Sunday, May 22, 2011

Magee Marsh: some photos and video

Yesterday's field trip to Magee Marsh offered up nice weather, good birding and good birding company. I met up with my western Pennsylvania friend, Steve, as well as many birders on a Washtenaw Audubon Society field trip.

I should do a blog entry of photos taken of just this single, beautiful male Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca).  In the bright sun, against the blue sky, it performed in a leafless tree just at the edge of the boadwalk.  I chose this photo secondary to the pose it struck.

Magee Marsh is the place where I first saw an Eastern Screech Owl (Otis asio) after only hearing them for years.  Most years they are located for viewing somewhere along the boardwalk.  This screech was found out in the open for daytime viewing.  Shortly after I took this photo grackles harrassed it enough to make it fly to the cover of a broad-leafed tree branch.  

My favorite warbler?  I don't know - whichever I am looking at for the moment.  I do, however, love Bay-breasted (Dendroica castanea).  This little bird was also performing out in the open, but I could not get a photo until is paused in the V of this low tree and stopped to look around.  I chose this photo because the russet cap was the most visible.

I love a bathing Robin (Turdus migratorius).  They are so clearly enjoying themselves.  In this case, as the Robin flapped, dunked and splashed it sent the tiny duckweed airborn all around it.  

From the parking lot, we saw a large flock of shorebirds flying in a unified, swirling, diving mass.  Given the time of year, we assumed they were Dunlin (Calidris alpina) but went to the shore to get a closer view of the show they were putting on.

This Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citria) was nest-building in a large cavity literally right next to the boardwalk.  It did not seem an ideal location for a nest.  I don't know if it was just practicing or working on the real thing, but it was certainly busy and focused on its task, unperturbed by the large group of birders watching its activity.  

While not as striking as her male counterpart, this female Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata) is a bird which I think often challenges identification efforts, perhaps because it receives so little attention.  I was happy for this single photograph. 

No matter how common, it is impossible for me to resist a perfectly posed bird - always graceful, charming and handsome, Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) - even at Magee Marsh.

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