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?

Thanks for visiting! Tell your friends and neighbors to stop by and to say hello!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Things Were Hoppin' at Magee!...part two...of many...

 A cute little Palm Warbly with that waggly tail...

So...where was I? Oh, still at Magee Marsh for the Biggest Week fest...duh...

I heard a few people complaining about the chilly and rainy weather that was coming on and off. Silly humans. They don't realize that when it's windy and drizzly the insects are hiding lower in the trees and scrub to stay warm and dry...and those clever warblies know that all too well! Bad weather at Magee means birds are at eye level and posing nicely!

So kids, our lesson for today is: GET OUT THERE NO MATTER WHAT! Thanks you, class dismissed....after you look at the photos...

 I watched this male Prothonotary Warbly working on his nest hole in a nearby tree.
More warblies soon!
There was a younger man with a camera looking at this very same bird and telling everyone it was a Yellow Warbler. I tried to correct him, but he was perfect in every way and "knew his birds better than me." As he walked away, I told a few of the newer birders that were listening that it was, indeed, a Prothonotary and showed them the difference with a nearby by Yellow Warbly. 
I'm not all-knowing, but I know my warblies!

 This male Red-bellied Woodpecker was working on his nest as well.

 We saw a few Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, all at a bit of a distance.

 Year round residents, I still love those chipper Song Sparrows and their happy songs.

 A Sora was spotted along the boardwalk...with a large crowd of humans as well.
All I could make out from my angle was the shadow on the water.
I decided to leave the crowd because I could see the Sora was walking away...about ten feet down I stood alone and waited while everyone else was frozen in place trying to crane their necks to get a view.

 Yep. It came out right near my spot and I was all alone to get a few shots before I told everyone there was a clear view by me.
Then the hoards charged in...and I left smiling...

This is one of those confusing ones. I only had a couple of photos, but I am sure it's a Tennessee Warbly. Sometimes they don't like to pose very long.
Gotta eat them buggies and head for Canada!

 Speaking of confusing.
Thrushes make my brain itch.
This may be a Gray-cheeked Thrush...or not.

 I have dozens of photos of Thrushes and no one nearby to compare ideas with...
Color blindness can be an issue at times...
Maybe a Hermit...any ideas out there?

 Ooo-Oooo! I know this one!
It's a Sparrow....with a white throat...so it must be a White-throated Sparrow!
Yea! I got one right!

 This warbly is yellow. I know that color.
He's got streakies of a color I don't know.
So that makes him a Yellow Warbly.
Logic, eh?

 This male Yellow-rumped Warbly, aka "Butter Butt," was busy cleaning up to impress the ladies.

When he was freshly preened and sparkly, he started to belt out his tune.
What a chick magnet...I should take lessons...

Stay tuned for more from...
THE BIGGEST WEEK IN AMERICAN BIRDING!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Things Were Hoppin' at Magee!...part one...of many...

 A view of the boardwalk across the marsh...

I am getting further and further behind in my posts! These photos are from May 5th...a day that didn't rain! The winds were so high the day before they had to close the boardwalk for a bit, so I wandered elsewhere, then came back to a great weather day.

In addition to all of the great migrant birds coming for a visit, I have all of my great friends that migrate to Magee every year to see our favorite warblies! It's a great time to catch up with old friends and make new ones along the way. There were more new birders this year than I remember from the past. They make it more fun and remind me that birds that are common to some are unusual to others. Always have patience with the newbies and we all have more fun!

 At last! The proper shot of an American Woodcock!
(The nice folks from Aviantica asked me to take this photo...though I would have done it anyway!)

 ...for you folks that prefer birds from the other way...close enough...

 Dad turned his back on that begging youngster...you can only stand so much...

 Oh dear...what a rude little child.
( Or is it a rude little Loopy for posting it?)

 Here's a Black-throated Blue Warbly to clean your brain of the last shot...

 And a Black-throated Green too!

 Bull Frogs shooting the bull.

 Chestnut-sided Warblies have never appreciated my humor...

 They call them Common Nighthawks, buts how often do you actually see one?

 Common Yellowthroats love to hide in the thickets.
I managed to find him hiding and singing in there!

 Gray Catbirds are still one of my favorites.
I heard someone say to a new birder "Don't bother looking at them, they're common."
The new birder told me it was a life bird for her.
Be careful what you say out there!

 You don't often see a Green Heron walking through the woods...

 House Wrens are another common bird with an uncommonly beautiful song...and loud too!

 We can't go too long without a butt shot!
That's a Killdeer by the way.

 This Magnolia Warbly had his eye on a nearby bug and was preparing to pounce.

 This Midland Painted Turtle has lived a hard life.

For now I'll leave you with this beautiful Nashville Warbly...Elvis has left the building...