Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
We continue our birding adventures in Ohio, along the Lake Erie shore east of Toledo. Our base of operations is known as Magee Marsh, a wonderful piece of wooded swamp strung through with a winding boardwalk offering excellent views of the migrant birds that land there to feed and rest before flying across the lake. I mentioned yesterday my pleasure with finding a Black-throated Blue Warbler that cooperated in extraordinary fashion for photos. One Black-throated Blue. This morning I heard five different Black-throated Blues singing, all at the same time, all within 50 yards of each other. A southwesterly wind yesterday combined with an overnight thunder storm to fill the woods with birds. The Black-throated males arrived in force, as did Prothonotary Warblers. Parulas also were in the downed flight. The birding today was three or four times as good as the two previous days. I keep getting emails from Twin Cities friends telling me about the wonderful birding there. I hope it continues, at least until we get home. In the meantime, at dawn tomorrow we're back at Magee. Those here who predict bird movement say tomorrow will be much better than today. That would almost make our out-bound drive through Chicago worth while. In the photo is one of the Parulas we saw this morning.
Our visit here was timed to coincide with an event called the Biggest Week in American Birding. The event is timed to take advantage of the extraordinary birding available here during spring migration. It is put together by Black Swamp
Bird Observatory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (out of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Kaufman Field Guides, and Tropical Birds, a tour company providing boardwalk guides. There also are a number of commercial sponsors. This is the second year for Biggest Week. Last year, an estimated 50,000 birders visited the area during this two-week event. If you want know more about this, perhaps to plan a visit next May, go to the event's web site: www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com.
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