My Witt's End

It's Happenin'


As Cleveland Metro Parks Naturalist Jen Brumfield has noted, birders have to sleep with their boots on at this time of the year. I was a bit stunned by last night's weather report: The prediction was for sunshine today! It was to be our one-day per week ration of solar energy and I decided not to waste it.

The Cleveland lake front has been hopping with migrating birds. Anyone willing to battle rain and 30 mph winds could have a fair day at some of the local hot spots. With sunshine and low winds, the only place to go would be Magee Marsh in Ottawa County, center of the universe at this time of the year regardless what Neil deGrasse Tyson might say otherwise.

In spite of rolling out of bed at 0-dark-30, I did not get to Magee until about 8am. Things were already hopping—or winding down, depending on whom I spoke with.

I had barely reached the boardwalk when I spotted Sam Woods, a man who guides birding trips all over the world for Tropical Birds ( and writes an incredible blog, ( He was with another Tropical Birds guide, Laurie Ross who was carrying a camera the size of our Subaru. No wonder his photos are so spectacular. So, what were these two world-class birders doing in our neck of the woods? Like everyone else, they'd come to see the show.

And the birds did not disappoint. Of course it could have been better. Like fishing, or golf or any other type of competition, it can always be better. And that drive to see something more or different is what brings us back, year after year.

Here's a small sample of who showed up this morning:

 Baltimore Oriole


Black-throated Blue Warbler

 Cape May Warbler


Palm Warbler

Leave a comment:


Purchase My Books At

You can purchase all versions of Lost in the Tallgrass and A Clouded Life at

Join the email list!

My Witt's End

Non-bird Tweets

Look for me at Goodreads

Lost in the Tallgrass