Magee Excitement - 12 May 2023


I met Janet and Jack Volker at their house shortly before 7 am and we drove down to Magee Marsh for a day of Biggest Week in American Birding. Skies were clear and temps were going to hit 80F for a perfect day of birding.

We stopped at the Erie Rd. Fluddle to look for shorebirds. Dunlin were in the 100's followed by dozens of Lesser Yellowlegs. Other than that we saw no dowitchers nor plovers.

We arrived a bit after 8 am and found the Magee Marsh parking lot full! After managing to find an open spot we surveyed the trees surrounding the lot and found the usual suspects. The Bald Eagles continue to fledge young in the parking lot nest.

Stepping onto the west end boardwalk we stood where the tower used to and listened for warblers. A Tennessee Warbler was singing loudly overhead and we got brief looks. A Blackpoll Warbler was also singing but failed to show.

A pair of nesting Prothonotary Warblers were putting on a show, and now and then one of the birds would come close enough for pics.

This Blackburnian Warbler made a brief appearance at eye level. Once again the camera did not want to focus until the very last second.

With temps warming we walked back to the car to unload gear and decided to walk the estuary trail along the beach. It would be a good decision as it was less crowded and quite active with birds.

This Yellow-billed Cuckoo drew a crowd despite foraging in the tips of the tallest cottonwood trees.

American Redstarts were numerous but quite skulky...

Female Black-throated Blue Warbler is absolutely gorgeous.

Several more pair of Prothonotary Warblers were chasing each other to the delight of the crowds.

A Philadelphia Vireo was seen in several locations. 

I wanted to photograph a Magnolia Warbler so badly, and had to settle for low-light images in bad conditions. 

A Black-throated Blue Warbler followed nearby.

Yellow Warblers were most numerous in the area and pairs squabbled in the open.

A Veery made an appearance in the low canopy.

An Ovenbird appeared at the base of the creek next to some sprouting irises. This same spot would then host a Canada Warbler and a Swainson's Thrush!

We then headed back toward the boardwalk and stopped when birds would present themselves in decent photographing conditions.

The boardwalk was packed with groups of people. This made finding birds easy as one only had to ask where the attention was being drawn. We saw the American Woodcock in its usual spot. A group had an Eastern Whip-por-Will roosting on a log next to the boardwalk. And, we came across both Wilson's Warbler and a pair of Golden-winged Warblers (too bad they were high overhead and deeply backlit).

We refound the Eastern Screech Owl roosting in the same tree as last evening.

Someone pointed out a snake poking its head above the emerging vegetation next to the boardwalk.

A female Chestnut-sided Warbler.

The east end of the boardwalk had the pair of Virginia Rails showing (on 5/18/23 five chicks would be reported). This Scarlet Tanager stood out among the flowering willows.

Just before leaving we'd find a Least Flycatcher overhead.

We left shortly after noon and drove to Ottawa NWR for a hot dog and lunch break. Jack showed me the Purple Martin houses he built for the refuge and pointed out the projects he and Janet have worked on over the years as part of their volunteer efforts. A stop at Erie Marsh on the way home only yielded Yellow Warblers.

Magee Marsh--Boardwalk, Lucas, Ohio, US
May 12, 2023 8:00 AM - 12:10 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Checklist Comments: Jack and Janet Volker; boardwalk crowded, parking lot full
69 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  2
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)  2
Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)  1
Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus)  1
Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus)  1
Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)  1
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  2
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  2
Double-crested Cormorant (Nannopterum auritum)  1
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)  6
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  1
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  6
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  6
Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  1
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)  1
Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus)  2
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  6
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  2
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Corthylio calendula)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  2
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  2
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  6
Veery (Catharus fuscescens)  1
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  6
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  2
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  2
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)  1
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)  1
Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)  2
Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)  6
Tennessee Warbler (Leiothlypis peregrina)  4
Nashville Warbler (Leiothlypis ruficapilla)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  1
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  4
Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  1
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  1
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)  1
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)  2
Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)  2
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  12
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  2
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)  1
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  4
Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  4
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  1
Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis)  1
Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  1
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  2

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (