There were so many highlights from the Ohio trip that as I organize my photos I keep coming up with more material to share. One of the really exciting things for me was the addition of a couple of life birds and also another species that I’ve seen before but never managed to get a picture of until this time.
The first lifer (any bird never seen before) and most exciting for me was the Kirtland’s Warbler. For those non-birders, the Kirtland’s Warbler is highly endangered species and one of the most coveted birds for birders to see. They only breed in a small area of Michigan and Wisconsin and they Winter in the Bahamas so to see one anywhere but in those areas is rare to say the least. When the word got out that one had been seen at the Marsh there were literally hundreds of people trying to get to the area where it was reported. It had left this area but thankfully flew to an open area and was feeding way up in a huge Cottonwood tree. Many, many birders were blessed to see this great bird that day and even though it was really far away and high in the tree I was thrilled when I looked at my pictures because I wasn’t sure if any of them would come out nice enough for an ID shot let alone one that I could share!
The second lifer was an Olive-sided Flycatcher. This bird was also way up high but all the field marks were viewable and again many got to see this great bird.
I’ve seen Least Flycatchers a couple of times in Florida but never managed to get a picture of one. At Magee Marsh there was at least a couple of them that posed so well I now have a half-dozen nice close shots.
One of the highlights of everyday happened as we were heading back towards Port Clinton from the Marsh. Close to the corner of US 2 and 19 is a large tree where nearly every time we passed there was a Bald Eagle perched up. There were a couple of times a pair sat there right next to each other and finally on the last day before heading back to Florida I managed to get a couple of shots.
Another favorite pastime of the birders at Magee Marsh is to find the roosting Screech Owls. They are so tiny and hide so well that it often was quite a challenge. Obviously this day was an exception as he was posing so nicely. The day we saw this Owl I witnessed something that I had only read about. As this guy was sleeping there were at least a half dozen Warblers and a Gnatcatcher “Mobbing” him. They were squawking at him and buzzing him and he just completely ignored them … really cool thing to witness!
Since today’s pictures aren’t all that colorful I thought I’d leave you with another shot of the jewel of the woods. Thank you so much for the visit and God Bless.