A New Mexican at The Biggest Week

From the first time that I heard of The Biggest Week in American Birding, a birding festival on the south shore of Lake Erie in Ohio, I wanted to go. I had planned to go last year, but professional obligations kept me from attending. This year I was determined to attend. I rented a little cottage right on Lake Erie very near Magee Marsh.

I arrived rather late on Saturday evening, and I was pleased to have dinner with birding friends Dawn and Jeff Fine and equally pleased to see and meet other old and new birding friends.

The next morning I woke up early and headed for Magee Marsh. I was looking forward to attending a photo workshop with Christopher Taylor. I had followed him on Twitter for four years. I am an admirer of his work, and I was anxious to meet him in person.

Our little group of eight photographers set out along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh, looking for warblers and other migrants.

The Biggest Week in American Birding.

Christopher Taylor (far right) leads a group of photographers in search of migrants.

There were many warblers in the trees, but many of them were in the shadows. This is a situation that I am not much accustomed to encountering in sunny New Mexico, and I struggled a bit to adjust my camera.

The Biggest Week in American

Yellow Warbler

I seem to have a certain effect on birds when I attempt to photograph them.

Biggest Week in American Birding

This is the most common view I had of warblers on my first day in Ohio.

This Palm Warbler was sitting prettily on a branch until I tried to photograph it.

The Biggest Week in American Birding

A Palm Warbler flees from my camera.

We spent some time watching a Black-capped Chickadee feeding a fledgling still in the nest. Here is the nest, which was right on the boardwalk.

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Do you see the hole in the tree? That’s the chickadee nest!

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Black-capped Chickadee feeding a fledgling.

The Biggest Week in American Birding.

Black-capped Chickadee feeding an almost-grown fledgling,

A highlight of the morning was seeing a pair of Great Horned Owlets that were almost ready to fledge.

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Aren’t they adorable?

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Another look at the Great Horned Owlets

Of course, being a handsome, successful photographer isn’t only endless birds and admiration. There can be fallout from standing under trees filled with warblers.

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Chris Taylor is appalled that those lovely warblers would treat him with disrespect.

I am now four days into my personal Biggest Week. I have seen more warblers in three days than I have seen in my entire life, and I’ve even taken photos of some of them. My slow internet connection makes it difficult for me to do many blog posts, but they will come along in a few days. In the meantime, please enjoy Christopher Taylor’s beautiful photos here

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Filed under The Biggest Week in American Birding

17 responses to “A New Mexican at The Biggest Week

  1. Super blog Linda, some wonderful photographs……and yes, the Great Horned Owl chicks ARE adorable! So glad you are having such a lovely time. 🙂

  2. Great captures Linda!!
    It sounds and looks like so much fun!!! I hope to get there one year!!

  3. Those owlets may be the most adorable things I’ve ever seen! Glad you are enjoying the show and having such a great time 🙂

  4. Terrific, Linda. I hope the warblers become more cooperative for you! The tree stump is a wonderful setting for the little owls. Hope you continue to have a great time with the birds and birding friends.

    • Hi Scott! I’m developing a fine case of warbler neck and having a wonderful time. The warblers are getting more cooperative as you will see in my next blog post. Aren’t the owls adorable? I’m glad I saw them when I did, because they were gone today. Apparently they’ve fledged!

  5. Lovely article, Linda. I hope you were able to learn something from my workshop. There were a lot of ideas/tips that I wanted to give to the group but time constraints and the crowded boardwalk were not conducive to covering everything on the agenda. 😦

    • The photo workshop was a fun time and a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed meeting you in person. 🙂 I still have a lovely photo of you with bird poop in your hair.

  6. Cindy

    So glad to get a report! Super owls..those warblers are a pesky lot up north
    ;-)I enjoy your humor and attending this great event with you..Keep these updates coming!

    • Hi Cindy! The warblers are getting more cooperative, as you will see in my next blog post. . . assuming I can get fast enough internet to actually do another blog post. I have looked at tiny birds until my eyes are exhausted! This is an amazing event, and I’m having a lovely time. 🙂

  7. Linda, sounds like you are having a glorious time birding. Warblers are never easy to photograph, as they flit around constantly. Every once in a blue moon I get a good shot. Oh my goodness, those Great Horned Owlets are so very precious! Wonderful post! Happy birding!

  8. Great post! So glad you are able to go and have such a fabulous time!! You aren’t the only one who has that effect on birds! 😦

    • We are having a wonderful time, that’s for sure. Great birds and birders! If I get a chance to do another blog post you will see that I actually got some to sit for me. 🙂

  9. A terrific post Linda! It sounds like everyone is having an awesome time seeing so many wonderful birds.

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