Wednesday 21 May 2014

Magee Marsh, Ohio - Day Three

I knew that that today, Saturday, would be very busy so I started the day by birding the auto-route at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge which is just next door to the Magee Marsh entrance off Highway 2. A quick poke around some of the trails produced Green Heron, Brown Thrasher and Red-belled Woodpecker.
The auto-route (as its name suggests) involves driving on a dirt road around a serious of fish ponds and flooded meadow that can often hold shorebirds and waterbirds. I was a little disappointed to be honest not to see any shorebirds but I did manage to add Blue-winged Teal, American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Eared (Black-necked Grebe), American Herring Gull and Ring-billed Gull to the trip list.

2nd cy Ring-billed Gulls

Adult Herring Gulls (Smithsonianus)

I returned to Magee at lunchtime and the full parking lots indicated that the crowds were significant. I avoided the board-walk altogether and joined the photographers at the same spot off the west parking lot.
Yellow Warblers were present as usual and at least one male Chestnut-sided Warbler appeared occasionally.

Male Chestnut-sided Warbler

Female Yellow Warbler
I decided to take advantage of the confident and confiding Catharus thrushes that were still about. I tried lying on my belly using a beanbag but there was always a blade or grass in the way so I set the tripod up at medium height and got the best shots when the birds perched on low branches or a tree stump.

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Swainson's Thrush
Happy with these efforts I called it a day, Sunday would be another busy one.

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