Archive for the ‘birding’ Tag

Our biggest week in American birding 2014

We just spent May 8-10, 2014, at the Biggest Week in American Birding in Oregon, Ohio. What a trip! This 10-day festival is located in Northwest Ohio, which for several weeks in the spring is the Warbler Capitol of the World. To find out more, visit


  • Seeing 24 lifers out of 94 species.
  • Getting Kenn Kaufman’s autograph on his Field Guide to Birds of North America.
  • Getting the autographs of Madison Grimm and Adam Grimm on their limited edition (1 of 100) posters commemorating their first place finishes in the 2013 Federal Duck Stamp Contests for their age categories, and honor of having their paintings appear on this year’s duck stamps. These father and daughter native Ohioans are incredible artists; Madison was only 6 years old when she painted her winning Canvasback in oils. I met her at the reception for them; she’s a very precocious 7-year-old who is an incredible artist like her father. I also got her autograph on the 2013 Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Amazing.

What I wished I had:

  • A flash extender. I will buy one of these very soon.

What we saw in Magee Marsh, Metzger Marsh, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and surrounding fields in Oregon and Oak Harbor,OH:

American coot

American goldfinch

American kestrel

American redstart

American robin

American wigeon

American woodcock

Bald eagle

Baltimore oriole

Barn swallow

Black and white warbler

Black-billed cuckoo

Blackburnian warbler

Black-capped chickadee

Blackpoll warbler

Black-throated blue warbler

Black-throated green warbler

Blue jay

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue-winged teal

Brown thrasher

Brown-headed cowbird

Canada goose

Canada warbler

Cape May warbler

Chestnut-sided warbler

Common gallinule

Common grackle

Common merganser

Common tern

Common yellowthroat

Dark-eyed junco

Double-crested cormorant

Downy woodpecker


Eastern kingbird

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern phoebe

Eastern screech owl

European starling

Gray-cheeked thrush

Great blue heron

Great egret

Greater yellowlegs

Green heron

Grey catbird

Hairy woodpecker

House sparrow

House wren

Indigo bunting

Kentucky warbler


Least flycatcher

Louisiana waterthrush

Magnolia warbler


Mourning dove

Mourning warbler

Nashville warbler

Northern cardinal

Northern flicker

Northern waterthrush


Palm warbler

Prothonotary warbler

Purple martin

Red-eyed vireo

Red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird

Ring-billed gull

Rose-breasted grosbeak

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Scarlet tanager

Song sparrow

Sora rail

Summer tanager (first year male)

Swainson’s thrush

Tree swallow

Trumpeter swan

Turkey vulture


Warbling vireo

White-crowned sparrow

White-eyed vireo

White-faced ibis

White-throated sparrow

Wilson’s warbler

Wood duck

Wood thrush

Yellow warbler

Yellow-breasted chat

Yellow-rumped warbler (mainly Myrtle)

Yellow-throated vireo





Painted turtle

Snapping turtle

Birding in Texas

Just got back from a week in Surfside, Texas (40 miles south of Galveston on the coast), where we stayed in a beach house with family and friends. Spent some great hours birding in the area, at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, San Bernard NWR, and Brazos Bend State Park. Saw 62 bird species, 10 of which are lifers for me. I’ll start with the 10 lifers:

  • Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Neotropic Cormorant
  • Wood Stork (finally!)
  • Mississippi Kite
  • Purple Gallinule
  • Marbled Godwit
  • Sandwich Tern
  • Summer Tanager
  • Painted Bunting

Also saw big ol’ turtles, white-tailed deer, and more than a few alligators! The rest of the birds, in no particular order:

  • Mallard
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Brown Pelican
  • Anhinga (love those Anhinga!!)
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  • White Ibis
  • Glossary Ibis
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Crested Caracara
  • Common Moorhen
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Willet
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Laughing Gull
  • Least Tern
  • Black Skimmer
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • American Crow
  • Purple Martin
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Gray Catbird
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Seaside Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Dickcissel
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Boat-tailed Grackle
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Sparrow