Friday, May 5, 2017

I'm Birdin' in the Rain...Just Birdin' in the Rain!...


I took the day off to go birding at Magee Marsh for the start of...THE BIGGEST WEEK IN AMERICAN BIRDING!!!...(add echo.) So what if a few roads were closed due to flooding...and the winds were howling and blowing everything sideways...and the rain was hitting me like freezing needles...suck it up, be a REAL birder! Jeez...am I crazy or what?! Shut up.

I had to take the two and a half hour drive to get there and dodge accidents and blowing semi's along the turnpike, but it turned out to be a good day and worth the trip! I first stopped at Maumee Bay State Park and resort to register and get my goodie bag from the great folks at Black Swamp Bird Observatory...and to say hello to some old and new friends. I then went back out into the craziness of the weather and blew down to Black Swamp to say hello. While there I spoke with a few birders about the boardwalk.

I was thinking of just heading home due to the high winds and rain. Not good for cameras...or skinny guys that blow away easily. Eh, while I'm here I may as well drive down the causeway to check things out. When I got to the boardwalk I actually saw a few cars!...and one poor guy hunkered down under the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources canopy. He sort of waved...or was it just the wind blowing him around...anyway...I'm here...HOW BAD COULD IT BE?

I prepared myself and my camera with a "water proof" layer and opened the car door. After I ran through the parking lot to catch my door and reattach it, I made my way to the boardwalk. You know those videos of people standing in a wind tunnel? That would've been me. I'm not built for high wind. Luckily my camera is heavy enough to keep me anchored, so off I went birdin' in the rain! Gene Kelly, eat your heart out...I got the moves...
 
 My first bird was a Gray Catbird...as wet as I was.

 And then there was my first warbly of the day!
A Yellow-rumped Warbly!
*Note to Canon...drill a drain hole in the lens hood for idiots that point their lenses up in storms...

 How many times do I have to tell me?! DON'T AIM UP IN THE RAIN!
Oh well, how could I pass up this adult Bald Eagle feeding that brat in a storm.
He just couldn't wait for the rain to let up...kids...

 Someone needs to add rain soaked birds to field guide descriptions.
This is a poor, soggy Warbling Vireo.
I resembled that...

 This Baltimore Oriole was hunkered down in a most unhappy way.

 This Downy Woodpecker found the dry side of this tree and was finding plenty to eat in there.
I was actually that close, no cropping needed today!

 Have I ever mentioned how much I like the pies at Blackberry Corners?
Oh, and she even put extra chocolate sauce and whipped cream on it.
I was going to take a photo of the whole slice, but temptation took over...
I finished within another second...

 I saw Egrets off in the distance and took a shot.
Turned out that along with the two Great Egrets on the left, there were two Snowy Egrets in there as well!

 Just off the boardwalk was a Green Heron hunting for dinner.
I'll bet he didn't have pie after...

 Oops, I'm busted...he heard me...

 ...forgot to look...

 Some folks thought they had an Orange-crowned Warbly, but I couldn't get on it quick enough to say.
A short time later, this one came right out in front of me getting ready to eat the face off some poor unsuspecting bug!
My pie was better...

 He twisted around so I could see a little orange.
I'm still color blind!

 But it posed so nicely!
AND the rain stopped!

 The White-throated Sparrows were still wandering in the scrub.

 I think this Palm Warbly just noticed the rain ended also!

 This will go down as the oddest butt shot of the day.

 Special thanks go to Sam Woods for ID'ing this Pine Warbly.
I would have stared for hours at this one...

 Trying to figure out what I am as well I suppose...

 Hmmm...it's a Thrush...maybe a Swainson's?
This was the only shot of the whole bird I managed...it was still raining at this point and both of us were thinking of leaving...

I will leave you today as these Sandhill Cranes were leaving me...
I'll be back at Magee again this weekend!
...without the rain of course...