Sunday, May 16, 2010

Biggest Week In American Birding

In case you have been living under some rock (or forgetting to read the logos in the side panels of this blog), the last ten or so days was the biggest, hugest bird-fest ever seen around these parts. It was centered at Magee Marsh in Oak Harbor, Ohio- but many of the field trips went far and beyond. The Oak Openings, Kelleys Island and Point Pelee, Canada were just a few of the offerings.

Last Friday morning, they loaded a crew of birders on the early ferry to Kelleys Island. We were set for the adventure and prepared to bird at land or sea.

Dave Lewis and his better/ saner half, Laurie also went along for the ride (probably illegally transporting a chipmunk- if I know these two.) It is a good thing too, as you will learn later ... dun dun dun... the tension builds.

And while we were on the way to our first birding location, someone spotted a Common Loon swimming near the shoreline. There was nothing "common" about a loon to Christian Boix, our Tropical Birding guide from Cape Town Africa. This is how one of our most accomplished birders celebrates a "Life-bird!" We were all thrilled to celebrate with him.
Kelleys' most famous geological feature- the Glacial Grooves- provides a point of cultural and historic interest on island life. Most of the limestone grooves created by a receding glacier were quarried for stone. This portion is preserved by the State park located at the end of Titus Road, which has an excellent treeline for an amazing selection of warblers. The Blackburian seemed to be our bird du jour, but no one was complaining. We explored the island on the best warbler "fall-out" day we have had this year, and spent the day enjoying all the island had to offer.

................ ....Photo by Dave Lewis
And lest we forget the botany, this limestone loving plant Aquilegia canadensis, the flame orange and yellow Wild Columbine sets its feet into the rock on the jagged shores of Lake Erie.
Thanks to Dave for sharing some great photos with me, as my camera battery died, whilst stranded on this island. Dave is too professional to make such a rank amateur's mistake. And once I get caught up on some sleep- I'll post some more adventures- from BWIAB (Biggest Week In American Birding).


  1. The Doodles is DEFINITELY my saner half! Thanks for letting us...and Bob...bird with you!

  2. So, Bob the neck-biter was a stow away, just as I supected!

    There is a long history of non-native rodents creating problems on islands. I guess they just can't hold their liquor! CBH