Photographing Birds at Magee Marsh (Nikon Coolpix p900)

 

Palm Warbler at East End of the Boardwalk (p900)
Palm Warbler at Magee Marsh (Nancie Waterman/Nikon Coolpix p900)

In May, Jim and I took our birding on the road to go to “The Biggest Week in American Birding” festival and to see the warblers at Magee Marsh near Lake Erie in Ohio. We spent a solid week birding at the marsh and around the area and loved the adventure. During our time there, we saw 101 species of birds and added 27 to our birding life list. Along the way, we photographed some of these birds, me with a point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix p900 zoom lens camera and Jim using a DSLR Canon 7d Mark II with a 400mm lens. In this post, I will share pictures of some of these cool birds, taken mostly with the Nikon, but with a few from the Canon so you can compare the results when two people using two different cameras photograph birds under the same conditions.

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Our First Trip to Magee Marsh

Magee Marsh East Entrance Sign
The East Entrance to Magee Marsh

Each May, northern Ohio’s Magee Marsh is a magnet for birders who want to see a wide number of warblers and other migrants up close. The local Ohio birders make the trip even more worthwhile by throwing The Biggest Week in American Birding festival during the height of warbler migration, with all kinds of activities held at birding hotspots throughout the area. If you are a birder, it really is an awesome adventure.

This year’s festival ran from May 5 through May 14. Jim and I traveled from Maryland to bird the area from May 6 until May 12. It was our first trip there. We saw so much and learned so much and got to see one hundred and one bird species (sixteen of them warblers.) We added twenty-seven new birds to our life list, including five warblers we had never before seen.

This post is an account of what the experience was like for us as first-time visitors to the marsh and the festival, including some of the logistics of staying in the area and visiting the marsh and other local birding hotspots. I’m also working on a companion post with additional photos of the birds we saw that will touch on what we learned in trying to photograph them.

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American Coots at Black Hill Regional Park

American Coots Neart the Dock at Black Hill Regional Park in Maryland
American Coots Near the Dock at Black Hill Regional Park in Maryland

My husband Jim and I went on a birding field trip yesterday. The local lakes have been mostly frozen over for weeks so most recent visits have resulted in seeing Canada Geese and Ring-Billed Gulls walking around on ice, but on Saturday the temperatures went up to around 60 so we had to get outside.  I did some research on eBird to look at recent sightings to try and figure out where to go and we headed to Black Hill Regional Park in Montgomery County Maryland to see if we could find some interesting water birds.

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