Posts in Category: biggest week in american birding

Eastern Screech Owl, Magee Marsh

There are often Eastern Screech Owls nesting or roosting along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh, and this year there were two…sitting out approximately 100 yards apart. They were there every day I visited during the Biggest Week in American Birding. There was often a spotting scope on one of them, effectively blocking the boardwalk and creating a owl-jam that was difficult to navigate. The panel shows both individuals, three shots of one, and one shot of the other (bottom right). Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and assembled in Framemagic.

Close Hermit Thrush

Sometimes the birds along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Erie shore of Northern Ohio are just ridiculously close. This Hermit Thrush was happily hunting right under the boardwalk while we walked overhead. It popped out into sight and full sun and appears to be asking what all the fuss is about 🙂 This is an odd angle on the bird but I was straight above it and not much more than 4 feet from it’s head. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr. (Custom birds and wildlife modifications can be found in my Sony RX10iv for P&S Nature Photography ebook here.)

Female Cape May Warbler Sings

Most female warblers do not sing…but there are at least 9 species who regularly do (perhaps over 20 who do on occasion). The Cape May is among them. The Cape May is also one of the warbler species in which the female has distinctly different coloration than the male…enough so that you might suspect it is a different species (especially when you find it singing :). And, to add another to the list of things the Cape May is…it is another of those warblers named for where it was first collected…in Cape May, New Jersey…even though it only appears there during migration between its wintering grounds in extreme south Florida, the Caribbean Islands and Yucatán Peninsula, and its breeding grounds in the extreme northern US (in New England and the Mid-west) and southern Canada. In fact, it was not seen in Cape May for 100 years after the first specimen was captured there and is still considered an occasional migrant in New Jersey. I found this one from the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Erie shore of northern Ohio during the Biggest Week in American Birding. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatches are yard birds for us here in southern Maine, but I spotted this one off the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Erie shore of Northern Ohio…along with a host of other migrants headed north to their Canadian nesting grounds. Only when processing the photo did I notice the spider web behind the bird. It is the web, perhaps, that lifts this image out of the “bird portrait” category. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Accusatory Black-throated Blue Warber

The Black-throated Blue Warblers at Magee Marsh during this year’s Biggest Week in American Birding were among the most confiding. They were there in good numbers, even on the slowest days, and they were feeding low and close to the boardwalk. This one seemed very aware of me…or perhaps it was close enough to see its own reflection in the protective UV filter on my lens. I am not sure what it is accusing me of…but, honest, I was only interested in taking its picture. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Nashville Warbler

Not the brightest warbler in the bunch, the Nashville Warbler is still and attractive little bird, with a complex coloration. Notice the slight brown cap above the complete eye-ring. It is one of those warblers that got its name, incorrectly, in passing, since Alexander Wilson happened to see one in Nashville, Tennessee while it was migrating north to its breeding territory. The western race was once considered a separate species, the Calaveras Warbler. I got to watch this eastern specimen foraging for several minutes along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Erie shore of northern Ohio during the Biggest Week in American Birding. It was one of those rare occasions during the event when I was all alone with the bird. There was on one else near me on the boardwalk. I had the Nashville all to myself and it had my full attention. 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Scarlet Tanager

Among the other non-warblers active in the spring passage of Magee Marsh, on the Erie shore in Northern Ohio each May, are the Tanagers, both Summer and Scarlet. One of the rare sunny days during this year’s Biggest Week in American Birding there was a group of three male Scarlet Tanagers and a female working the thickets between the boardwalk and the pond. They were paying a lot more attention to each other than they were to us and came in close and at eye-level. I don’t think there is anything redder in nature than a Scarlet Tanager…though, as in this shot, the sun can bring out the almost orange highlights. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

House Wren with lunch

While warblers are the stars of the show during the Biggest Week in American Birding along the Erie shore of Northern Ohio every May, it is hard to ignore the numbers of House Wrens along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. This year there seemed to great numbers. They were hunting in the leaf litter and singing from low branches everywhere. I caught this one in the act of dispatching a spider. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Northern Parula

The Biggest Week in American Birding is officially over for another year, but of course the birds are still coming north in numbers. This is a Northern Parula singing above the boardwalk at Magee Marsh on the Ohio shore of Lake Erie. A perky little bird, often hidden by leaves. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.

Blackburnian Warbler

Though it has not been a particularly great week for photography during the Biggest Week in American Birding along the Erie shore in Ohio…too many rainy dark days, and birds, when here, more interested in feeding than in posing…still I could not finish out the week without my yearly Blackburnian Warbler shot. The Blackburnian is perhaps my favorite warbler so I dedicated most of a morning to finding one, or rather a good photo of one, yesterday. I was almost back to the car and so far unsuccessful, when I spotted a group of photographers along the edge of the road in the parking lot and went over to see what they were doing. Blackburnian! Not my best shot ever, but still respectable. And there is me happy for another year. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.