Saturday, September 4, 2010

Birding Holiday Beach during Fall migration

Yours truly -  holding a Chestnut sided Warbler compliments of the Holiday Beach banding station
What a wonderful morning at Holiday Beach! I met up with the Ojibway Nature Center birding group and had the pleasure of seeing many great people today. As you can see in the photo above, I held the first bird (Chestnut sided Warbler) in my life!

I spent the first 30 minutes on the Hawk Tower and observed a few Mallard and Wood Ducks as well as a Pied Billed Grebe. A Great Blue Heron as well as some Swans that graced Big Creek with their presence. A  juvenile Bald Eagle flew by and dazzled the group as it glided by with its talons hanging! It was very windy (25mph winds) and at least at 8am, there were few raptors flying by. Raptors show up with Northwesterly winds. A great website to learn more about Holiday Beach Migration is (Holiday Beach Migration Observatory).

The highlight of my day was just walking down to the small forested area along the beach which is crawling with Warblers at this time of year. I would almost say, the concentration of warblers in this tiny woodland is was almost as high as any other place I've birded, even in May!

Least Flycatcher

Some birds seen at Holiday Beach this morning include:
Black throated Blue Warbler
American Redstart
Chestnut sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Black throated Green
Blackpoll Warbler
Cape May Warbler
?  Pine Warbler

Least Flycatcher
Black Capped Chickadee

Grey Catbird
Cedar Waxwing

Bald Eagle
Small Falcon near "malden corners"

Wood Ducks
Pied-billed Grebe
Great blue Heron

Painted Lady
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I must say, I found myself confused trying to identify warblers in their fall/immature plumage. In fact, I'm not even too confident in labeling some of these warblers that I've added below. Any ideas?

Black throated Blue (female)

Blackpoll? (1)

Magnolia Warbler ... my best guess anyway!

Blackpoll first winter female?(2)

American Redstart

Cape May Warbler? Not sure (3)

(Cape May?)  Its hard to tell, even with Sibley Guide in hand (4)
Anyway, it was a great day. For the second weekend in a row, I got to experience the wonder of Fall migration. Holiday beach, really is an incredible migrant trap. It was too windy this morning to see raptors, but I will be back a few more times over the next month or two to witness the spectacle of fall Migration.

I think a trip to Ohio will be happening very soon... stay tuned!

Good Birding!


  1. Dwayne,
    A good day. Looks like the one you were guessing at is a Blackpoll. The others towards the bottom look like Cape May Warblers.

  2. Thanks Blake,

    I appreciate the feedback and insight!


  3. I love the shot of you holding the bird. Very lucky to get such an opportunity.



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