Friday, May 22, 2015

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary...

 Oooo....a spooky Caspian Tern! 

MWAHAHA!!! Well, not really. More of a midmorn dreary... We managed to pick the drizzle days for our visits to Magee Marsh and surrounding bird havens during the Biggest Week in American Birding. But even a dreary day out there can be a good day! Just remember not to aim your camera lens up...I think the lens hood can hold about a quart of water.

I've heard quite a few comments about the sparse feathered friends this year along the boardwalk. The weather hasn't been the greatest for the birders, but it seems to have pushed the migrants across Lake Erie much faster than usual. The regular number of species have been spotted in dribbles throughout the area, just not the "dripping from the trees" quantities that folks have become enamored with. Even the number of birders crowding the area seemed to be down...maybe they headed across the lake too!

 When in doubt(and wet!) go to the driving tour at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge!

 The Doodles is always happy when she's birding at Magee!
(Check out the new Black Swamp hats!)

 Speaking of old coots...here's a feathered American Coot!

 When this Blue-winged Teal realized I was looking at him, he decided to leave.
Very camera shy...

 This Baltimore Oriole was trying to check out my new hat...

 The only shot I managed of a Black-and-white Warbly...at least it was from behind!

 A very big show off!
Chestnut-sided Warblies LOVE to get their pictures taken...
 
 The largest number of Gray Catbirds ever!
Everything that caught our eyes moving in the scrub turned out to be one of these.


 You can always count on a Great Blue Heron to be around somewhere.

 Hmmm...gotta love ID'ing those Thrushes!
I think I shall call you...Kermit the Hermit!

 Buffy eye ring? Check.
You must be Mr. Swainson.

 "Well looky up there!"

 "Ha! We made them look up!"
Least Terns have the least sense of humor.

 Sometimes I like to spy on Yellowlegs!
Shhhh....

 Lincoln's Sparrows are not at all good at hiding...

 Okay kids! It's another exciting game of find the Warbly!
A whole drizzly day of "almost got'ems."
By the way, that's a Magnolia Warbly ducking out of the rain.

 Muskrats don't care about the weather.
(Those greens made The Doodles hungry for lunch...)

 Whose butt is this?
That's a very distinctive pattern!

 Pied-billed Grebes always seem a bit lost looking...
"Hmmm...was it left or right at the third reed?"

 "Does this tree make my butt look big?"
Um, yes.

 As you can tell, both this Red-winged Blackbird and I spent the day looking down.
You never know what you might find!

 Oops...better look up!
There's a Rose-breasted Grosbeak up there!

 That fuzzy blob across the marsh at Metzger was a Sandhill Crane.
We don't see those too often!

 I guess I picked a bad place to stop the car.
The Doodles wasn't pleased when she opened the door.
(I'm STILL laughing!)

 I think I'll have to wait a while to hear this Trumpeter Swan trumpet.
(That does not look comfortable...)

 You don't often get to see a Warbling Vireo from above!

 Love those White-throated Sparrows and their little whistles!

 Yes there were a few warblies to see.
LOTS of Yellow Warblies!

  Poor Common Grackles, ignored by many, loved by so few.
I like to watch them "grack!"

 You gotta love those "butter butts!"...um...Yellow-rumped Warblies.

Coming Soon!!
Taking that first big step!

My newly retired brother Phil and his first birding adventure to Magee!
(He is now brainwashed and an official birder!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Doodle for The Doodles!

 Who's that bobbing and weaving in the weeds?

Another lovely day at Magee Marsh! Spring is springing, flowers is flowering, birders is birding and the bees are beeing! Are we having too much fun?

The weather has been a little odd for the Biggest Week...rainy, drizzly and generally moist. Wait a second...I forgot it's spring along the Lake Erie coast...it could have been snowing! Everyone dressed for the weather and had a good time no matter what was falling from above...except for that rude gull that dropped a bomb from overhead...onward!

 That's a truly delighted Doodles!

 Why looky there! It's the other doodles, a timberdoodle!
(Or an American Woodcock if you must be serious.)

 My 300mm was the perfect length to get a few photos of this crazy bird.

 If you've never spied a woodcock bob-bob-bobing its butt up and down while hunting worms,
GET OUT THERE!
It's hysterical.

 "Okay...worm?...no...worm?...no...bob and weave...bob and weave...sneak up and the worm..."

 "I got me a worm, yep I did."

 "Hmmm...I think a big worm is watching me..."

 "Uhhh yup...I like the worms!"

 "Gotta go...gotta get more worms...bobbin' and weavin'...bobbin' and weavin'..."

 Did I mention the warblies?
They have warbly things at Magee too...

NEXT TIME ON THIS STATION...
WARBLIES!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

...an lbj kinda day...

 YES! A Clay-colored Sparrow!
We seldom chase after rarities in our area, they're usually gone by the time we get there...
THIS TIME...we thought "What the heck!" On our way to Mother Doodles for party time, we stopped at Wendy Park, now part of the Cleveland Metroparks system. We had heard a Clay-colored Sparrow had been spotted on and off there along with a few warblies. We saw a "little brown job," aka LBJ, skulking about in the scrub...could it be? Nah. Then it disappeared as I took a couple of "insurance" shots. (I need to practice focusing...maybe next year...) As I was editing pics, I saw this shot of what I assumed was just another Chipping Sparrow...but wait, it just doesn't look right for a chipper...plus it's in the scrub...hmmm...lemme send this to our good burd buddy and all around super genius, Jim McCormac. He, too, believes it to be the Clay-colored Sparrow!


Image result for play-doh.
 What color is "clay-colored" anyhow?!

 SOOOO, anyway, it was definitely a little brown job kind of day...

 There's a brown bird in the center of this photo...really!

 That Brown Thrasher was just hiding under the leaves.
What a goof ball...

 Speaking of hiding in leaves, this is a Chipping Sparrow running away from me.
Not to be confused with the other little brown job that is clay colored...not like Play-Doh...

Hey look! A big boat!
Oh, and a Caspian Tern too.

Along with the two Worm-eating Ground Thrushes(Robins...) there's a Hermit Thrush.
A not as little brownish job.

 Back to lbj's...a little Lincoln's Sparrow.
Isn't he precious?

 Yeah I know, these are black and white.
It's my blog, so I can do anything I want! Ha!
Hairy...no wait...Downy...uh...yeah...Downy Woodpeckers.
The one on the right wasn't sure either...

 Now this is a Hairy Woodpecker...or is it?...yeah...or...wait...yeah.
Maybe.

 Eastern Kingbirds enjoy watching speedboats in between eating bugs.
I read that In Kimmay & Kenn Kaufman and Jeff Sayre's new book.
What? Why would I make that up?
Buy the book and find out...

 I think this is a Palm Beach Warbly.

 Sorry!
Sheesh, angry little bird...he's just a PALM WARBLER.
Better?

 For you gullophiles, that's a Bonaparte's Gull in "breeding plumage."
Wow...gray and white AND black...
Notice how I really zoomed in on it...NOT.

 Okay, let's get back to little brown jobs...
Second best bird of the day!

 Savannah Sparrows were everywhere! In the lawns and on the beach!
AND they even let me get a few butt shots!

 For you kids into fun facts...
Savannah Sparrows don't fly, they hover.
Again, look in Kenny & kids new book.
(Shameless plug number two.)
(I don't get paid for this either.)
(Though a new t-shirt would be nice...hint-hint!)

 "Loopy, you really are getting loopy...uh...loopier."

 Not so little, not so brown, a White-crowned Sparrow.

 Like you right about now, he's falling asleep.

 It's another lovely out of focus shot of a not so "lbj" lbj...a White-throated Sparrow.

 And now for something completely different...little yellow jobs!
Ahh, the young love and blank stares of Yellow Warlbies...
"Duh...tweet...what do we do next?"

A little Yellow-rumped to taunt you until...
 OH YEAH! 
NEXT POST...WARBLIES AT MAGEE MARSH!!