Full-Frame Warbler Action on the Boardwalk!

I didn’t expect to be posting already on our first day at the Biggest Week in American Birding but we had such an extraordinary experience in only 90 minutes on the Magee Marsh boardwalk this afternoon that I just had to share with you. Mostly pictures, few words, because we have to be on a bus at 6:00 am tomorrow for an all-day field trip.

Since we only had a short time to bird this afternoon, we only managed to get halfway across the boardwalk before we had to turn back. But oh my gosh did we get a show! The warblers were coming down so close to us that I couldn’t even get pictures of them because my camera won’t focus that close.  For example, this Prothonotary Warbler was within arm’s reach of us for so long that I almost didn’t manage to get a picture of him, but when I did, just look at this beauty, filling the frame of the camera:

Prothonotary Warbler, only a couple feet away!
Prothonotary Warbler, only a couple feet away!

Most of my bird pictures have to be cropped down, but not that baby! Immediately after we saw him, we got good looks at this Ovenbird:


Next up was this stunning Black-and-white Warbler:

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler

We saw quite a few Black-throated Green Warblers, and I got my first ever look at one of them from up on the observation tower, so I could see his gorgeous yellow-green back.

Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler seen from above -- isn't he gorgeous?
Black-throated Green Warbler seen from above — isn’t he gorgeous?
A very photogenic Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
A very photogenic Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

We’re in our room at the Maumee Bay Lodge now watching a beautiful sunset over Lake Erie, winding down from the excitement of the first day, eagerly looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to rain on us but somehow knowing that these amazing birds are still here makes that all right.


  1. Your pictures are wonderful! what type of camera are you using and any special flash attachments or anything to go with it??

    • Thanks, Debbie. Most of the pictures on my blog were taken with my Canon Rebel T2i, but about two months ago I switched to a Canon EOS 60D. And I usually use my 400mm prime lens, no flash. Glad you’re enjoying the photos.

  2. Oh my!! What stunning photos, Kim!! I love the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. It is the male, right? We see those around here in the spring mostly. I have yet to see any kind of warbler around here. I will have to be content to study your photographs so that one day when I DO see them I can recognize them!

    • Yes, that is a male gnatcatcher, Lori – very observant! We’ve been seeing so many wonderful birds, it’s overwhelming. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy all afternoon, so maybe I can get some more photos processed for my next post. I wish you could be here so I could show you these birds. You would be over the moon in love with them, I just know it.

  3. Couldn’t attend this year. Love Maumee Bay Lodge, the boardwalk, the people, the pie, and of course the birds!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for giving me a glimpse of your day.

  4. Love your shots. Sure would like to attend that festival.
    Warblers that I’ve seen so far this spring in W MI are Palms, Yellows and Yellow Rumped. Heading to Tawas Festival and hope to find more.

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