|Day 1: Arrival into Michigan and Transfer to Ohio
You should schedule your arrival into Detroit, Michigan for
anytime before 2 PM on the afternoon of Day 1 of the trip.
After everyone has arrived, we will head to one of the
nearby Metroparks to begin our birding. Most of the birds
here will be seen later in the trip, but everyone should be
ready to start birding, and you never know what may be
passing through. This area offers a better chance for
Broad-winged Hawk, often missed in the Ohio portion of the
trip. After birding, we will make the 30-45 minute drive to
our hotel in northwestern Ohio.
We will take some time in the evening for a group
orientation and to get organized for the next morning. We
will begin our nightly ritual of reviewing the bird checklist
and confirm our day's sightings
Day 2: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
After breakfast, we will head to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.
We will spend a few hours walking the boardwalk and trails
here. With the level of enthusiasm for birding this site,
news for any rarities here spreads quickly. Beyond the
surprises, the twenty or so warblers here which can be
seen on most days is enough to make this a fun day.
Some of the most likely warblers include: Ovenbird,
Black-and-white Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler,
Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, American Redstart,
Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler,
Blackburnian Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll
Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Besides the warblers, we should also find several thrush
species, including Gray-cheeked Thrush, Veery,
Swainson's Thrush and more.
In the afternoon, we may move on to other nearby birding
locations, depending on your target birds and what is being
reported around the area. Nearby sites often have
numerous spring waders, and birds like Upland Sandpiper
Following dinner, optional evening birding will be offered for
those who haven't had their fill of birding for the day.
Day 3: Back to Magee Marsh, plus Other Local Sites.
We will return again to Magee Marsh and the boardwalk.
Most days in early May have hundreds of new migrating
birds come across the lakes, and new species often come
in overnight. This will increase your chances for seeing
additional warblers, such as Palm Warbler, Black-throated
Green Warbler, Canada Warbler, Mourning Warbler and
Northern Waterthrush. Of course, there are more than just
Other notable species that should be present throughout
the area include: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Wood
Thrush, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Scarlet
Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and
If we can drag ourselves away from Magee, we will visit the
neighboring Ottawa NWR, as well as other Lake Erie shore
sites, such as Metzger Marsh and East Harbor State Park.
Once again, optional evening birding will be offered,
perhaps to Maumee Bay State Park to see the American
Woodcock display flight.
Day 4: Oak Openings Metropark, Nayanquing Point,
After packing up and having breakfast, we will head to Oak
Openings Metropark, southwest of Toledo. There are a
few species that are much more likely at this park than in
the Magee Marsh area, including Red-headed
Woodpecker, Grasshopper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow,
Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak and sometimes
Yellow-throated Warbler and Henslow's Sparrow.
Before lunch, we will begin the drive north to Grayling, with
a stop at Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area half-way through
the drive. This is a great spot for American Bittern, Least
Bittern, Wood Duck, Black Tern, Willow Flycatcher, Sedge
Wren and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
After dinner and before arriving at our hotel in Grayling, we
will stop at Houghton Lake Wildlife Research Area for a
walk on the boardwalk and a chance at Yellow Rail (difficult
to find), American Bittern, Wilson's Snipe and Sedge Wren.
Overnight in Grayling.
Day 5: Kirtland's Warbler Tour and More Grayling
Following breakfast, we will need to be at the Ramada Inn
by 7:00 AM. As part of the Kirtland's Warbler Tour, we will
begin the day with a lecture and video about the program
to protect the breeding sites for Kirtland's Warbler.
Following the program, we will drive to one of the Jack Pine
forests where the birds have set up territories, and have an
excellent chance to see the birds there.
Following our visit to the Kirtland's site, we will again be
birding on our own, perhaps returning to the Houghton
Lake area or Hartwick Pines State Park, looking for Upland
Sandpiper, Black-billed Cuckoo, Clay-colored, Lincoln's
and Vesper Sparrows, Evening Grosbeak, plus waterfowl
and nesting warblers.
Overnight in Grayling.
Day 6: Birding en route to Detroit area airport
There are a few options for short visits along the route from
Grayling south, and we will visit any that seem to offer
species we may have missed. While always on the lookout
for north-bound migrants, we can also work to round out
our list of nesting species, including various waterfowl,
Virginia Rail, Ruffed Grouse, Pileated Woodpecker,
Red-headed Woodpecker, Marsh Wren, Golden-winged
Warbler, Cerulean Warbler and Brewer's Blackbird.
Your departure from Detroit should be set for after 3:00 in
Note on Optional Extension: Anyone wishing to extend
birding trip can save airfare and drive with Norm Lewis to
the Indiana and Kentucky bird trip, and they will add a few
more trip birds and get to explore cave's (no crawling
required) and the wildlife of cave, seeing creatures few
naturalist have a chance to enjoy. The extension works
well for the trips ending on May 18.
|For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles at 888-203-7464 or
Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at info@PIBird.com.
|Kirtland's Warbler (female) by David Trently,
near Grayling, MI in June 2009
|Springtime Birding in Ohio and Michigan
Magee Marsh and Kirtland's Warbler
|Prothonotary Warbler photo by
|Scarlet Tanager photo by Bill Schmoker.
|Photo by Bill Schmoker
|Photo by Bill Schmoker
|Bay-breasted Warbler photo by Bill Schmoker.
Header photo also by Schmoker.
|Blackburnian Warbler photo
by Bill Schmoker.
by Bill Schmoker
|Photo by David Trently of Black-throated Blue
Warbler at Magee Marsh boardwalk.
|Prairie Warbler by Bill Schmoker