazed at the number of Yellow Warblies nesting here.
It seems like every fifty feet one is working on a nest!

 ...and another!

 This was the first shy Yellow-rumped Warbly I've ever seen!

 Yep, Swainson's...

 WOW!
Even I can see the red of this gorgeous Scarlet Tanager!

 AND he sat still for the longest time!

 A rarely shy Red-winged Blackbird.
Someone asked what that bird was with the red wings...they thought I was being a smart ass when I told them...

 This female Red-winged Blackbird wasn't happy about me spotting her on her nest.
Sorry! I'll leave quickly after one shot...

Uh, guess...

 Whooo's peeking?!
A Great Horned Owlet right near the beginning of the trail.
He would pop up for a bit then disappear for a bit...

 It's so scary when looking through your lens and you see a tiny angry Magnolia Warbly jumping straight at you!
"ARRRRGH! I'LL PECK YER EYES OUT!"
That's what I heard him say, honest...well...

 And this is why I take so many behind photos...those Magnolias have such a beautiful pattern and coloring on their backs.

 This is a Nashville Warbly...

 This is a Nashville Warbly silently stalking its prey.
"..step by step, inch by inch...I'll get that lil bug..."
Funny how the field guides don't talk about that.

 You have to watch the ground as well as the trees for them warblies!
Palm Warblies with their waggly tails like it down there!

 I have no idea why this Eastern Kingbird was looking so cranky.
Maybe a bad bug?

 Looking out to Ottawa you could see lots of swallows and a good number of Common Terns eating the bugs before they eat us.

 The Chestnut-sided Warblies were trying their best to hide in the foliage today.

The Cape May Warblies were the warbly of the day.
I don't think I've ever seen so many in one area before.

 Singing to impress the ladies.

 Yes, your voice sounded delightful.

 An Orange-breasted Ground Thrush on its nest.
(I love telling people to look at those...they get so excited about a new species! Then they realize, and I have to run away!)

 The marsh was packed with Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows!

 This was the closest I've ever been to a Blackburnian Warbly.
I spent a lot of time just staring with my bins!

 Look at that throat! Wowzers what a warbly!

 A Blackpoll Warbly with his fancy feets.

Yep, A LOT of Cape Mays!
And a few less insects to nibble at me!
Thanks buddy!

I'll wave bye-bye for now too!

I'll be back with more from Magee and beyond!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Little Break From Magee...

 Ca-caw!

Hard to believe, butt I actually spent a day closer to home(gotta save gas!) and paid a visit to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park...specifically, the Beaver Marsh and the Ira Road trail head. This is always a great place for birding, even on bad days there's always something of interest. This is also the spot where I got my first(and only) otter!

The path I walk is only a couple of miles at most, butt I can easily spend most of the day in that little area. There is so much to take in with woodlands, the marsh and wetlands and a meadow....and the fellow birders I always bump into.

This was a productive day, and I probably posted too many photos, butt have a seat, get a cool drink and enjoy...or run away while you can!

 The Baltimore Orioles were out in force, singing and squabbling with each other.

 Yep! There's warblies out there too!
THis view of a Black-and-White Warbly was better than the ones I had at Magee so far!

 Black-capped Chickadees are my brother Phil's favorite lil birdie.
(AND they're nesting in my nest box for the third year!)

 A Cape May Warbly on the hunt for juicy bugs...yum.

 I even saw a couple of Chestnut-sided Warblies out there!

 I'm getting the stare down from a Green Heron...he won, I gave up and left...

 Sometimes the Great Blue Herons are too close!

 I love to hear that crazy Gray Catbird song!

 This Eastern Kingbird found the perfect hunting perch.

 How could you have a bad day when there's an Eastern Bluebird over your shoulder?

 This Downy Woodpecker was picking ants off the tree branch...

 And apparently, he didn't like that one...

 Male Mallards are the meanest ducks I've ever seen.
Here he was holding the female under water.
She managed to escape unharmed.

 A Midland Painted Turtle chillin' in his own Monet painting.

 This Northern Water Ssssnake was ssssniffing out ssssomething for a sssssnack...

 This slightly disheveled Orchard Oriole was singing up a storm.
Well, not really a storm, more of a sunny day...

 Trying to find another otter and up popped this Pied-billed Grebe!
Close enough...

 This female Red-winged Blackbird was having a nice stroll across the lily pads...

 Holy cow! A Ruby-crowned Kinglet actually sitting still!

 I think this was an extra from one of those Godzilla movies...or maybe just a huge Snapping Turtle.

I saw a smaller one trying to race across a road a couple of weeks ago. I stopped traffic to grab him and get him off the roadway...and I still have all of my fingers.
Don't try that at home kids, I'm a trained semi-professional...or something...

 When I saw this Song Sparrow with a chopper full of bug bites, I knew he was going to a nest somewhere. I backed away and kept an eye on him and lo and behold...

 Buried down in the reeds, there's a little nest!
I took a couple of shots and left immediately so as not to stress them.

 Nope, still can't figure out the Thrushes...
Swainson's?
Never mind, I've decided I will call all of them Swainson's from now on.
Simple.

 The Tree Swallow doesn't like my idea.
Well, I'm gonna call you a Swainson's Swallow from now on.
So there.

 This is a Swainson's Wood Duck.
(Not really.)


 Would you believe a Swainson's Myrtle Warbly?
No? Me either.
Just a Yellow-rumped, soon to be Myrtle again.

 And I'll leave you with my only photo of a Yellow-throated Vireo, appropriate, eh?

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