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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Birdwatching people-jam in northwest Ohio

I had no idea that the pastime of birdwatching had come to this. We scheduled our early-May visit to Maggie Marsh in northwest Ohio for a Tuesday in order to avoid any weekend crowd. It was quite cool and very windy, far from an ideal day for viewing migrating song birds. No matter. The place was packed with birdwatchers. Definitely upwards of a thousand people crowding onto the boardwalk. Maybe 5 humans for every little warbler. I have to say: this is a good thing. A large population of people finely attuned and dedicated to appreciating and preserving our wonderfully diverse bird population, whose numbers superbly reflect the biological health of our planet.

Still, it was comical at times. We came across a logjam of people with truly expensive binoculars, cameras and flash accessories all viewing and documenting a solitary Tennesee warbler. It was like a fashion shoot.

At one point along our walk, I briefly spotted a bird whose identity was lost to me, and I jokingly made the off-hand comment to my partner, “Must have been a female Cape May warbler.” In short order there was crowd around us, all peering through binoculars and passing down the word that there was a female Cape May warbler.
I can’t make too much light of this. I saw a dark thrush in the dark shade in front of a dark tree, and someone commented that it was a grey-cheeked thrush. One more for my life list.


  1. Actually, cool and rainy is prime bird watching weather during migration. I think they call it "fall out", where migrants take a travel break while they wait for nicer weather.

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