Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sites near Magee Marsh 15 - 19 May 2011

There are plenty of other places to visit around Magee. If you want to increase the amount of species you see then it's a good idea to take a look at Kenn Kaufman's guide to the other birding areas. I visited Maumee Bay, Ottowa NWR, the Ottowa-Lucas road (for shorebirds) and a few other sites dotted around the Magee area.

Maumee Bay State Park is an excellent place to see gulls, Caspian Tern and migratory song birds. Head off to the last parking lot and check the beach and the large artificial lagoon for the first two. I had about 10 Caspian Terns plus about 100 American Herring Gulls and 50 Ring-billed Gulls. Head back the way you came and then go to the Nature Centre and take the boardwalk around the flooded woodland. Maumee is very good for thrushes. In one sweep across the forest floor I counted 16 Swainson's, 1 Veery and 1 Grey-cheeked Thrush plus I had more of all three at other places on the reserve.  The best bird I found there was a female Golden-winged Warbler near the Nature Centre and Eastern Wood-Peewee, Hairy Woodpecker, Indigo Bunting, Northern Waterthrush, a roosting Common Nighthawk and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Shorebirds are quite difficult to find. They're mainly in flooded fields, but there is a nice marsh at the end of the Ottowa-Lucas Road which has a good number of birds in it. About 350 Dunlin with smaller numbers of Semi-p Sands, Semi-p Plovers, Least Sand, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted and Solitary Sandpiper and Turnstones. The best birds there though were a pair of Stilt Sandpipers that dropped in and spent the afternoon feeding on the lagoon. Also, the junction of Couduroy and Yondota (south of Cedar Point NWR) there were a few hundred Dunlin, 30 Black-bellied Plover, 100+ Turnstone plus 20 Buff-bellied Pipit and Horned Lark.

The road that goes south opposite the entrance to Ottowa NWR has Boblinks at the end of it. Drive for about 2 miles, go over the railway line and there is a flowering field on the left about a quarter of a mile after (if you get to the stop sign, you've gone a little too far). There were about 10-15 birds displaying one evening.

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