Thursday, May 7, 2015

Recap of birding "The Biggest Week"

I am working n a couple of new posts about the Biggest Week in American Birding. One will be about what I call "senior birding". My hips just do not like hiking and standing as much as they used to and the event and area offer so many things that do not require extensive effort.  Another will be showcasing photos I have not shared previously. "Stay tuned".

But in thinking about it, I realize that most of y'all have not seen (or just do not remember) my previous posts about the Biggest Week! In MY mind it is all the same book! I just keep adding chapters thru posts here. But I also realize that I now have so many more followers and birding friends than I had when I started that my previous words (posts) bear repeating - especially with the Biggest Week on now (May 8 thru May 17). The birds are there NOW. And so are the birders! Go there! Do it!

So, tonight, I post links to my previous posts. I was there! I did that! I saw that! I experienced that! I was as excited then as now (maybe even more so then as now since I was a newbie then - but I doubt it! I am hooked! I am an addict!)  Besides just the famous boardwalk at Magee Marsh, you will see that there are many other opportunities. 

NOTE: I am not placing lots of photos in this present post because they are embedded in the previous posts. You DO need to click on the highlighted links (please ...) to go to these posts and see the pics and read the "ramble"! It's cinchy. Click and away you go! Then just use the back arrow to return here.

My first post was from 2010, the first year we went there. 
MY  dumpster!

Many great memories! But still a high point was seeing the Black-crowned Night Herons feeding at a dumpster by the Marathon station where fish cleaners threw the (mostly walleye) carcasses. (BTW, Great walleye and perch fishing there!!!) Sad to say, the last few years they now have a covered receptacle so the BCNH are not present! 

I never finished the 2011 post ... something about getting out birding locally and being overwhelmed with the amazement  of it all! Too many pics!

A better story in 2012, but never processed the many pics.Same thing happens every year! So many pics! So many memories I have not shared! But I try to get better!

I was accepted as a Biggest Week blogger in 2013, and feeling the pressure to produce made me a much better poster!

And, this year also had the first ever "Meet and Greet" for Facebook 
followers of the new FB group Birding Ohio (thanks Jeff Loughman!) ! We met SO many great birders at Porky's Pizza in the area! They had a second FB Birding Ohio the following year, but now in 2015, the event would take a stadium to accommodate the guests! Indeed! Birding there has grown!!

One post (click the link!) really tells how one (like me!) might become hooked on birding! It is not just about birds, but also the folks you meet!

Another 2013 post included local road detour conditions then, but also recommended places to go there. 

Other 2013 posts are:

This year (2015) there have been THREE of these wooden-like critters up much closer and personal than I ever saw before! FB is alive with pics of these "lifers" for most folks! Cool birds!

It is always a highpoint for us to record the license plates we see in the area during the Biggest Week. And, it is really enhanced by seeing the maps that they have at registration that also include the entire world! It is truly an international event!

Another amazing treasure! Many (maybe most?) folks only know woodcocks from hearing their mating flights. Not so here! You can almost be guaranteed seeing a woodcock somewhere near the Boardwalk! And, for the past two years now, we were privileged to see the new chicks!!! It is more than just a "lifer" - it is an intimate glimpse!

I think this was the prelude to the blog post I have in the works for seniors. I was having trouble with my leg/hip. But there are a great many alternatives around there that do not require extensive walking! It also mentions what you might learn by attending the many seminars at the BW! Like ... what's a covert?

2014: We went down early. Geez, should have done so this year (2015)! My buddy Chuck Owens and so many others have been posting great pics for over the last week ... But, no matter; whenever we go,  there are great birds and great people! We can only afford so many travel days ...

It is really amazing to seethe parking lot empty!

Another reason why I am working on a senior blog post. You do not have to interact with big crowds or go far to have life experiences during the Biggest Week. This was the first time we ever saw a fox in the "wild"! I think they habitually "nest" at Pearson MP in Oregon OH!

And, if you can ever see a parking spot at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) at the beginning of the road to Magee Marsh,  jump on it! We just lucked onto one! There is a ton of stuff going on there! There is a great optics tent where you can try out a huge variety of binoculars and scopes in all price ranges. The BSBO store has a ton of books, t-shirts and other bird-related merchandise, many great staffers, and a window looking out at their feeders. But, foremost is the bird banding! You get to see the birds as they are caught in mist nets and, after banding, are brought before the audience before being released! Amazing! All done by professionals and trained birders, and all lending more to understand our lovely feathered friends!

YES! It is all true! 

really like my "rambles" and hope you do too! No pics, but I put pics into each of my previous posts.  SO, you just gotta "click" on the embedded references to see the "chapters" in the "book" I am writing! Do it!

Hope you enjoyed! 


It is YOUR TURN!  Go for it! Spring birding during migration is all great! See you there!!!