Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Neotropical Migration at Magee Marsh 2017 -- The Warblers

[Magee Marsh, OH. May 2017]

It is this blogger's welcome duty to report on the spectacle of neotropical migration at the fabled Warbler Hotspot that graces the Southern shores of Lake Erie and is better known to the birding populace as Magee Marsh.

Compared to 2016, this year's migration season was both erratic and below par  -- with uncooperative winds resulting in a thin volume of arrivals until mid-May when things finally picked up. This, coupled with the leaf out, made photographic observation frustratingly difficult but not entirely impossible.

Yet, in the hallowed tradition of this blog -- in dutiful (and delightful!) practice since 2012 -- we are pleased to faithfully present whatever meagre photographic pickings were obtained this season at Magee:

  1. American Redstart
  2. Blackpoll
  3. Black-and-White Warbler
  4. Bay-breasted Warbler
  5. Black-throated Blue Warbler
  6. Black-throated Green Warbler
  7. Blackburnian Warbler
  8. Cape May Warbler
  9. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  10. Canada Warbler
  11. Common Yellowthroat
  12. Magnolia Warbler
  13. Myrtle Warbler
  14. Northern Parula
  15. Nashville Warbler
  16. Prothonotary Warbler
  17. Palm Warbler
  18. Tennessee Warbler
  19. Wilson's Warbler
  20. Yellow Warbler
We start with the males (or females if no males of that species were sighted) followed by the females:

American Redstart: a striking songbird; yet, despite its name, there is actually no red in this warbler.

Blackpoll: Our long distance champion:

Black-and-White Warbler: This is one of our earlier migrants and by mid-May, it appeared that the males had gone through leaving the rearguard migration action to the females:

Bay-breasted Warbler: With dominant tones of chestnut, black and buffy cream, this is our most unusually colored warbler:

Black-throated Blue Warbler: Seen high in the canopy this season:

Black-throated Green Warbler: Many onlookers were questioning the green in the name -- a feature that's not obvious unless a full view of the back is obtained (second image):

Blackburnian Warbler: Not rare, but of rare beauty:

Cape May Warbler: The luscious shots of the males obtained in 2016 contrast with the lone sighting of a female this year (so drab, this blogger mistook her for a Pine Siskin!):

Chestnut-sided Warbler: The "Pennsylvania Warbler":

Canada Warbler: this is a late migrant and one of the main attractions at Magee:

Common Yellowthroat: For all their abundance, these warblers are not easily seen at Magee:

Magnolia Warbler: Our gaudiest warbler, the Magnolia is "over the top":

Myrtle Warbler: An early migrant at this venue:

Northern Parula:

Nashville Warbler:

Prothonotary Warbler: This is one of the few breeding warblers at this venue:

Palm Warbler: completely transformed into its breeding best:

Tennessee Warbler: oft mistaken for a vireo:

Wilson's Warbler: surprisingly well represented this season:

Yellow Warbler:

And now for the girl warblers:

American Redstart:






Northern Parula:

North American birding would be infinitely poorer without the arrival of our neotropical migrants. This feathered blessing is ours to enjoy every summer and few places afford the appreciation of the full richness of the bounty of migration like Magee Marsh.