5/10/2019 - 5/12/2019
After the missteps of last weekend, I carefully blundered into more this weekend. In terms of migration, the weather seems to be working against most of the Ohio Valley region.
I made it out Friday morning for some shooting at Eagle Creek Park. I had high hopes, but the morning was turning out to be a bit of a dud. While walking back towards the parking lot, I suddenly ran across a large mixed flock. It seemed like birds were everywhere. The biggest surprise was when an Orange-crowned Warbler popped up out of nowhere. It stayed for a few shots and then disappeared. For the next hour or so, Mark Welter, Scott Enochs, and I followed the flock around the park. By the time I left, remnants of it were still scattered about. It was a huge and very active flock. There were even a couple Eastern Wood-Pewee mixed in and providing some good photo opportunities.
I headed home and finished up my hours for the week. Around 6, I decided to make a return trip to Magee Marsh. I was so disappointed with my earlier trip. I did not want that to be my only experience this year. Reports coming out of the area indicated that things were really, really good. Winds were strong and coming out of the north and the next day was supposed to be mostly cloudy; so, I took a chance. I figured the winds would keep the birds there and that the overcast day would mean a long day of good light. The next morning was far from a dream situation, though. A storm system south of the area kept new migrants from moving in. The storm also shut down winds overnight, and a lot of the birds cleared out. The next morning was strongly sunny. The best surprise of the day was walking onto the boardwalk and running into my brother. He'd left home early in the morning and surprised me. It was good shooting with him. I ran into a quite a few people there that I knew. It was still sunny when Jeff headed home. I grabbed some lunch and then met up with Amy Hodson and Chris Collins for an afternoon of shooting. The clouds finally came out, and we didn't have to worry about harsh shadows any longer. We just had to find some cooperative birds. We shot and we joked around. It was a great casual afternoon. The light eventually gave out on us, and we headed back to the parking lot. It was a long drive back home. I'm not sure that heading to Magee again was the right call, but it was good shooting with my brother and friends; so, I'll chalk it up as a win - even if I didn't get the shots I dreamed about.
Thanks for reading,