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Kelley’s Island on Lake Erie.

October 7, 2017

Kelley’s Island

Last month a buddy and I went up to Kelley’s Island on Lake Erie.  We didn’t see a lot of birds, but the scenery sure was nice!  Ohio road trip!

The trip up was good as usual.

We went up to Marblehead to take one of the frequent ferries out to Kelley’s Island.  The rate was reasonable. You could go on foot or take your car over.

Lake Erie was fairly smooth for the trip out.  It’s the shallowest of the Great Lakes.

We passed another ferry coming back from the island.

There are a few islands off Ohio’s shores in Lake Erie- Put-In-Bay, Kelley’s, the Bass Islands- and they attract vacationers and day-trippers.  For us land-locked central Ohio folks, it’s like a bit of the ocean 🙂

The ferry ride was only about 20 minutes.  Kelley’s Island is about 4 miles out into Lake Erie from Marblehead, Ohio.  It is the largest island in Lake Erie, being approximately 4.3 square miles in size.

Incidentally, Kelley’s Island is both an island and an Ohio village.  It has an estimated year-round population of 312, but much more housing, campgrounds and camps exists for the summer tourist industry.  The island has a few roads, but golf carts and bicycles seem to outnumber cars.  Pubs, general/convenience stores, restaurants and gift shops- many of which close at the end of the tourist season- dot the island.

Being birders, we kept our eyes out for our feathered friends and saw them here and there.

As you can imagine, boating is popular on and around the island.  Marinas dot the coast.

Here was the golf cart we rented for the reasonable rate of $14 an hour.  Many people prefer this mode of travel on the island.  Unfortunately, the horn button was placed right where one’s foot naturally rests on the floor, evoking the occasional startled tourist (and golf cart driver).  The funny part was we were making fun of people honking their horn in an accidental manner until we got our own cart and did the exact same thing.  Red-faced and humbled by a horn button badly placed!

There were a good amount of beautiful houses on the island, some done in the Victorian style popular when they were first built.  A smaller number are permanent year-round homes, a greater number are summer homes.


We drove around the island, taking in the sights.  We had a couple places in mind to visit, so all was not just convivial wandering.

Occasional signs brought a smile to our faces.

And there was history about, which always makes me happy!

Kelley’s Island was first settled by American settlers in the early 1800s- legend has it a man named Cunningham lived with Native Americans on the island in 1803 in a log cabin.  In 1830 the first quarry was created to extract limestone, abundant on the island.  Then the famous Kelley brothers showed up.

Datus and Irad Kelley were born in Middlefield, Connecticut on April 24, 1788 and October 24, 1791, respectively. Datus moved to Rocky River, Ohio in 1811, working as a surveyor and sawmill owner. Irad moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1812, eventually becoming a successful merchant, postmaster, sailor, and real-estate investor. Irad Kelley first became aware of the island after being forced to seek shelter there while transporting goods via sloop sailboat from Detroit to his shop in Cleveland. On August 20, 1833, the two began purchasing parcels of land on Cunningham Island at the rate of $1.50 per acre. They eventually owned the entire 3,000-acre island, and in 1840 changed its name to Kelleys Island. By this time, the population had risen to 68 people.

The brothers quickly began improving and expanding the island’s docks to export limestone, fruit, and red cedar lumber. Soon, 16 limestone kilns were producing lime. The village’s various industries hired a number of immigrants (including young children), many of whom would work on the island during the summer and return to their homeland during the winter. Among the nationalities working on the island at that time were Poles, Slavs, Macedonians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Italians and Portuguese. Datus Kelley encouraged sobriety, and paid his employees bonuses for abstaining from “intoxifying liquors”.

In 1842, Charles Carpenter (son-in-law of Datus Kelley) of Norwich, Connecticut began growing and harvesting grapes for wine on Kelleys Island; by the early 20th century, the island was annually producing 500,000 gallons of wine per year.

The quarries were the origin of the Kelley Island Lime & Transport Company, which was once the largest producer of limestone and lime products in the world, operating between 1896 and the early 1960s. Numerous ruins of these operations and quarries now dot the island.

The small village grew quickly, and soon a library and post office were erected. In 1901, the Estes Schoolhouse was built at a cost of $15,000.

Old quarries can be seen here and there on the island.

Speaking of geology, the Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve was one of our destinations.

The Glacial Grooves are the most popular natural destination on Kelleys Island. Our grooves are the largest and best accessible example of this geological phenomenon anywhere in the world! They are located at the intersection of Division Street and Titus Road, only a mile and a half north of downtown. A paved parking lot provides easy access. The grooves are visible from the parking lot or from a winding series of steps and footbridges that loop around their upper rim. Don’t miss this must-see treasure – a National Natural Landmark that draws visitors to Kelleys Island from all around the globe!

The glacial grooves are 400 feet long, 35 feet wide, and up to 15 feet deep. They were created by the slow movement of the massive glacier that created the Great Lakes and Lake Erie Islands. When glaciers move across the earth, they pick up rocks, soil, and other debris, and drag them along. As the ice crept over the soft limestone bedrock of Kelleys Island, these harder bits of rock gouged the grooves that we see today. Originally, the grooves were filled with soil, debris, and quarry waste. In 1972, excavation to uncover the full extent of the grooves began, and they have been a popular tourist attraction ever since. The grooves are also important to historians, scientists and students. They give us valuable information about the direction and movement of the glaciers that shaped our entire landscape.

One of the interpretive signs said that the grooves were carved into the rock by the at the rate of an inch or so a year in the area of 18,000 years ago by the force of the sheet of ice in one of the recent Ice Ages.

Another area of interest was the state park on the island.  A modest beach was on the northern shore.

We saw this immature Bonaparte’s Gull at the state park.  It was a life-list bird for my buddy.  You have to be a birder to appreciate how good it feels to see a new species of bird!

A cemetery, containing the body of one of the founding Kelley brothers, was also on the island.

Suddenly, a reminder that human habitation of the island went back further than American settlers.  Inscription Rock Petroglyphs is an historical site on the south shore of the island.

Inscription Rock is a large limestone boulder on the southern shore of Kelleys Island. The rock takes its name from the many petroglyphs carved into its soft surface. These markings were made by Native American tribes that inhabited the island before European and American settlers arrived. Unfortunately, exposure to the elements has eroded the inscriptions and made them difficult to see. A scale replica, produced from sketches and rubbings done in the 1850s, is displayed next to the rock to help show visitors what the inscriptions once looked like. Inscription Rock is located at the intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Addison Road, a short walk from downtown Kelleys Island or the Kelleys Island Ferry. A wooden platform allows easy viewing of the inscriptions and the replica stone.

The precise age of the inscriptions is unknown. Based on the symbolism and the degree to which the soft limestone has weathered, they are probably less than one thousand years old. As a result, historians believe that they are the work of one of two groups: the so-called “Late Prehistoric” period Sandusky culture, or American Indian peoples living in the region during the period of European colonization. The remains of at least two Native American villages have been found very close to the rock.

Though faded, the inscriptions are some of the finest examples of aboriginal art in the Great Lakes region. No one is exactly sure what the unusual drawings depicted. The most widely accepted theory states that Native Americans used Inscription Rock as a message stone. They would carve drawings marking their passage through the area and noting details about hunting, fishing, and future destinations. In 1969, The Ohio Historical Society erected a cover in an attempt to protect what remains of the quickly-fading petroglyphs.

We saw the above Cedar Waxwing in a tree next to Inscription Rock.  The bird posed for us, nicely.

After a stop at one of the restaurants on the island, it was time to head back…sadly.

Back on another ferry and back to Marblehead- and eventually, home.  It was a fun and interesting trip, especially for us landlubbers!


Investigating Vines: An Itchy Problem.

September 2, 2017

Poison Ivy

It’s been a while since I talked about Wild Grape Vines, so I thought I’d follow up with a post about another vine that is abundant in Ohio.  There’s an old rhyme associated with this vine- “Leaflets three, let it be.”

Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as eastern poison ivy or poison ivy, is a poisonous Asian and North American flowering plant that is well known for causing Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, an itchy, irritating, and sometimes painful rash in most people who touch it. It is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant’s sap. The species is variable in its appearance and habit, and despite its common name it is not a true ivy (Hedera), but rather a member of the cashew and pistachio family. Toxicodendron radicans is commonly eaten by many animals, and the seeds are consumed by birds, but poison ivy is most often thought of as an unwelcome weed.

When I was a kid, I got poison ivy rash all the time playing outdoors.  That’s no surprise, because this vine is very common.  Take a stroll in the woods and chances are you’ll see a lot of it here in Ohio.

Poison Ivy can not only be found on the forest floor (sometimes in shrublike bunches), but climbing high into trees as well.  Next time you’re in the woods, look at tree trunks closely- you may see it (or a few other vine species) there, looking like leaves growing out of the trunk, but really coming out of vines.  Old vines can get really thick, as in Tarzan-swinging thick.  But don’t ignore the ground either- sometimes Poison Ivy covers whole areas of the woodland floor.

Sometimes the leaves almost cover tree trunks.  After winter, the vines can leaf again.  It is quite persistent.

You may have noticed that the trifolate leaves (famously clustered in 3s) can vary in shape.  This can make it tricky to avoid, unless you just avoid all leaves growing in clusters of 3.  Most of those are Poison Ivy anyway 🙂

In the autumn, Poison Ivy turns yellow and red, adding to the colorful leaf show.  I’ve seen a bit of the color change already in late August.

What makes Poison Ivy so itchy?  Urishiol oil.  This oil is the bane of many a rash-covered individual.

Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis is the allergic reaction caused by poison ivy. In extreme cases, a reaction can progress to anaphylaxis. Around 15% to 25% of people have no allergic reaction to urushiol, but most people will have a greater reaction with repeated or more concentrated exposure.

Urushiol binds to the skin on contact, where it causes severe itching that develops into reddish inflammation or non-coloured bumps, and then blistering. These lesions may be treated with Calamine lotion, Burow’s solution compresses, dedicated commercial poison ivy itch creams, or baths to relieve discomfort, though recent studies have shown some traditional medicines to be ineffective. Over-the-counter products to ease itching—or simply oatmeal baths and baking soda—are now recommended by dermatologists for the treatment of poison ivy.

The oozing fluids released by scratching blisters do not spread the poison. The fluid in the blisters is produced by the body and it is not urushiol itself…Urushiol oil can remain active for several years, so handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects (such as pet fur) can cause the rash if it comes into contact with the skin. Clothing, tools, and other objects that have been exposed to the oil should be washed to prevent further transmission.

The urushiol compound in poison ivy is not a defensive measure; rather, it helps the plant to retain water. It is frequently eaten by animals such as deer and bears.

In the late spring or early summer, teeny little white flowers bloom, but they are very easy to miss.  These flowers will turn into berries (called drupes), green in color at first but eventually turning white.

Poison Ivy berries are edible to animals, and I’ve seen many a bird eating them.  They are a favorite of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a rare warbler species that eats something other than insects.

I’ve seen woodpeckers eat the berries too.  The seeds pass through birds and will grow where they fall- some shade is all they need.  This helps to spread the plant widely.

Berries that don’t get eaten can be easily noticed in the winter, when all of the leaves have gone.  This is a good food source in the lean season for animals and birds alike.

I’m not as allergic to Poison Ivy as I was when I was a kid.  Every once in a while I’ll still get a few bumps on my ankles along the sock line if I wear shorts in the woods, but it doesn’t spread over me like it used to.  That’s fine with me!



Cedar Bog.

August 5, 2017

Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve

Last June, a friend and I went to Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve in west-central Ohio.  This is a unique place geography-wise and species-wise and was worth the trip!

As usual, back roads and small towns are always fun to travel-

Then we were there, just south of Utica, Ohio.

Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve is a fen left behind by the retreating glaciers of the Wisconsin glaciation about 12,000-18,000 years ago. A protected area of about 450 acres of fen remain from the original area of approximately 7,000 acres.

Cedar Bog is located in Champaign County, Ohio, United States, near the city of Urbana. Ground water from the Mad River Valley and the Urbana Outwash percolate through hundreds of feet of gravel left behind by the glacier in the Teays River. The Teays River is an underground river that existed before the Wisconsin glacier which, before the glacier, rivaled the Ohio River in size.


Even though I am an Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society) member and could have gotten in free, I gladly paid the $5 entrance fee because The Cedar Bog Association needs the money- they get no state funds.

In addition to the water that feeds the bog, the glacier also left behind plants that are unique to Cedar Bog. Many of these plants are rare or endangered. The sedges and other plants that grow here left behind by the last glacier were the food for mastodons and giant sloths that once roamed the earth. Also, trees found here like bog birch and northern white cedar are more commonly found in the more northern boreal forest. Cedar Bog is also the home of the endangered spotted turtle, massasauga rattlesnake, and Milbert’s tortoise-shell butterfly.

Cedar Bog was purchased in 1942 by the Ohio Historical Society and was the first nature preserve purchased with state monies. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1967.

An Eastern Phoebe hung around the nature center- they love to nest on human structures

This sign is very true- last year I went and it had rained recently, and the wood was slick

This sign gets one’s attention- rattlers are rare in central Ohio!

The boardwalk takes you through the fen, with exotic plant sights all around you


There were some wetland wildflowers you don’t see very often

In the clear cool stream, there were young Wood Ducks and fish

There were nice spots to sit and take it all in

This Fritillary Butterfly seemed to like the vivid colors on a map sign

As we left near the nature center, we spotted this Skink Lizard scrambling across our path.  Once again, this was a sight I’ve not seen in central Ohio very much.  Cedar Bog is a place to go for the exotic.

We ended our day at a favorite restaurant.  And a good day it was!

Lake Erie Spring Migration Birding and Tourism Trip, part 2

July 1, 2017

East Harbor State Park

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum

Last month, I shared photos from the first part of my Lake Erie jaunt with a birding buddy.  Now I’ll wrap up the highlights of the rest of the trip.

After leaving our Maumee Bay ‘cabin’ and making our roundabout touristy-out-of-the-way back towards home, we stopped at East Harbor State Park to do some more birding.  Located on the shore of Lake Erie, we took a scenic walk.

The view was quite nice along the shore- then we walked the inland paths

We spotted a patch of Wild Columbine, one of the showier and rarer spring wildflowers in Ohio

Two birds we saw a lot of- Baltimore Orioles…

…and Yellow Warblers

And there were more White-Crowned Sparrows to see as well

Also fairly common were Red-Winged Blackbirds…

…and Double-Crested Cormorants, an invasive waterfowl

We moved on…and this is as good a place as any to post a few pictures snapped as we traveled.

One of those old restaurant giant statues still around after the restaurant is gone

Tourist towns have a charm about them


Unexpected architectural finds are fun!

Some houses stand out

There are a lot of little old cemeteries out in the country

HEY!!!  Pole barns!

OK, back to the tourist attractions 🙂  Around noon we stopped at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park.

Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest, continuously operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It has been featured on a U.S. postage stamp, has appeared on Ohio’s license plates, and is now part of the Ohio State Parks system.

The history of this popular lighthouse began in 1819 when the fifteenth U.S. Congress allocated $5,000 for the construction of a light tower on the Marblehead Peninsula to guide vessels into Sandusky Bay and to help them safely transit the treacherous southern passage that runs between the Ohio mainland and a cluster of offshore islands.

William Kelly and a crew of two men began construction of the conical tower in September 1821 on an outcropping of limestone on the northern tip of the peninsula, and in November, the rocky shoreline was home to a fifty-foot tower with wooden ladders leading to its lantern room. The base of the tower was twenty-six feet in diameter with walls five feet thick, while the top measured twelve feet in diameter and had two-foot-thick walls. The tower was constructed of limestone, quarried nearby on the peninsula.

Marblehead Lighthouse cost $7,232 to build and was the only navigational aid in the Sandusky Bay region for many years; in fact, the tower was called “Sandusky Bay Lighthouse” until 1870. Its first beacon consisted of thirteen small whale oil lamps with round wicks set in sixteen-inch reflectors.

Benajah Wolcott, Marblehead’s first keeper, was a Revolutionary War veteran and one of the first settlers on the peninsula. Wolcott purchased 114 acres in 1809 and built a log cabin for his family. Fearing an invasion by the British, the Wolcotts left the peninsula during the War of 1812 but returned to their homestead when the conflict was over. Benajah Wolcott was appointed keeper on June 24, 1822 and thus had use of the stone dwelling built adjacent to the lighthouse, but he also had William Kelly construct a small, limestone home on his homestead on the Sandusky side of the peninsula. Wolcott’s personal dwelling is the oldest residence still standing in Ottawa County, and is touted as a fine example of a “hall and parlor house.” Known as the Keeper’s House, the structure is operated as a museum by the Ottawa County Historical Society.

Each evening during the shipping season, Benajah Wolcott would climb the lighthouse to light its thirteen lamps and then faithfully tend the light until the following morning. In addition to minding the light, Wolcott also kept a record of ships that passed, noted weather conditions, and organized rescue efforts.

Keeper Wolcott had served for ten years when he passed away due to cholera in 1832. Upon his death, his wife Rachel took over his duties, making her the first female lighthouse keeper on the Great Lakes. After keeping the light for two years, Rachel married Jeremiah Van Benschoten, who became the light’s third keeper.

The view of the lake was indeed interesting

That’s Cedar Point Amusement Park across the bay

This was the ferry that traveled regularly to nearby Put-In-Bay

And there were birds here too, of course.

Red-Breasted Mergansers were nearby in the water

Meanwhile, on the shore, a Red-Winged Blackbird was looking for a mate…

…and got temporarily stuck in the picket fence while displaying, causing some merriment!

A Barn Swallow collected grass for a nest

We moved on…

…to Milan, Ohio, birthplace of famed inventor Thomas Alva Edison.

The Thomas A. Edison Birthplace Museum was our destination.

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. More significant than the number of Edison’s patents was the widespread impact of his inventions: electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries worldwide. Edison’s inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution[5] to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. His first power station was on Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York.

Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, and many other devices that make our lives fuller and simpler, was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847. The Edison Birthplace Museum features a collection of rare Edisonia, including examples of many of Edison’s early inventions, documents, and family mementos…

The Edison Birthplace was opened by his wife Mina and his daughter Madeleine as a tribute to the humble beginnings of a great man. The Edison Birthplace Museum is the only Edison site to have family involved, including great-grand children and a great-great-great-great niece on the Board of Trustees, and a great-great-great nephew as President.

The volunteer guides were very knowledgeable and gave us a tour

  • According to records, the lot on which this house stands was bought in 1841 by Nancy Elliott Edison, mother of Thomas Alva Edison. Nancy and Samuel Edison started building their home, designed by Samuel, in the fall of the same year. Thomas Alva Edison was born in the house on February 11, 1847.


Edison’s parents sold the house in 1854, and the family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. The Birthplace was out of family ownership for the next forty years. In 1894, Edison’s sister, Marion Edison Page, bought the house and added a bathroom and other modern conveniences. Edison became the owner of his birthplace in 1906, and, on his last visit, in 1923, he was shocked to find his old home still lighted by lamps and candles! After the death of Thomas A. Edison from complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, opening his birthplace to the public as a memorial and museum became the private project of his wife, Mina Miller Edison, and their daughter, Mrs. John Eyre Sloane. The Edison Birthplace Museum opened on the centennial of the inventor’s birth in 1947.

The house has been restored as nearly as possible to its 19th Century appearance. Because much of the Edisons’ original furniture was lost in moves and to a disastrous fire at their Port Huron Home, it was impossible to assemble much of the original furniture. Therefore, gifts and loans from members of the family have been supplemented by gifts and loans from friends and, in some cases, purchases of household articles of the period.

Today, this National Historic Site is maintained by the Edison Birthplace Association, Inc., a private, non-profit organization.

  • When the Edison family arrived in town to join Samuel (about 1840), Milan was entering the period of its greatest glory. Due to its location on the Huron River and the canal (built to link Milan to the Great Lakes), the town became a busy grain port. All sorts of commodities from every point in the state were conveyed to Milan in long wagon trains, then loaded aboard ships from warehouses that lined the banks of the canal. (One of the warehouses still stands by the abandoned canal basin.)In 1847, 917,800 bushels of wheat were shipped from this port, making it the second largest wheat shipping port for an inland sea in the world after the Ukranian city of Odessa. Milan had also become a shipbuilding center, producing 75 lake vessels from 1840 to 1866.By 1850, the advent of the railroads and consequent changes in transportation methods had put an end to the town’s great prosperity. The canal and the shipyard were eventually abandoned and the warehouses disappeared. Milan’s “golden age”, which had lasted only about ten years, was over — though shipments of grain continued until 1865.

What a trip!  Birds, parks, lakeshores, scenery, history- you can’t beat that.  And a good time was had by all.

Lake Erie Spring Migration Birding and Tourism Trip, part 1

June 3, 2017

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Maumee Bay State Park


Last month, a fellow birder friend and I went up to Lake Erie for some spring migration birding and some sightseeing.  When you talk Lake Erie and birding, one place is very famous- Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, THE place to be in the eastern US for spring migration if you’re looking for warblers.  We stayed at nearby Maumee Bay State Park in one of their cabins (in reality, a small vacation home).  It turns out Maumee Bay had some nice places for birding as well.

Finally, on the way home, we stopped at East Harbor State Park for some additional birding, and some some tourist-y places- Marblehead Lighthouse and the Thomas A Edison Birthplace Museum.  We’ll look at those places next month.

We timed our visit during The Biggest Week in American Birding– the 2nd week of May during spring migration.  Northwest Ohio attracts tens of thousands of birders to such places as Magee Marsh, where it is easy to see colorful migrants gathering on the southern shore of Lake Erie before they make the big flight up into Canada for another summer nesting season.

We actually stopped at some other places as well, and we would have stopped at Perry’s Victory & International Peace Monument on Put-In-Bay Island (I’m a history buff too)  but it was closed for repairs all year.  So I’ll focus on the big places that I took plenty of pictures of.

Let’s get started!

As we neared Maumee Bay, we took this as a good sign- Bald Eagles sitting on telephone poles along the road!  They certainly have bounced back very well from near-extinction in the lower 48 states.

Driving around away from the freeways is my favorite mode of travel- you get to see backroads and small towns.

Maumee Bay State Park is a fantastic park.  Here’s some general pictures of the place.  The lodge was very crowded during the day with the Biggest Week In Birding vendors and exhibits.  Appropriately enough, there were a group of Cliff Swallows nesting up above the entrance, building their mud nests.  I blogged about Cliff Swallows building nests years ago.

Maumee Bay State Park

And now, on to the much-anticipated event- our visit to the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.  The weather was good, though the bird species counts were low due to a cold start to May.  Fortunately, migration picked up when we showed up.

Magee Marsh Boardwalk

During spring migration, large crowds of birders move through the boardwalk area at Magee.  This place is truly a Mecca for North American birders.  Overall, people were surprisingly helpful and tried not to clog up the walkways.  The parking lot is full of hundreds of cars from all over the continent.  There were even tailgaters in the lots!

Here’s some of the memorable birds we saw at Magee that day.

Nashville Warbler

Bay-Breasted Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Black & White Warbler

Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Blue-Headed Vireo

Scarlet Tanager

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Bald Eagle nestling

 Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

The surrounding area of the boardwalk is marshy and contains shorebirds and waterfowl.  Here’s what we saw on our way out.

Canada Geese families were common- everyone let them cross the road on their own time

Great Egret

Snowy Egret


White-Crowned Sparrow

Nature Center & Gift Shop

Maumee Bay Beach

looks like a lighthouse and nuclear reactor coolant towers way out along Lake Erie

fish were on the menu

Great Blue Heron


Caspian Terns

Common Terns

Herring Gulls

Maumee Bay Boardwalk

A nice feature of Maumee Bay State Park is a 2-mile-long boardwalk through some marshy areas and a wooded swamp near Lake Erie.



3 White-Tailed Deer browsed the marshy area and were unafraid of people

A Fox Squirrel looking intently for something near the boardwalk

Catbird- quite a few were in the wooded swamp

Common Grackle

American Robin


Swainson’s Thrush

Screech Owl in nesting box

Downy Woodpecker

Red-Winged Blackbirds

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Marsh Wrens were defending their territory, singing furiously in the tall marsh grass

Yellow Warbler

Common Yellowthroat- there were many of these hiding in the brush and protesting our visit

Northern Parula Warbler

Black-Throated Green Warbler

American Redstart

This concludes part 1 of our Lake Erie visit.  Part 2 will be along the first Saturday of July.  I hope you enjoyed the spring migration season as much as I did!