Friday, May 21, 2010

Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival!

American Redstart
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Wow--so many birds already, and the weekend has barely begun! I came along on two kayaking trips led by Steve Hoecker today--what fun! Great looks at some shorebirds and other cool things, and a bunch of American Redstarts singing along our afternoon kayaking route. I didn't bring my good camera along, so this isn't one of "our" birds today, but who knows if any migrants passing through Ohio on May 6 are in northern Wisconsin today. We may get the kind of weather systems that bring in a huge migration this weekend--based on today's species, I'm thrilled about the possibilities tomorrow, when I'll be co-leading a field trip at Big Bay State Park.

I wonder...

Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
...if this American Avocet that I saw at Wisconsin Point on May 2 is the same one hanging out in Ashland, Wisconsin? Steve Hoecker and I led a kayaking group in the bay today and had great looks at one. I do not trust myself enough in a kayak to have brought my good camera along, though, so no photos.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Biggest Week in American Birding!

Northern Parula
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
This year I got to spend a paltry 5 days in the Magee Marsh in Ohio, during the beginning of the Biggest Week in American Birding. Next year I plan to stay for the entire 2-weekend 10-day event. I can't believe how close the warblers were, though not one person I encountered used recordings or even pished. I was there before the peak, so a handful of people were complaining that it wasn't "good" yet, but every moment was sheer joy for me.

There are a huge number of people filling the boardwalk, so it does get a little overwhelming. But I loved how the people were held to the boardwalk while the birds roamed about, and the way I figure, the more people who love warblers, the better the future for humans and warblers both.

Gee but it's great to be back home!

I haven't seen much of an actual migration wave since I've been home, but lots of warblers are back on territory in Port Wing and Duluth. My mother-in-law's neighborhood bears are still making an appearance despite her going out on her porch and yelling at them, and even firing bird shot at particularly persistent ones. I took a short walk along the Western Waterfront Trail Saturday morning, and a nice long walk with Photon in Port Wing yesterday, and everything feels so right.

American Redstart


Clay-colored Sparrow

Black Bear

Black-and-white Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Baby Red Fox

Sunday, May 9, 2010


People who spend a lot of time here at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory are complaining that the birds aren't as good as most years. But they're amazing! This Black-throated Green Warbler came in so close a guy got a decent photo with his cell phone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh, wow!

Prothonotary Warbler
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
The "Biggest Week in American Birding" really lives up to its name! So far it's better than I imagined!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Biggest Week in Birding!

Magnolia Warbler
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
I'm headed to Ohio's the Biggest Week In Birding today--well, getting as far as Chicago. Tomorrow I'll make it (FINALLY!!) to the Magee Marsh, where I've never been before, and will spend 5 days taking photos of birds. I don't care if it rains--those conditions are often amazing for warbler-watching. I'll have to figure out how to protect my camera, but if I don't get good photos, I'll be a blue-nosed gopher.

My camera, by the way, is named Annie, after Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher. I named her this because she's helping me to show the world how I perceive it.