Saturday, May 15, 2010

Twitter - PEENT

It's after 10:00 on Saturday night in Port Clinton, and we just returned from the best evening program of the week, about Woodcocks. After a presentation with slides, we trooped out into the field to see the show, sinking into the mud the longer we stood there. But what a show it was! With a loud PEENT, the male Woodcock flew up right over our heads, twittering madly, circling up in a wide circle until we could no longer see him in the distance.

He dropped almost straight down, to land softly on the path no more than 20 feet before us. The guide shined a light on the trail so we could see. Ignoring the light, he strutted around, tail cocked, ducking his head as he peented again and again. Then the female showed up and he really went into action! Peenting and strutting, he sidled up to her, wings spread as if to say, "Let me take you to the Casbah, darling." She seemed to be interested for a while, but then walked off. With a shrug, he took off over our heads again, peenting and twittering. This was the coolest thing we did all week, and it had nothing to do with warblers! Can you imagine that!

As we walked around the trails at Ottawa NWR, we saw a large shape crossing the road. Binocs raised, we saw this enormous snapping turtle! It crossed quickly and slid into the creek. The moss on its back apparently was just picked up when he left the water, because it floated when he re-entered the water and disappeared into the dark depths.

There is no doubt that we will return to Magee Marsh again, but next time I will remember the spotting scope and we will pack some folding chairs in the car for a break from birding during the day. I have more pictures, but my eyes won't stay open much longer. The species total through Saturday is at 111 (either seen or heard), including 15 life birds. Of 37 Warbler species on the list, we saw/heard 23. Pretty good for six days!

1 comment:

Mary Howell Cromer said...

OH My goodness, goodness:) that Snapping Turtle image is so cool, what a neat capture. I had two Snappers on my blog last week. They are so prehistoric looking anyway and then had on the pile of moss, great share~