Walking the Planks – My First Visit to Magee Marsh and the Famous “Boardwalk of Migrants”

Stacia and I finally got a chance to hit the boardwalk at Magee Marsh and scour the vegetation for migrants. Of course, like the hundreds of birders also traversing the wooden planks, we were hoping to find lots of warblers. And I was hoping to take a lot of photos. We were successful on both fronts! Every bird we saw we got amazing looks at. Most birds I got decent photos of. And even though there were crowds of birders, everyone we encountered was courteous and having a good time.

Birdfreak (me) ready to find some birds!
Me at Magee Marsh

Birdfreak (me) shooting at 400mm
Me at Magee Marsh

A smallish cluster of birders (some clusters were HUGE!)
Magee Marsh Crowd

Hope you enjoy the photos and if you haven’t been to Magee Marsh in spring, I highly recommend it. This will probably be a regular spot for the Birdfreak Team, mostly because Jennie and Dakota live south of this superb birding area. (Nice excuse to go to Ohio!)

Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler

Northern Waterthrush making ripples
Northern Waterthrush

Cape May Warbler, singing!
Cape May Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler, singing!
Golden-winged Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler, female
Golden-winged Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler

Ovenbird
Ovenbird

Black-and-white Warbler, blending well with tree
Black-and-white Warbler

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler

American Restart
American Redstart

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Gray Catbird
Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird Searching Leaves

There was one more migrant bird, a warbler, that we saw extremely well . . . come back tomorrow and see which one!!

5 thoughts on “Walking the Planks – My First Visit to Magee Marsh and the Famous “Boardwalk of Migrants”

  1. Looks like we just missed you guys by a few days. (Although even if I knew you were there I suppose it would be easy to miss people in those crowds.)

    The boardwalks at Magee Marsh are indeed a very special place. I went for the first time this past weekend, and was blown away at the number of warblers, how good the looks were that you are able to get, and the sheer number of birders and photographers that are there! Definitely second your recommendation!

  2. Christopher – Glad to see the crowds and that there are so many birders and photographers! I hope to someday get this sort of attention in northern Illinois, where we also get a ton of warblers (and other cool birds). {It was difficult to meet up with other birders and I was also visiting my sister and nephew.}

  3. Awesome photos! We also were visiting the area for the first time — wow, what a place. Nice you have a great excuse to go any time! We’ll be back next year for sure. Totally totally awesome birding & birders.

    Where do you go for warblers around Rockford? Have you been to Ryerson Woods here in Lake County? That’s our closest warbler hotspot around here.

  4. Amy – The Rockford area has a few good warbling spots: Rock Cut State Park has nesting Cerulean & Yellow-throated Warblers; plus a lot of Winnebago County Forest Preserves have good chances for warblers: Pecatonica Wetlands, Sugar River, Sugar River Alder, Colored Sands, and Oak Ridge. I need to visit some more preserves in surrounding counties but usually just bird local. (Although Magee Marsh is definitely worth many return trips!!)

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