Sunday, May 22, 2016

Point Blank Range

I'm on a whirlwind travel schedule lately. This week took me to Ohio - and I do mean Ohio. Not just one stop on this trip. We combined business and personal into one hectic week starting in Magee Marsh on Lake Erie (birding), back east to Cleveland (work meetings), then diagonally across the state to Hueston Woods west of Dayton (wedding reception) and home again in just 5 days. 

Lori, Barbara and I made the trip to Magee Marsh a few years ago (relive the trip here) but Connie has never been  and I just knew she would love it. She did love it! We arrived on Wed evening after an 8 hour drive and did a quick trip around the boardwalk. We were greeted by Magnolia Warbler.

Magnolia Warbler
And then got to compare the markings to Canada Warbler. Both have a necklace, but Maggie has more streaking and different markings on the back and head while Canada has solid slate black back and head with that big eye ring. 

Canada Warbler
A favorite of ours is Chestnut-sided Warbler. These birds nest near the cabin in Potter County but we rarely get this close.

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Another common warbler is American Redstart. We can get close to these birds almost anywhere but I still felt the need to photograph this female while she sat quietly next to the boardwalk. 

American Redstart
A fan favorite for sure is Wilson's Warbler. These guys look like they wear a yarmulke (yamaka).  

Wilson's Warbler
By far, the most interesting warbler that we spotted along the boardwalk was Bay-breasted Warbler. We don't get many of these in our area and when we do, it is fall and they are very dull. Not cinnamon colored like they are in spring. 

Bay-breasted Warbler. 
All of the photos here were barely cropped at all. That's how close the birds were. We took our time and watched them picking the leaves in search of bugs, or sitting quietly, or preening. That is what makes the boardwalk so special. Most of the birds hang around all day waiting to take flight over the lake at night.  Near the end of the boardwalk, we got to watch this Common Nighthawk snoozing on a fallen branch. He mainly just sat there, but then he started to wiggle around a little bit so I snapped this photo. 

Common Nighthawk
And then, I figured out why he was awake. He had to poop!

Common Nighthawk - poop
With that, we left the marsh and headed over to our hotel for the night. 

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