Thursday, May 30, 2013

Least Sandpipers Rest; Red-Winged Blackbirds Flood Wake Robin Trail

I’m finally getting caught up on photos that I took earlier in the month. I visited Wake Robin Trail in Mentor Ohio a few weeks ago, and arrived on a day that was filled with red-winged blackbirds. They were everywhere, sitting on the dry cattails that lined the trail. Most of the Mentor Marsh is filled with invasive phragmites - tall grasses that love brackish water. The area lining the trail has been cleared and replanted with things like cattails, grasses, and wildflowers that were native to the area before the phragmites took over. This has encouraged more unusual birds to stop by during migration. (It's a long story about how the water turned brackish, which made perfect conditions for the phragmites to thrive.) The trail is an excellent area for birding, especially during migration. I think I arrived on the day that all the red-winged blackbirds came home. But amidst all of those red wings, I did catch a pair of least sandpipers hanging out in some shallow water. Here are a few photos.  (Click on any image for a larger view.)

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