Friday, May 21, 2010

One Last Longing Look

After a week- plus (or should I say a "plus" week!)- at Magee Marsh and environs*, it is hard to give it up. Knowing the wood-warblers will soon be gone is akin to taking a last heart-breaking glance at a loved one embarking on a long journey. Even as those feathered jewels delight us with their very presence, they have a much larger role to play than providing entertainment for birders. These neo-tropical migrants must complete their journey north and their life-cycle destiny: procreation.

Saturday morning, The Wilderness Center and Greater Mohican Audubon Society will gather on the back-side of the boardwalk at Magee for the last stroll of the the 2010 spring migration. There could still be some interesting bird-life about, and a possible chance for sighting those elusive late arrivals -the Connecticut Warbler. Today a "Twitter" went out from BSBO that a Connecticut was being heard in the Magee Boardwalk parking lot! So our excitement builds...

But one last look at a late season Black-throated Green would be tonic for my soul as well. I have no need for the rarest or the hardest to procure. The simple beauty of this "common" warbler aways quickens my heart.

Or Parula, gleaning insects from on high, singing his emphatic song that always ends with an exclamation!

Black and White Warbler, the pied creeper played hide-and-seek with me all week long. Dane Adams
Ever the exhibitionist- Gray Catbird- the rufous-bottomed leaf-flipper, chatters and scolds throughout the boardwalk, always making me smile. She may continue on at the marsh, but pairs will quiet considerably as they incubate eggs and feed their young. One can't always be the life of the party.
And as migration winds down, summer arrives...allowing this birder a slower pace for rest and reflection on the endless cycle of nature and our very small place in this ancient world.
*If you would like to express your appreciation for Magee with a little "pay-back" labor, you are not too late for the last garlic mustard pull. Scheduled from 1-4 pm on May 25, 26, and 27th- any help is appreciated. Check in With Mary Warren and her crew at the west end of the boardwalk. They will be keeping track of volunteers and number of bags pulled. Thanks to the volunteers who are making a huge difference in the quality of Magee's habitat.

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