BY SHERI TRUSTY
Seven years ago, Dianne Rozak walked through Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, found herself in a mini paradise of swooping swallows and chirping Redwings, and became entranced with birding. Since then, she developed into a local birding expert and a respected wildlife photographer.
On a pair of Saturdays, May 6 and 13, she will lead free Warbler Walks at Meadowbrook Marsh at 8577 E. Bayshore Rd. in Danbury Township. Both sessions will begin at 10 a.m.
“I got hooked on birding on my first planned birding trip to Magee,” said Rozak, a Danbury Township Trustee. “I saw a black-billed Cuckoo and all these different colored birds. It was like bird cocaine.”
Rozak will share her enthusiasm for birding during the Warbler Walks, where she will lead a guided walk through Meadowbrook Marsh looking for the migratory birds that pass through in the spring. The group may spot Scarlet Tanagers, Blackburnian Warblers, Magnolia Warblers or Northern Parulas.
“The Norther Parulas are my favorite. They’re just cool birds,” Rozak said. “We may see Lincoln’s Sparrows. That’s the bird I’m always chasing.”
Rozak’s Warbler Walks will coincide with the Biggest Week in American Birding, when thousands of people will visit Ottawa County to see the great varieties of migratory birds that stop to rest before heading across Lake Erie. Rozak said some of the hot birds on birders’ lists are Blue-winged Warblers, Golden-winged Warblers, Mourning Warblers and Kirtland’s Warbler.
“The Kirkland’s Warbler is rare, and it’s just fun,” Rozak said.
Birders attending the Warbler Walks are encouraged to bring binoculars and cameras and to dress for the weather. Rozak will lead a slow, quiet walk through the marsh for at least two hours. For more information on the Warbler Walks, contact Rozak at email@example.com or 419-340-9359.
Birders of any experience are welcome to attend.
“When I was first birding, I would keep silent and stand next to people with big equipment. I would listen to what they said and ask questions,” Rozak said. “Now, people do that with me.”Rozak was already an award-winning photographer when she took up birding, so it didn’t take long for Rozak’s birding hobby to become a bird photography hobby. Her bird and nautical photography are available at local businesses including the Canoe Club Wine Bar, R Coffee Corner, Orchard Farm Stand and the Marblehead Lighthouse Museum.
Whether her camera is in hand or not, Rozak is always searching for birds.
“Now, my eyes are looking 365 days a year,” she said.