Posts in Category: Ohio

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — There were as many Warbling Vireos this year at Magee as there were any individual species of warbler…more than most. It seemed that every third bird you looked at was a Warbling Vireo. 🙂 The Vireos are all relatively plain when compared to the bright spring warblers, but they are still good birds to see. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th. (One of the results of the storm damage the marsh suffered last August is the absence of canopy over much of the area, which certainly gives a lot more light for photographers to make use of…and has not seemed to deterred the birds either.)

Cape May!

Cape May Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio. USA, May 2022 — Every migration season is exactly the same…and every migration season is totally different. This year, when first got to the marsh, the only warblers in any numbers were Yellow and Cape May. From past experience I would have expected the Cape May to be later in the migration stream. You just never know. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

The Heron and the Fish

Green Heron: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — There is an active Green Heron nest in the brush across the pond from what used to be, and may be again after repairs are completed, the inner loop of the boardwalk at Magee. Right now it is a dead end, but certainly on of the birdiest sections of the boardwalk. The male heron could be seen several places along east end boardwalk, hunting a new area each day. This was my first sighting…and it happened to be during my first Point and Shoot for Warblers workshop. Not a warbler! Still we stopped to photograph the action as the heron took a fish…not easy shots as the brush above the heron, and in front of the heron, was dense. Worth the effort though. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (these are essentially full frame shots). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 250 (first shot) and 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Wilson’s Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — The Wilson’s Warbler is not an easy bird to see, since it is one of your classic skulkers…staying deep in the low vegetation most of the time…it’s greenie yellow tones blend in particularly well with the emerging leaves of May. It is a testimony to both the number of Wilson’s Warblers and the number of birders amassed at Magee Marsh this year, that I actually saw several Wilson’s and managed to photograph a few. I am sure this one thought it was well concealed deep in the bush, but the Sony at 600mm was able to penetrate the tangle and focus on the bird. That I caught it singing is a just a bonus. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Plus .7EV.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — Some warbler names are just to prosaic…I mean, what is this warbler going to be if not “black-throated blue?” There were many Black-throated Blues along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh this year, and though they like to stay well tucked into the foliage, when there are numbers you can generally find a cooperative bird if you are on the boardwalk often and long enough. This one was within 5 feet of me. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Canada Warbler: my first shot

Canada Warbler: Metzler Marsh Wildlife Area, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — As I mentioned yesterday, the Canada Warbler has eluded me for a dozen years of visits to Erie Shore in Ohio, looking for warblers during the Biggest Week in American Birding. I have seen a few but never gotten a photo. This is not a great photo, but as they say, it is my own! Typically this Canada was working through dense brush on the back side of the little woodlot next to the parking at Metzler Marsh, rarely showing more than a glimpse of yellow through the twigs and leaves, and working the bird and taking 100 or more exposures, this the only image I got. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — I started the day, my forth at the Biggest Week in American Birding, with two goals. One was to find and photograph a Canada Warbler…something that has eluded me in the 12 years I have been coming to the Biggest Week, and the second was to find a cooperative Blackburnian Warbler in good light and close enough for a decent photo, something that had so far eluded me on this trip. The Blackburnian is always fun to photograph. I found my Canada Warbler near the Metzer Marsh parking lot at my first stop of the morning. Not a great shot, and a female, but you will probably see it if I don’t get a better one. The Blackburnian on the other hand had to wait for the end of the day, when the sun was getting low and the light was warm, on “one last” turn around the boardwalk. It was not as close I would have liked, but there are few other places in the world, other than Magee Marsh in May, where you can decide to find a Blackburnian Warbler photo and have at least a reasonable chance of coming home happy. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed (and enlarged from a crop) in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.

#biggestweek Kirtland’s Warber

Kirtland’s Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — I reached the west end of the boardwalk at Magee Marsh yesterday morning just in time to meet a solid stream of people coming off in a hurry. A Kirtland’s Warbler had been spotted and was showing well at the west end of the beach where Crane Creek comes in to Erie, along what is called the Estuary Trail. I posed a photo yesterday of the crowd streaming down the beach and assembling in the sand looking into the trees. By the time I got there the warbler had last been seen about 10 minutes before, and as far as I know, did not show itself again. Lots of people, though, got good looks and great photos. Kirtland’s is the rarest warbler in North America with a highly restricted breeding habitat in the young Jack Pine forests mostly of upper Michigan. The trees have to be a certain narrow range of heights. They also have a narrow migration corridor though the US. Seeing one at The Biggest Week here in Ohio will always cause major stir. I went on around the Estuary Trail to check the backside of the little band of woods…but no one was seeing it there, and many others had the same idea. I got back to the boardwalk to hear reports of one right on the boardwalk…just past here the tower stood until it went down in last August’s micro-burst. So I tried again…but, of course, got there moments after it was last seen moving east further along the boardwalk and never seen again. This is why I do not normally chase rare birds. 🙂 I am just not very good at it. So, I went off to do my 7 Fold Path to Better Birding presentation at Ottawa NWR fresh of defeat. As it happens, though, I came back to the boardwalk latter in the afternoon and had a great time with a very cooperative Prothonotary Warbler hunting along the shore of the pond and then helping people to find a Whippoorwill (I was not the first to find it, but it takes some finding even when you have already seen it, and others needed help.) As I moved on down the boardwalk I mentioned to a few other birders that there was a whippoorwill ahead in case they were interested. About the 3rd such group, just looked at me, as they say, glassy eyed, and one of them, said “well yes, but there is Kirtland’s Warbler right overhead here.” “What? Where?” And there was, relatively high in what remains of the Magee Marsh canopy, flitting among the leaves. I took a lot of photos…a few of which came out well enough to recognize the bird. The few other birders there took phone photos of the back of my camera to have proof that they had really seen the Kirtland’s. They evidently have the kind of birder friends who would not believe such a story without proof. Seeing a Kirtland’s that way, with just a few others, in a random sighting…not chasing anything…that is the way I like it. Of course once word got down the boardwalk (which I helped to do), the chase was on again, but the bird was not seen again. That is birding life the way it supposed to be…or at least the way it is. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. (Cropped to maybe 2500mm framing and enlarged in Pixelmator Photo using the Machine Learning Max Resolution.) Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th and 1/1000th. Plus 1 EV for backlight.

Chestnut-sided Warbler #biggestweek

Chestnut-sided Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — I did a little scouting before my Point and Shoot for Warbler workshop yesterday morning along the Magee Marsh Boardwalk, and knew, right way, that it was going to be a good day for warblers. I was greeted by close and cooperative Magnolia, Black-throated Green, and this Chestnut-sided. If you have not been to Magee since last August’s storm, it is a very changed place. Most of the huge cottonwoods are down, and the canopy is mostly gone. It makes for very different light along the boardwalk, but so far, the birds do not seem to mind. It has brought the foliage on the low brush out early (or so it seems to me) so the the warblers have lots of leaves to hid in, but they are there, and that is what counts. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

#BiggestWeek Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler: Magee Marsh Boardwalk, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, May 2022 — the Prothonotary Warner is probably my favorite warbler to see on the Erie Shore in Ohio in May…partly because they are such a beautiful bird, and partly because we don’t get them in Maine. This is not a “field guide shot” of the warbler…but it has that certain something that lifts it out of the ordinary portrait class. It is a perfect demonstration of my wildlife photography mantra: right place, right time, and ready! It is also a testimony to the Sony Rx10iv’s focus ability. Auto focus. 600mm. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.