Sunday, April 14, 2013

Magee Marsh in mid-April

Rodolfo Palma and I braved the bleak weather report for Saturday, 4/13/2013 to travel to Magee Marsh for some mid-April birding.  Our weather during the prior week had also been terrible so it seemed silly to let a little weather deter us.  We also went to Magee Marsh on the previous Saturday, April 7th, (check out our eBird list) and while the weather was slightly better, the birding was quite slow.

The bleakness of the weather did not disappoint, intermittent showers were occasionally heavy with low, grey skies all day, but we still got some terrific birding in.  Though waterfowl diversity was greatly reduced and species count was still somewhat low, the numbers of birds was high.  We lost count of Hermit Thrushes, Fox Sparrows, Eastern Phoebes and Robins.  Ebird checklist is here.  Perhaps the bad weather of the prior week accounts for the absence of some earlier arriving migrants like Black and White warbler, for example.  

For those acquainted with birding at Magee Marsh, there is usually little narrative to go with the birding.  For this blog narrative I offer my photo highlights of the day.

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

Pied-billed Grebe

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)

Canada Goose (Branda canadensis)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)

American Robin

Winter Wren (Trogoldytes hiemalis

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

A word about the fox sparrow, phoebe and wren photos.  I spent all day trying to get a good photo of phoebe and fox sparrow.  The best I could come up are here.  With the phoebe, I think the combination of the grey day and the birds high activity levels conspired against me.  The bird is basically the same color as the day.  With all the fox sparrows of the day I thought I should have been able to get at least one unobstructed photo. No such luck.

I have included my three best winter wren photos here.  These were the only keepers from approximately twelve attempted of this bird.  I have been trying for a long time to get a good photo of this bird.  My point and shoot camera is just not fast enough for this active little bird.  I came close this time - but not close enough.  When I read Jerry Jourdan's blog post from today, I was reminded that I am still waiting to take a good photo of a creeper too.

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