Thursday, February 16, 2017

OH - "the warbler capital".....more than just warblers.



Henslow's Sparrow - Ottawa NWR, Ottawa Co., OH. May 13th, 2016.

Very few birds are missed in NW Ohio in May thanks to the leaders of "The Biggest Week in American Birding" who keep tabs on all the good finds and provide up-to-the-minute information via a very active twitter feed. As a result, we were often provided with some rare treats such as exceptional views of roosting Eastern Whip-poor-wills and Common Nighthawks, and even the odd rarity such as the Curlew Sandpiper in full breeding plumage near Swanton - not too shabby!


Eastern Whip-poor-will - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016.


 Common NighthawkMagee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.


Common Nighthawk - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.


Curlew Sandpiper (right) - with Dunlin, near Swanton, OH. May 12th, 2016.


Sora - Pipe Creek Wildlife Area, Erie Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 


Eastern Screech-owl - Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 11th, 2016.


American WoodcockMagee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016.


Veery - Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 11th, 2016.


Eastern Wood Pewee - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.




OH - "the warbler capital"


Canada Warbler - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 11th, 2016.

As much as I tend to be a little guarded about talking-up locations when it comes to birds and birding, I've yet to come across any place in North America that could match North-west Ohio in May for warbler diversity. May 2016 was my fifth consecutive visit which, combined with an excurision into Michigan for Kirtland's Warbler (and other breeding birds and migrants) gave our Birdfinders group 31 species of warbler for the tour. That tally matched the previous tours but the species compostition was different on all four trips! Although the famous boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area was crowded at times, the rich array of habitats close by served us well and we often slipped away to find some of our own birds. If North American warblers are your thing, then NW Ohio has to be a 'must visit' location - I certainly haven't seen anything quite like it in my travels in the US.

 Blackburnian Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.


 Blackburnian Warbler - female, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016. 


 Bay-breasted Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016.


Bay-breasted Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 13th, 2016.


 Chestnut-sided Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.

Blackpoll Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 13th, 2016.


 Cape May Warbler - male, Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 11th, 2016.


Cape May Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016.


Black-throated Green Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 


Golden-winged Warbler - female, Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 

 Magnolia Warbler - Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 


 Magnolia Warbler - male, Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.  


Mourning Warbler - male, Maumee Bay SP, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016.  


Northern Parula - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 


Prothonotary Warbler - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016. 


Northern Waterthrush - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 14th, 2016. 


Wilson's Warbler - male, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 


Philadelphia Vireo - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Lucas Co., OH. May 15th, 2016. 






Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MA - gulls at Turner's Falls: Feb, second week.

Kumlien's Iceland Gulls ( 3 first-cycle) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. February 15th, 2017.

It's been another productive week for gull watching at Turner's Falls with good numbers of birds turning up on either side of a major winter storm event on the 12th/13th. Glaucous Gulls were notably absent in what seems to be a relatively poor winter for that species locally. However, Kumlien's Iceland Gulls continued in good numbers throughout with 4 - 6 present on each day that I checked including the first adult of the winter on the 13th-14th. The adult Lesser Black-backed Gull remained throughout but was joined by a third-cycle bird on the 10th -11th and up to two first-cycle birds, also on 10th -11th. Brian Kane and I also observed a first-cycle Nelson's Gull (Glaucous x Herring hybrid) on the 11th, the first such hybrid that we've seen this winter. With Barton Cove being completely frozen most of the gulls have been using the power canal where up to 4 Ring-necked Ducks and a Greater Scaup continue, all of them drakes.


Kumlien's Iceland Gulls (first-cycle) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. February 13th, 2017.



Kumlien's Iceland Gull (adult) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. February 13th -14th, 2017.



Lesser Black-backed Gull ( third-cycle) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. February 11th, 2017.







Lesser Black-backed Gull (first-cycle) - Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. February 11th, 2017.
Center bird in all images above.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls (third-cycle, left, first-cycle upper middle) with Kumlien's Iceland Gull (first-cycle) -Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. February 11th, 2017.







NH - a day on the New Hampshire Coast - Oct 24th, 2016


Lapland Longspur - Rye Habor SP (Ragged Neck), Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.
One of two birds feeding at our feet - literally!

Last October I had the pleasure of guiding a small group of Brits around a few of the New England states. We began on the New Hampshire coast where our first full day in the field just happened to coincide with the passage of a cold front resulting in a cool day with blustery NW winds. Our day was highlighted by a broad range of species observed in beautiful fall sunlight, and all against the backdrop of the picturesque New Hampshire coast. Thanks to Robert Carr, Pete Lansdown, and Peter & Margaret Ward for sharing such a wonderfully rewarding day. 

Brant (pale-bellied) - Hampton Beach SP, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.


Semi-palmated Plovers - Hampton Beach SP, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.



Pine Warbler (first-winter) - North Hampton Beach SP, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.



Cooper's Hawk (juv/first-winter) - North Hampton Beach SP, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.


Yellow-rumped Warbler - North Hampton Beach SP, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.


Wilson's Snipe (presumed) - Rye Habor SP (Ragged Neck), Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.
Doesn't really get better than this in terms of views of a snipe but aside from range and distribution is 
it really possible to rule out Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)?


Rough-legged Hawk (light morph) - Rye/North Hampton townline, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.
Nice pick-up by Pete Lansdown. High flying migrant drifting south over the open ocean. 
In view for quite a while but never came close enough to shore for images. 
One of the least expected birds of the day. 


Double-crested Cormorants - Rye, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016. Hundreds of migrants passed south all day.


Field Sparrow - Wallis Sands, Rye, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.


 Ipswich Savannah (upper) and Savannah Sparrows - Odiorne Point, Rye, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.


Orange-crowned Warbler - Odiorne Point, Rye, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.
One of two foraging at close range. 



Western Kingbird - Pulpit Rocks/Wallis Sands, Rye, Rockingham Co., NH. October 24th, 2016.
Long staying rarity. Gave us the run around a few times before eventually feeding in the open at dusk.