Sunday, August 31, 2014

End of August Brings a Few Surprises

This week brought a brief cold front, but the majority of the week was hot and humid with no favorable winds for migration in the Lake Erie Marsh Region. A few migrants did filter in bringing our first Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, and multiple Veeries. Fourteen species of warbler were observed and/or captured this week including Ovenbird (OVEN), Northern Waterthrush (NOWA), Black-and-white Warbler (BAWW), Prothonotary Warbler (PROW), Tennessee Warbler (TEWA), Mourning Warbler (MOWA), Common Yellowthroat (COYE), American Redstart (AMRE), Magnolia Warbler (MAWA), Bay-breasted Warbler (BBWA), Blackburnian Warbler (BLBW), Black-throated Blue Warbler (BTBW), Canada Warbler (CAWA), and Wilson's Warbler (WIWA).

Philadelphia and Warbling Vireo Comparisons

Philadelphia Vireo (PHVI): Note yellow throat and chest

PHVI: Note darker cap emphasizing lighter superciliary line above eye

Warbling Vireo (WAVI): Superciliary line not as apparent (white) on WAVI 

WAVI: Note throat and belly are whitish on WAVI not lemon yellow like the PHVI
While comparing vireos, here are a couple of warblers that could be confused with vireos at first glance:
TEWA: Note bill and head shape that helps separate this from a vireo

BTBW (female): Note bill shape and wing marking
One of the highlights of the week, as shared by volunteer Laura Gooch
After-second-year female Cooper's Hawk with dark cap and orange eyes
Laura captured the best shot of the bird flying away.
Note the band on its leg!
 Next week's forecast appears to be more of the same weather patterns with no apparent cold fronts moving through NW Ohio. Fall migration has begun and one never knows the surprises that await those that get outside. Explore your favorite birding spots and enjoy the first week of September!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall Migration Banding Season Begins in Navarre Marsh

The start of the fall 2014 season has been slow as usual in mid-August; however, we have been fortunate to have a few birds that remind us that migration is occurring. Baltimore Orioles (BAOR), Yellow Warblers (YEWA), Prothonotary Warblers (PROW), and flycatchers are either beginning their southward trek or arriving from northern breeding grounds. We had ten species of warbler between Wednesday 20 August and Sunday 24 August. These include: Northern Waterthrush (NOWA), Black-and-white Warbler (BAWW), PROW, Mourning Warbler (MOWA), Common Yellowthroat (COYE), Cape May Warbler (CMWA), Magnolia Warbler (MAWA), Blackburnian Warbler (BLBW), YEWA, and Canada Warbler (CAWA).

BAWW (female): Note blurry streaks on side and gray face

Adult Male BAWW: Note distinct streaks on flanks and black facial patch

Hatching-Year Male BAWW: Note distinct streaks on flanks and gray face

Hatching-Year Female BAWW: Note blurry black streaks on buffy colored flanks 
 Some Highlights for the time period:
Hatching-Year MOWA: Probably a male with whitish split eye ring
Hatching-Year male BLBW: Note distinct auricular patch on face that helps
identify this as a Blackburnian Warbler.

Take time to enjoy the early migrants. This will be the last few weeks of PROW, BAOR, YEWA, and most flycatchers. Free Public Banding demonstration will be conducted at Black Swamp Bird Observatory on Saturday September 20th and 27th at 10:00 AM. See what birds are in the area and learn why the Lake Erie Marsh Region is so important for them.