Monday, May 28, 2007

To count or not to count

I spent Saturday up at Magee Marsh, in NW Ohio. The weather conditions were pretty lousy, rainy in the morning, but the rain tapered off in the late afternoon. I still had a pretty good birding day, with two life birds - Alder Flycatcher and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. I just missed adding Connecticut Warbler to the list. Technically, I did hear it singing but I just feel that wasn't enough for this bird, especially since I saw a bird that probably was a Connecticut Warbler but couldn't make out the diagnostic marks (it was in the same area as a Connecticut Warbler my friends flushed up at their feet while I was walking towards the beach to get some photos of Ruddy Turnstones). I only heard the Alder Flycatcher but identified it right away on the song. I feel that I can count this bird, however, because it's an Empidonax flycatcher that is only distinguishable from Willow Flycatchers through song. I don't know, I probably can count Connecticut Warbler, but I really want to SEE this bird, so it stays off my life list for now.

I also added Yellow-billed Cuckoo to my year list. Otherwise, numbers and varieties of birds were pretty low that day. I managed to get a few decent photos, though, which was one of my goals for the day. Here's a few (in order: female Canada Warbler, Great Egret, female Black-and-white Warbler, Ruddy Turnstone, Barn Swallow):

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