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Courtesy of James P. Smith

Once again the south-western shores of Lake Erie provided Birdfinders with some thrilling warbler watching at point blank range from the boardwalks at Magee Marsh in Ohio. Remarkably, for the fourth year in succession we tallied 31 species of North American wood-warbler during the course of the tour as we fully explored all the migrant hotspots along the Erie shore. Aside from warblers, other highlights included several American Woodcocks, Eastern Screech-owls, Eastern Whip-poor-wills, Black-billed Cuckoos, Philadelphia Vireos, Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows. There was also a rare addition to our already comprehensive bird list when a Curlew Sandpiper in full summer plumage turned up in flooded fields near Swanton.

As we headed north into Michigan, we left the crowds behind at Magee Marsh finding Pine, Cerulean and Hooded Warblers, Sedge Wrens and Clay-coloured Sparrows all on the breeding grounds. However, our morning in the Huron National Forest was difficult to beat with stunning views of Kirtland’s Warblers and Evening Grosbeaks. We finished the tour in the quaint lakeside town of East Tawas on Lake Huron where the migration wasn’t quite an intense as we had hoped but amply made up for by incredible views of American Bittern, Virginia Rail and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker just up the road at Tuttle Marsh.

This tour more than lived up to its reputation as the single best Birdfinders tour for observing warblers and other landbird migrants at exceptionally at close range. The 2017 tour will take place at the peak of spring migration during 10th–20th May. In the mean time, please enjoy this fabulous gallery from our tour in 2016.

Trumpeter Swan American White Pelican
American Bittern Bald Eagle
Virginia Rail Sora
Curlew Sandpiper American Woodcock
Eastern Screech-owl Common Nighthawk
Eastern Whip-poor-will Eastern Wood-pewee
Philadelphia Vireo Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue Jay Tree Swallow
Hermit Thrush Northern Waterthrush
Golden-winged Warbler (male) Golden-winged Warbler (female)
Prothonotary Warbler Prothonotary Warbler
Mourning Warbler American Redstart
Kirtland's Warbler Cape May Warbler
Cerulean Warbler Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler (male) Magnolia Warbler (female)
Bay-breasted Warbler Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler (male) Blackburnian Warbler (female)
Chestnut-sided Warbler Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler Wilson's Warbler
Henslow's Sparrow Clay-coloured Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole Purple Finch
Evening Grosbeak (male) Evening Grosbeak (female)
Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler