• w-facebook
  • w-tbird
  • w-blogger

Photo Workshop:  Warblers and More


Dates:  Late April through May, call or email for availability and rates for this private offering.




Why join the Warblers and More Workshop?   Lake Erie is a formidable barrier for the small songbirds winging their way north during spring migration.  A huge variety and great numbers of songbirds “lay-up” when confronted with the prospect of crossing the lake.  Here they congregate in small wood lots near the lake front to rest and forage, rebuilding the fat reserves needed to complete their migration. 

Participants will be led to the best locations on any given day to photograph the various migrant traps near the western end of Lake Erie.  You will learn the techniques Brian has developed to make it a snap to get the correct exposure.  He will explain where he likes to be and why, depending on varying wind and lighting conditions.  No one has spent more time photographing warblers on Ohio’s North Coast, the best location in North America for photographing neotropical migrants on their journey north.


The leader will work hard to get you into the right position to make the best images possible based on a variety of factors.  This workshop is about more than getting close to your subject.   You will learn how to use the light and wind direction to your advantage.  You will learn when it is best to hand-hold a shorter lens and when it is best to use a tripod with all of your focal length.  Participants will learn techniques to successfully capture images of fast moving subjects flitting through sometimes dense vegetation.

Travel considerations: From Oregon, Ohio (east of Toledo).


Equipment:  Bring your longest telephoto lens and matching teleconverters as well as a tripod for this workshop.   Also pack a 400mm equivalent prime or zoom lens you are comfortable hand holding (some even hand hold the 500mm f/4).  A flash kit including speed light, bracket, off-shoe cord, Better Beamer and external battery pack will help you get the most from the Warblers and More Workshop.  A shorter lens will come in handy for photographing people and scenes of a popular migrant trap.  I like the option of clamping an umbrella to my tripod or Wimberly head for days with light rain.   Light hiking boots will most likely suffice for foot wear.  Some walking on wet ground or in tall wet grasses may be encountered if we choose to work on some of the backup subjects, consider packing Wellie’s, NEOS, or other waterproof footwear.


Insurance:  As a matter of course everyone should consider insuring their valuable photographic equipment.   I have never had a major incident but enjoy the peace of mind provided by the coverage.  Rand Insurance has a reasonable policy for NANPA members, check for them on the benefits page.


Physical Activity Requirements: Strenuous activity will be at a minimum during this workshop.  Some photography will take place just feet from your car but longer walks over mostly flat terrain should be anticipated.  The occasional walk down a soft sandy beach may be in order depending on wind direction.

​Likely Species on the NW Ohio Warblers and More Workshop :

    Northern Parula
    Yellow Warbler
    Chestnut-sided Warbler
    Magnolia Warbler
    Black-throated Green Warbler
    Black-throated Blue Warbler
    Cape May Warbler
    Yellow-rumped Warbler
    Blackburnian Warbler
    Palm Warbler
    Bay-breasted Warbler
    Blackpoll Warbler
    Black and White Warbler
    American Redstart
    Prothonotary Warbler
    Common Yellowthroat
    Wilson’s Warbler
    Canada Warbler
    Warbling Vireo
    Hermit Thrush
    Swainson’s Thrush
    Baltimore Oriole
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Photographing songbirds at migrant traps is largely weather dependent.  A variety of the below backup subjects will be available in the event the weather does not cooperate:


    Canada Goose Goslings
    American Goldfinch
    House Finch
    Blue Jay
    Red-bellied Woodpecker
    Tree Swallow
    Eastern Bluebird
    Orchard Oriole
    Killdeer (maybe on nest or with chicks)
    American Woodcock
    Sedge Wren
    Marsh Wren
    Eastern Screech Owl


A detailed Itinerary will be provided upon further request or upon confirming a reservation.  Do communicate any specific wishes or goals you may have.  The timing of your workshop along with local weather patterns will determine what species and locations are most readily accessible.


Leader:  Brian Zwiebel