Early spring found us along Lake Erie in northern Ohio, one of many areas attracting birdwatchers hoping to catch a glimpse of a two-legged flyer they can scratch off their life list. I’m not one of those bird watchers.
But I’d read a flock of birders were near Toledo for the great spring migration, and we decided to see what we could see.
We spotted of a couple of Great Egrets in flight as soon as we arrived, but the warblers were the big attraction here, so we turned our attention to the edge of a small woods where other birders seemed to be focusing their attention.
I learned quickly that this group of birders was eager to share info: “What have you seen?” and “Up in that tree there’s an Orange-Crowned Warbler/Tennessee Warbler/Black-Throated Blue Warbler…”
Of course what I saw looked like this:
I caught sight of an American Redstart and a female Northern Cardinal… both fairly common in these parts. And of course, I glimpsed (and every now and then snapped a photo of) some bird I cannot identify, like this one…
…and this one:
Of course, all around us people were pointing into the mass of limbs and young leaves, whispering, pointing binoculars. And still, all I could see was this:
We heard the unmistakable tapping of a woodpecker and managed to pick out this Downy Woodpecker hammering away on a tree:
And then, finally, this:
A Warbling Vireo, I think. Might not have seen any warblers, but this seems close, eh?
Birdwatching — at least staring at branches, peering between leaves, hoping to spot something — just isn’t for me. Instead, give me the unexpected sighting of a bird I don’t often see any day.