Birding outdated reports through 2005 of miscellaneous birding trips to other Ohio counties, in alphabetical order:
Allen County 11/4/2001Lima's Metzger Reservoir was destined to be the last and best spot of the day. I spent far too much time at Indian Lake searching for that other bird. Dan Sanders on the Envirolink OhioBirds list does a much better job at listing the birds there, since I certainly didn't take the time to COUNT them (thanks, Mr Sanders): "... there were 2 RED-NECKED GREBES present as well as a female BLACK SCOTER. Other waterfowl species seen were:- Ruddy Duck, 318- Ring-necked Duck, 26- Hooded Merganser, 5- Redhead Duck, 6- Lesser Scaup, l- Mallard Duck, 5- Green-wing Teal, 3- American Coot, 7- Pied-billed Grebe, 2" 3/16/02 Enroute home, we stopped by the Lima Reservoirs, just off I75. Oddly enough Ferguson, Lima, and Lost Creek Reservoirs had no birds, while Metzger Reservoir had tons. We didn't stop to count, but there were roughly 100 Lesser Scaup, 50 Coots, 50 Ruddy Ducks, 10 Redheads, 3 RedBreasted Mergansers and a few gulls that we could readily see as we looked into the setting sun. Just before the Bluelick exit off I75 were a single Mute Swan and a single Lesser Scaup in the pond by the freeway. Ashtabula County 12/2/2000 A birding expedition from Holden Arboretum in Kirtland OH near Western Cleveland and Conneaut was a great time, if not a resounding success with 2 lifebirds for me: LONG-TAILED DUCK, 2PURPLE SANDPIPER Of course, there were lots of other "normal" birds, including the 4 expected gulls (RingBilled,Herring,Great BlackBacked, and Bonapartes'), ducks (Mallards, Canadas, Red-Throated Mergansers by the hundreds, Common Goldeneye, Ruddys and Scaup by the tens, maybe 10 Horned Grebes, 2 Pied-Billed Grebes, a Common Merganser), Snow Buntings, Harrier, Red-Tailed Hawk, Kestrel, etc. The rare birds were at Conneaut. Clermont County
7/16/05 Sat Clermont County East Fork State Park Bruce Heater and I left Sherwood in a downpour, but the skies again cleared and we had pleasant driving conditions for most of the 225 miles to our destination. Upon our arrival we ignored almost everything (gulls, martins, swallows) concentrating instead on a BLACK TERN not far off shore and another tern making his FIRST OHIO VISIT EVER!!:
There were about 8 other birders there, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck Tirone and Neil Cabe for pointing out the bird to us, as well as to Donald Morse Jr for finding the bird on July 13! Columbiana County 10/9/05 Sun Columbiana County Damascus I was priviliged to see one of that amazing pair of BLAcK-BiLLED MaGPiESthanks to the extreme and kind guidance of Damascus birders-extraordinaire Bob and Denise Lane (they have put in a lot of work and time helping people like me see the magpies since they first showed up August 28). No need for the scope! Cuyahoga County 12/7/2001 I could've stayed and waited to get photos and video of the brown-headed nuthatch at Geauga County, but I thought with all the people there this bird had already been well-documented with photos far beyond my capability, so I opted to head over to Rocky River where there had been tantalizing reports of FIVEPOMARINE JAEGERAlthough there was a black spot far out amidst a flock of gulls, I couldn't definitely say it was a jaeger at all. I scoped and scoped hoping it would quit merely bobbing up and down on the waves and exhibit some jaeger- or unjaeger-like behavior but alas, I spent too much time watching the dozen Bufflehead, the Mallards, the hundreds of RIngBilled/Bonaparte's Gulls, and still just the black bobbing bird. On to Bradstreet Landing where the Gulls were much closer to shore and even more numerous. Here a Great Black-Backed Gull joined in, but still no jaeger. 3/23/02 The site where E 72nd St deadends at the lake (called Gordon Park, Inter City Yacht Club, and Cleveland Lakefront State Park in various posts to Ohiobirds@Envirolink) was the real action spot, however. Some have estimated 5000 Bonaparte's Gulls, and over 1000 each of RingBilled and Herring Gulls there. We saw no black-backed gulls and scoured the area for hours looking unsuccessfully for common black-headed gulls but this was all easily worth it, since constantly appearing and disappearing wereLiTTLe GuLLsTWO SNIPE flew out, mixing with the gulls. While I scoured the marina for the missing rarity, Joe scanned the lake, finding a THAYER'S and an ICELAND GULL about 4pm after he'd searched all day for them. 11/9/2 Joe Hildreth and I then toured Cleveland today finding BLACK SCOTER, SURF SCOTER and WHITE-WINGED SCOTER all in the same place with GREAT BLACKBACKED GULLS among Herring/RingBilled/Bonapartes, Mallards, Bufflehead, Scaup etc at Rocky River Park. (aves.net/birdnews listed numbers of these scoters as : "Bradstreet Landing: 28 Surf, 6 Black; Rocky River Park: 25 Surf, 12 White-winged, 41 Black, another 50+ unid. scoter) Lakeside Park at E 72nd An escaped Red Bishop, two RufousSided Towhees, a Hermit Thrush, a Swainson's Thrush, an Eastern Phoebe, a few WhiteThroated Sparrows, and lots of Song Sparrows entertained me while I waited for the appearance of the true star: Say's Phoebe. Wow. 1989, 1998 were the only other two times this bird has been seen in Ohio. And now two were reported this week! So I headed down to Holmes County Fredericksburg. What a contrast. Downtown busy Cleveland to bucolic rolling hills in Amish country. But this say's didn't show up today. Defiance County has its own page so just click here. There are also pages for Independence Dam State Park and Oxbow Lake Wildlife Area and my hometown of Sherwood and my feeders there, all also in Defiance county. Erie County1/27/01 My very first trip to Castalia left me in awe. In the center of this small town is a small pond that is filled with ducks: Hundreds of Canada Geese, Mallards, and Black Ducks mostly, of course, but a few American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Coot, Shoveler, RingNecked Duck, and even a single male Pintail. There were also a few mallard crosses, and Chinese geese. Best of all was a female LongTailed Duck. 7/30/2001 Left immediately after work for Medusa Marsh between Port Clinton and Sandusky, an effort rewarded with great returns. Nice birds were CATTLE EGRETS, GREAT BLACKBACKED GULLS, BLACK TERN, STILT SANDPIPERS, 4 FEMALE HOODED MERGANSERS, 5 AMERICAN AVOCETS, FORSTER'S TERNS, CASPIAN TERNS, Bonaparte's Gulls, DoubleCrested Cormorants, Snowy Egret, as well as the now-common-to-me Semipalmated Plovers, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Solitary/Spotted/Semipalmated/Least Sandpipers, ShortBilled Dowitchers, and others I'm sure I've forgotten. Oh yes:WHIMBREL with amazingly close and long views!!!!!! 11/2001Disappointed, I decided to head to Huron to see the Lighthouse, the RingBilled and Herring Gulls, the Forster's Terns, a single Great BlackBacked Gull and a single
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL 12/7/2001 There were at least a dozen Great Black-Backed Gulls (always a treat for us inland landbound birders) but also a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL and the RED PHALAROPE as well. I missed the snowy owl reported here too, however.. I didn't stay too long at Sheldon's Marsh, but even with the sun in my eyes I could see many American Wigeon, Gadwall, and Mallards. There were also at least a dozen Mute Swans, and a few Pintails. Fascinating behavior by a hundred Bonaparte's Gulls across the road at the marina, where they circled and then splashed into the shallow inlet, close to the car, to have themselves videotaped. I missed the snowy owl reported here too, however. I then passed over the Sandusky Bay Bridge a couple times looking for the snowy owl reported here, but alas could not locate the creature-- only lots of cormorants and another Great BlackBacked on one of the lampposts. 3/23/2 TWENTY-ONE HORNED GREBES mixed with over 150 Scaup at Huron, where once again there were no black-backed gulls. Bayview's Marsh was dark but could easily see many Gadwall, Northern Shovelers and Mute Swans amidst the other dark forms <grin>. An adult Bald Eagle flew over the Turnpike at Huron River. Joe kept a list for the day, but I didn't write anything down so may be missing some details. The details I do remember, however, sum to an extremely satisfying day of birding (in spite of the snowy wintry windy weather's contrast with last week's warm spring weather in Cincinatti!). Franklin County10/22/2000 Birded with David Allen Sibley(!) at Columbus' Blendon Woods Metropark after the booksigning. Nothing really unusual however: 500+ DC Cormorants, GreenWing Teal, Gadwall, Wood Duck, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Cedar Waxwings, Bluebirds, oh yeah-- Carolina Chickadees instead of our Black-Capped Chickadees. Fulton County has its own page so click here to view it. Geauga County 12/7/2001 I write this several days after the fact, but the great feeling still lingers from this fantastic friday I took off from work to see the BROWN-HeADED NUTHATCH at South Russell, Ohio, on the east side of Cleveland. Although I left home (excellent directions on Vic Fazio's site aves.net) with hopes of arriving at 9:30am, the thick fog from Defiance to Fremont had me pulling into the last parking space at 10:50am. My heart sank even further as I saw guys with a tree-branch chipping machine out front, making all kinds of racket. BUT immediately upon walking to the backyard I had clear full long looks at this spectacular bird, as it flew from the big oak in the backyard, to the feeder, to a small lilac-like shrub, and back, until finally it zoomed over the house and across the road. The Gilberts were exuberant, as well, telling us the history as well as having us sign a notebook much like the one at the Harris' Sparrow location earlier this year. She was putting an asterick beside the names of all the people who came and actually saw the bird, so if you saw the bird earlier and have an easy way to communicate with the Gilberts, you might want to let them know so they can update their list. It had been breathtaking, but not enough time to take out any cameras or even the scope. I could've stayed and waited to get photos and video but I thought with all the people there this bird had already been well-documented with photos far beyond my capability, so I opted to head over to Rocky River where there had been tantalizing reports of FIVE POMARINE JAEGERS Hamilton County2/23/02 Headed out to Cincinatti's Spring Grove Cemetery to see the merlin (I know-- what'd I expect? It hadn't been reported since Valentine's Day, but what the heck. I was gonna be in the area anyway, and it's the first day i've had available, might as well check and see, right?). Was pleased to see that spring was advancing-- what a contrast between north and south Ohio! There were Snowdrops finishing their bloom, Yellow Winter Aconite and Yellow Forsythia and Yellow Witch Hazel in bloom, Pansies put out by the Cemetery! and Robins everywhere! I haven't seen a Robin since the Goll Woods Christmas Count up in my neck of the woods! Plus here was very tame YellowBellied Sapsucker, MOCKINGBIRDS (everywhere in the cemetery! they're uncommon in Defiance County!) YellowRumped Warbler, Mute Swan, Mallards, etc. but the only hawks I could see were a pair of low-flying RedTails. The RedWInged Blackbirds and Grackles increased geometrically as I travelled south too. Ah well. Maybe later for the merlin... 3/16/02 We scoured Spring Grove Cemetery there for at least two hours, maybe three, cheered by the sighting of a Kestrel, then a PILEATED WOODPECKER, tons of Mockingbirds (which us northern-Staters really appreciate), Mallards, Canada Geese and a pair of Wood Ducks with the Mute Swan in the front pond, Star Magnolias, Pink Crabapples, big Crocuses, Daffodils (even a patch of Tete-a-Tete) in bloom, green grass everywhere, but finally the object of our search, (viewed from the high white-lined road near Section 115 in the same horizontal plane as the bird in a tall tree in Section 125-- eye-to-eye as it were):MERLiNMany thanks to Lori Brumbaugh of Cincinatti for her constant updates to Ohiobirds@Envirolink, for my 369th lifebird (and 181st for Joe)! Unfortunately we had to pass up the always excellent Fort Wayne Stockbridge Audubon Society outing to Lake Michigan to get this great bird. Hancock County 2/19/01 Findlay had Bluebirds, Larks, RedTailed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Kestrels, a Screech Owl, a VARIED THRUSH and a NORTHERN SHRIKE. 3/16/02Met Joe at Findlay on time, and we hadn't yet driven past the rest area south of Findlay on I75 when Joe spotted a blue Snow Goose in the pond there! Not too far down the road, a large hawk was hovering over the grassy roadside, kestrel-like but not very redtail-like-- could it have been a RoughLegged Hawk? As we neared Findlay once again, Joe could see the blue Snow Goose still in the pond near the rest area. We said our good-byes and headed for home in separate directions. A Great Horned Owl flew across State Route 15 near the new farm park between Findlay and Ottawa. 10/7/3 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Received these reports from Betty Hardesty and friends just now: "Yesterday (8 am) we ( the reservoir crew of five - Kathy, Sue, Anna, Jill and I) saw two Franklin's gulls, first winter birds, on the north dike of Findlay reservoir No. 1, along with 500 plus ringbills and 16 herring gulls, and one Bonaparte's." --Bill Whan10/12/3 From OhioBirds@Envirolink:" I saw three first-winter Franklin's Gulls this morning on the central dike at Findlay Reservoir at about 10:30. They were loafing with several hundred Ring-billed & Herring Gulls. Along with them, I also saw at the reservoir. 2 Surf Scoters (females), 25 Ruddy Ducks,18 Golden Plovers,15 Bonaparte's Gulls, 6 Caspian Terns (4 adults, 2 immatures),1 Osprey, 1 Bald eagle (adult) --Jeff Buecking Fenton, MI" 3/27/04Findlay Reservoir My first visit here, and me without my scope! Huge, with at least 10 Common Loons, 3 Horned Grebes, 6 Hooded Mergansers, 6 RingBilled Gulls, lotsa Coots, lotsa RedBreasted Mergansers, just from one stop. Many more too far away for just binoculars.4/2/5 Litzenberger Farm COLD, RAINY, VERY WINDY and very dumb to go looking for skunk cabbage here-- stayed for hours and saw only 2 birds: a Downy Woodpecker and a Song Sparrow! 10/5/05 The two dark plegadis ibis were still in the drainage pond behind Napoleon's Wal-mart on Route 24. Although I approached carefully and cautiously (not even scaring the hundred or so Canada Geese) they instantly flew to the pond immediately west, visible only from notorious and sometimes-deadly US 24. I stopped on the roadside long enough to get some video nevertheless. there was a strange goose hanging out with the Canadas. This was the same goose seen here in July of 2003 Henry County 5/5/01 Napoleon OH exit pond--Great Egret! They aren't often over here much, but Crane Creek has tons of them. 12/6/2001At Henry County's Napoleon, however, were about 50 Canada Geese and 4 Blue, 4 adult White and 4 juvenile White SNOW GEESE (easy and good viewing from westbound US 24, at an "overpass pond" at State Route 108, since it is not only double-lane here but also has a wide berm with easy pull-off). At M1/CoRd17 in Henry County was a dead Turkey Vulture. 11/19/2 108/24 a Snow Goose amidst the 25 or so Canada Geese.12/5/2 SR108/US 24 pond was empty (unusual); a Cooper's Hawk was perched on a wire fence at M1/17 however, for prolonged looks, not minding while I assembled the scope. 11/24/2 Joe Hildreth reports no birds at Delta or Wauseon Reservoirs (just decoys) but he did see SNOW GEESE flying with Canadas at the Maumee near Napoleon. He saw a white mixed-breed goose with Canadas at 24/108. 3/8/3 Napoleon Returning Killdeer distract me during a funeral at Forest Hill Cemetery Hill. 3/20/3 30 Bonaparte's Gulls very white flying against the black wall of an approaching storm, US24 near 17c. 7/26/3 Napoleon Walmart Lots of Mallards and Mallard ducklings in the pond behind, with a few (under 50) Canada Geese, one of which was white-banded 5K3K. Bruce H. reported seeing a BLACK SWAN here earlier today-- didn't find that but did find an odd Canada/Greylag (?) cross, large with orange bill and feet, white fronted with large white cheek. White under tail (like a Canada) and white breast.
7/29/3 Napoleon Walmart 5K3K remains with the odd Canada/Greylag cross. 10/4/3 US24/SR108 Not even geese! Just a Great Blue Heron! 11/7/2003 US24/SR108 5 Mallards and a few Canada Geese-- must be a good day to migrate <grin>. 3/17/4 1ndependence Dam, east end One Bald Eagle was in the nest, while the other Eagle was in a tree on the County Road Z side of the river. Underneath the nest were 16 Wild Turkeys in the open, one Tom in great display, with others in the brush on the river's edge. The west end of the park was empty. CoRd O/CoRd 12 Cooper's Hawk SR424/Co Rd N Sharpie! 4/4/4 SR108/US24 50 Canada Geese and a single female Bufflehead. 4/20/4 Texas John H. and Marc P. think a Bald Eagle pair has built a nest in the first sycamore east of the viaduct after the US24/US 6 split, near the Great Blue heronry! 12/15/4 Hamler After work followed up unsuccessfully on a post on Ohio-Birds@Envirolink: "Had a call from a man in Henry County this morning who was very excited about an ALBINO FEMALE HOUSE SPARROW that is coming to his bird feeder. Wondered how often they are sighted or if anyone would want to come and take a picture of it. Said anyone is welcome to come and check it out. So I am passing along the info to anyone who might be interested. HIs name is Gary Schumaker and his phone is 419-274-8960. He doesn't have email. --Mary L. Warren, ODNR-Division of Wildlife Naturalist, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area" Highland County 8/31/2 Joe Hildreth and I set out at 9am this morning in successful pursuit of the four Roseate Spoonbills
now at Rocky Fork State Park near Hillsboro OH. Remarkably, while this is only the SECOND time this bird has been documented in Ohio, the FIRST time was in 1986, right here in Defiance County!!!! I lived here at that time and was totally unaware of its presence! Likewise, thise spoonbills were around quite some time quite undetected. The development of websites like aves.net and listserves like Ohiobirds@Envirolink are helping to eliminate these information gaps.
Lake County Then on to Holden Arboretum at Kirtland. Bruce and I found a very cooperativeTOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE 11/9/2LONG-TAILED DUCKat Eastlake was amazing, as was the sheer number of Bonapartes Gulls! I don't know how anyone found a california gull amidst all the zillions! Best bird, however, stood out amidst the other birds (Horned Grebes, Scaup, Gulls, SNOW BUNTINGS-- a flock flew in suddenly and literally flew to the right and left and above me, so close I don't know how they missed me!) at Fairport Harbor:COMMON EiD ER
and the lighthouses alone were worth the paltry 214-mile drive.
11/30/2 Cleveland In spite of the weather predictions, I ventured out to find only wet highway all the way to Mentor Beach Park. Two Holmes County birders were there (didn't ask permission to print their names), and they helped to reassure me that we were looking at every one of the birds (mostly RedBreasted Mergansers) bobbing out on the high seas, in spite of fantastic winds, hard-chunked sleet and snow. It's just not there. After about an hour, ready to throw in the towel, the famous [discoverer of the King Eider] pulled up and told us that the bird had been relocated just down 283W a few miles at Mentor Marsh. I pulled in and walked the mile trail, to find 3 walkers at trail's end: "See any birders? See a blue building? See any unusual birds?" I knew I must have misunderstood the directions, so I walked back, running into the Holmes County birders again. They had come up empty and were walking the trail in last desperation. We went down to the lakeshore again, watched the terrible temptestuous seas bounce the nonchalant birds around again, not finding the special one. Finally they bid me adieu, and I looked until I just couldn't look anymore. About halfway back to the car, I ran into a trio of guys in such good spirits I couldn't resist following them back to the shore, just in case the bird should show. After awhile I had resigned myself to the fact that this was gonna be one of those times, but again enroute back to the car about eight Amish guys in such good spirits intercepted me, so I followed them along the shore for awhile. They mentioned a new clue given them: it was opposite a willow! Well, I had passed that willow a couple times, so we went there, but... then one of them exclaimed he had it. Turns out, I had not been looking for a duck this dark. It was great (in spite of the fact that there was no chance for taking pictures or video, with the awful wind and weather) to finally after over 3 hours of searching find among all those mergansers the loneKing Eider The Common Eider was still there, but I was so warm in the car I could not get myself to stop at 72nd to see the reported kittiwake it was so cold and windy and snowy and at 3:30 pretty darn dark. At home, looking at the guides, I saw that the new National Geographic listed the Common Eider as "casual" on the Great Lakes, with the King listed as "very rare" on the Great Lakes, in spite of the fact that this Common Eider was only the second Ohio bird. Peterjohn writes however "Since the late 1940s, King Eiders have been casual fall migrants along Lake Erie...King Eiders have been observed more frequently in recent years... Since 1980, there have been one to four sightings annually but none in 1986." Where we saw the bird: at the sign that says Shore Walk Loop on the Mentor Marsh Trail, go down to the shore, walk to the willow nearest the breakers, and voila. Or walk the opposite direction from the parking lot to the breakers near the marina, then again walk to the nearest willow, and voila. I sure wish someone had shared these simple directions with me, and I had my birder's radio with me, tuned to 11-22, but found no one on. My adventure could've easily turned out much worse, all that distance and weather with no reward. ((Posted on Ohio-Birds@Envirolink:) "Up at 3:30 a.m. (Saturday, November 30) to pick up five Amish Holmes County birders for a day of birding at the lake. Arrive at 7:39 a.m. at Mentor Beach Park to look for the King Eider. After more than thirty minutes of vigorous searching, we conclude that it isn't there. We decide to make for the Mew Gull Marina to look for the grounded Common Eider. As I lift my spotting scope into the van, I see that the lens cap is missing. I retrace my steps all over the park to look for it. I finally give it up for lost and return to the van, only to find the lens cap lying right beside the van. The guys spend lots of time chatting with Larry Rosche and soaking up views of the Common Eider that is very accomodating this morning. Since I had equally accomodating views three weeks ago, I stay in the van and take some obligatory looks at the eider, but mostly scan the horizon for some other treat in an attempt to atone for the time lost looking for the missing lens cap. No luck. Perry Yoder, the dairy farmer who needs to be home at 5:30 to do chores, scans the breakwall and sees a couple of birders near the lighthouse. "If those guys stay out there long enough, they are bound to see something good," he says. Back in the van, the guys tell me that Larry told them that he will help us get the King Eider. I am surprised at the boldness. The guys suggest that I return to Mentor Beach Park. Even though we have temporarily lost Larry, Perry is sure that he plans to meet us there to find the eider. We get to the park and find neither the eider nor Larry. We are about to give up and head over to East 72nd, when who should pull up but Larry Rosche. He tells us of a pair of Purple Sandpipers at Headlands. Purple Sandpipers are always a good find, and would even be lifers for two of our group, so we decide to return east. In the parking lot we meet Haans Petruschke, who looks a lot like one of the birders we had seen on the breakwall. He tells us that he didn't see sandpipers, but that he did see a gannet. Perry has proved that he is a worthy prophet; if only we could say the same for Larry Rosche. I forge ahead of the five Amish birders, because I am like a warbler birding with a flock of vireos (concept not original with me). I have benefited from birding with the Amish far more than they have benefited birding with me, but sometimes they stand so long in one spot that I want to turn somersaults. Before I could even get out onto the breakwall I see a pair of Purple Sandpipers around a piece of driftwood right in front of me. By the time the others catch up to me the sandpipers have flown further down the breakwall. Everyone gets a look at them, although much more distantly than when I had first seen them. We give thanks for Larry Rosche. We are greeted by a heavy snow squall at Gordon Park. While the guys jump out of the van, I stay inside, ostensibly to eat a sandwich but really to make them do the work of finding the Eared Grebe for me. By the time I finish off the sandwich and gather the nerve to face the elements, I find that they had already found the grebe and have moved on to checking gulls. I search and search for the grebe, but all I can find are the horned kind. I finally quit looking when Emery Yoder finds it in his scope, and I take a look. The five decide to walk west to look for the kittiwake. I drive over to the park to wait for them. While sitting the van, a car pulls up and parks beside me. A young man, who probably subscribes to this list but whose name I don't know, asked me if I was with the group of birders. I didn't have to ask which ones; I just said that I was. He said that the kittiwake was easily visible from the bridge. I thanked him and returned to Gordon Park to tell the others, except that I couldn't find them. Apparently they were hunkered down somewhere. I decided to walk out onto the bridge by myself. I stood there for a long time not seeing the kittiwake and wondering if I was as big of an idiot as I must appear to passerby. I was about to return to the van and resume searching for my lost birding friends, when lo and behold, I see Larry's vehicle pull into the lot and out jump five Amish birders. They with Larry walk out to the bridge. Perry promptly informs me that Larry has relocated the King Eider! I inform them that I have been standing for a long time on the bridge and have yet to see the kittiwake. "Don't worry," one of them says, "Larry's here. He will get it for us pretty soon." Actually it is Tim Schrock who suddenly yells, "There it is. There it is." And there it is, a Black-legged Kittiwake right in front of us at eye level. At one point it hovers briefly just beyond arm's reach. Even though Larry wasn't the first to see it, we credit his mere presence as a contributing factor. After receiving a few more directions from Larry we head back to Mentor to look for the eider. We turn onto Harbor St., drive to the end, park at the building, and walk the long path to the lake. After some searching to the east, we locate the King Eider bobbing in the surf. Larry Rosche becomes even more of a legend! We arrive at Perry Yoder's farm at 5:24, with six minutes to spare. The conditions by the lake today were truly miserable. But the unexpected appearance of Santa Claus Rosche turned this into a delightful day of Lake Erie birding.--Gabe Hostetler, Kidron (Whew! I didn't expect to be this long-winded.)" My day there could have easily turned out like Sam Corbo's who drove all the way from Cincinatti: " Hey, I didn't get to Mentor Beach Park until about 12:15. By then, the winds coming off the lake were pretty strong, making viewing difficult. No King Eider was seen, but I guess it had moved on to another location anyways. The next stop was Fairport Harbor. Again, the winds made viewing very difficult. Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls, but no Eider. A pair of Lesser Scaup and a lone Horned Grebe were the only waterfowl present. Unfortunately, we whiffed on the target birds and did not make it to 72nd for the Eared Grebe and gulls. But, I would like to thank everyone for giving me directions and tips to getting to all of those locations. Thanks,--Sam Corbo Cincinnati, OH" Logan County 11/4/2001 With sabine's gull being reported all around me (at Lake County, at Ann Arbor and at Indian Lake), I chose to check the closest spot for this potential life bird today. Bad idea. Indian Lake (my first visit there) was also a disappointment with only Coots, DC Cormorants, Mallards, RingBilled and Bonaparte's Gulls. I also discovered I had missed a cattle egret on SR33 at Wapakoneta. Such a bad birding day, after a wonderful birding day yesterday! At least I saw this really cool covered bridge while I was at Indian Lake. Lucas County has its own page, so click here to see it Mahoning County 8/28/05 Damascus Almost 500 miles, and eight hours of driving today in a vain search for the reported blackbilled magpies, not seen in Ohio for almost 20 years.. Mercer County 10/31/2000 Unsuccessful attempt at the Dovekie reported at Grand Lake St Mary's near Celina. Only Bonaparte's Gulls. 11/4/2001Grand Lake St Mary's I only checked the south and east end, finding very little (RingBilled Gulls, Killdeer, Canada Geese and a single Dunlin) and also finding I didn't go far enough north on the east end since a franklin's gull was found today at the far northeast corner! 4/25/3 OhioBirds@Envirolink had a report of "...a Franklin's gull, still retaining a distinct pink blush on its breast, at the Grand Lake St. Marys fish hatchery yesterday afternoon..." so I decided to go down for a glimpse. I arrive in Celina Mercer County and explored the whole south of Grand Lake St Marys, as well as the East side park, as well as the Hatchery. I find very few gulls period, all RIngBilled and Herring. I do see Loons and Cormorants and Solitary Sandpipers and Greater Yellowlegs and another Osprey carrying a huge fish in their weird way, but no franklin's. I had never been to the West side, but I found a barebones park with parking spaces and lakefront and that 's about it. PLUS there were lots of gulls, mostly Herring and RingBilled but also 2 first-of-season-for-me CASPIAN TERNS with about 50 Bonaparte's Gulls. All of the Bonaparte's were in extreme winter plumage, except for one, that was in almost full breeding plumage-- but wait! That one also has a very distinct pink blush to the breast, just like the email promised! The scope showed a black bill instead of a red one though-- could it be that the head color changes first, and the bill stays winter-black for awhile?!! The nape of the neck is clear and white-- just as a Franklin's should be. I check for primary spots, but the primaries were missing! Only white showed. It was far enough out I couldn't really tell for sure. The bill seemed to glint red sometimes. Gradually all the Bonaparte's departed, and only this bird remained. Was this a sign that it was a Franklin's and so didn't feel compelled to leave with the Bonies? I was so frustrated. It would only show me this one side, so I couldn't see the primaries on the other side, and the breast was so very PINK! I waited hours, and finally the bird was within 10-20 feet! I could clearly see everything, but also nothing. Nothing conclusive. Worse than conclusive. The pink breast was probably the result of a gunshot or other wound on the bird's left side, right where the wing joined the body, perhaps also explaining the missing primaries. The red glint of the bill was actual blood from his constant pecking at the wound. What happened next I can only attribute to sheer exhaustion of my entire store of patience. After all, it was now 7:45 and darkness was falling! That's right, I opened the car door knowing full well that the bird would flush, I would finally see it in flight, and know once and for all what kind of gull it was. Ottawa County has it's own page so click here to see it. Paulding County has it's own page so click here to see it. Montgomery County 4/12/3 6 members of Defiance's Black Swamp Audubon Society went to Audubon's Aullwood Center at Dayton OH. Great spring day, with a tour led by delightful Cara Kelly. BIrds seen included YELLOWTHROATED WARBLER, BARRED OWL, my first Phoebe, Field, and WhiteThroated Sparrows of the season. Carolina Chickadees were a nice change as well. Spring wildflowers (as well as domestic flowers) were far ahead of Defiance County: Bloodroot,I've never seen Virginia Bluebells in Defiance County, especially white ones. Our leader Jon Diller, with our tour guide Cara Kelly, as well as Millie and Ken and Dean and Don and I They had tons of great mounts and displays including LIVE examples of all three of Ohio's poisonous snakes! The Copperhead, the Timber Rattlesnake, and the Massasauga.Muskingum County
2/28/4 we decided to spend in pursuit of the Legend of the prairie falcon near the Wilds. Two Tundra Swans, tons of ShortEared Owls, RoughLegged Hawks , Redtails and Harriers and Kestrels and Meadowlarks (the favorite prey of our target bird), as well as first-of-the-spring Killdeer, and Turkey Vultures. Great looks at the Great Horned Owl on its nest, of Skunk , Deer and 2 Coyotes, but alas, no prairie falcon. Steve Landes, aka "the daredevil," almost got me a look shortly after he found it, by taking me down the next road after Prouty-- that was an experience! Thanks, Steve, for trying to help!12/4/4 The Wilds Two does were stopping traffic in beautiful downtown Zanesville, so I knew the day was going to be unusual. Hunters were everywhere and so were deer. I hope they avoided shooting the MUSK OXEN, the Bison, and a huge pair of odd yellow deer. Lots of RoughLegged Hawks, but best of all (thanks to the great help of Troy S.)Prairie FALcon Putnam County5/24/4 Word of two eaglets in this new nest! 5/9/5 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Mother's day provided an opportunity to visit the family's CRP wetland (~4 acres), surrounding successional woods (~5 acres), associated oldfield and farmland...Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted/Semipalmated/Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Baltimore Oriole, Warbling Vireo, Yellow/Yellow-rumped/Palm Warblers, Horned Lark, Savannah/Song/Chipping Sparrows, Cardinal, Tree/Rough-winged/Barn Swallows, Red winged Blackbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Goldfinch, Robin, Grackle. This area is a couple of miles northeast of Leipsic, OH.--Ryan Schroeder, Dublin, OH" 5/29/5 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "This evening I had a male Wilson's Phalarope on a small wetland in northeastern Putnam Co near Leipsic. Other shorebirds present included: semipalmated sandpiper, semipalmated plover, spotted sandpipers and killdeer. --Ryan Schroeder, Dublin, OH" Richland County 10/5/3 Clear Fork Reservoir, Picnic Areas 2 & 3 Thanks to a timely OhioBirds@Envirolink email by Su Snyder for John Herman, I was outside on a beautiful fall day greeted by all the "C's:" Cormorants, Cardinals, Chickadees, Catbirds, Crows, Canada Geese (only about 50, with a Peking duck), and a Kingfisher (whoops! hard C sound though...), but had to push past them to examine the real subjects of my trip, the Gulls: amidst over 100 Bonaparte's and under 75 RingBilled Gulls were twoFRANKLIN'S GULLSThey were easy to spot with their darker grey bodies, and being the only two birds with hoods, but to be sure I watched them bathe and then fly, noting the underwings, wingtips, tail with a black bar not extending to the edges, and finally the black feet as they rose, definitely distinguishing them from the Bonies. Fantastic viewing. Summit County 3/23/02 Sieberling Naturealm near Akron was the site for a most unusual trio of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS-- a male, a female and an immature male feeding ON THE GROUND FIVE FEET AWAY! Equally amazing is that I would leave my camera batteries at home in their charger, and so I came away with ZERO pictures <grimace>. Also there was the first Cedar Waxwing I've seen in a very long time. We haven't seen these birds since before the Christmas Count last year. Tuscawaras County 7/16/3 SugarCreek A perfect day in so many ways!: The weather was cool with perfect clouds in a perfect blue sky, lots of delicious food, and at sunset, those white, white clouds turned baby-girl pink against the baby-boy-blue sky. It was at this time that there emerged the too-fantastic-to-be-true BaRn OwL as well as the sounds of the young owlets calling from the barn. The company, too, was extremely pleasant. Van Wert County 3/11/01 Shopping in Delphos OH today, so stopped off at the Van Wert Reservoir to find 204 Scaup/Ringneck (about evenly divided), 3 Coots, 2 Killdeer and a Ruddy Duck. My first Killdeer was just outside of Delphos, at the 5th Street exit of US 30. When I arrived back home an e-mail was waiting: This morning (10/28/01) at 8 AM we found an ibis feeding in a harvested cornfield that the recent rains had turned into a small marsh. Got good looks with the scope and some digital and film pics. Wings were iridescent green, legs were brown to gray. neck and head were brown. There were no white facial markings that we could see. The eye appeared dark, not red, but this was a tough call. The bill looked uniform gray-blue. We initially were convinced it was a glossy, but the more we read about distinguishing it from white-faced, the less sure we are. The bird was still there when I drove back 3 hours later. It was 3.1 miles south of the VW hospital off of Rt 127, west on Wren-Landeck Rd. It was in a field 0.4 miles from the 127 intersection. -Jean & John Perchalski (firstname.lastname@example.org) Van Wert, Ohio. So I rushed to Van Wert before darkness could set in, and saw the (well, I couldn't make out a red eye) GLOSSY IBIS Enroute home, I checked the Van Wert Reservoir (20 Ruddys and a Redhead) and the Paulding Reservoir (250 Canada Geese, 3 RedBreasted Mergansers and a pair of Lesser Scaup) as darkness fell. An excellent picture of this very same bird by its discoverer, John Perchalski of Van Wert, is visible at aves.net11/4/01Van Wert Reservoir at least had a Ruddy Duck and my first 2 Common Loons of the season. 4/6/3 Jean & John Perchalski of Van Wert Ohio report on OhioBirds@Envirolink: " At the VW Reservoir & Hiestand Woods: Common Loon 2, Canada Geese 3, Great blue heron 1, Bufflehead 2, Hooded merganser 2, Red-breasted merg 5, Nor. Shoveler (male) 1, Ring-necked duck 3, Ruddy Duck 21, Lesser Scaup 18, Blue-winged Teal 20, Wood Duck 2 (in Town Creek next to the woods), Killdeer 8, Ring-billed Gull 8, Cooper's Hawk 1, Eastern Phoebe 1, Tree Swallows (many, feeding just above the water), Brown Creeper 1, Gold-crowned Kinglet (none today, but 25-30 on 4/2/03), Carolina Chickadee 2 (the Black-caps have long gone). 4/16/3 From Ohiobirds@Envirolink: "Walked for about 45 min along the edge of Hiestand Woods bordering Town Creek at noontime today. The dutchman's breeches are blooming everywhere. A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers and a pair of Wood Ducks are investigating tree cavities. Two Flickers remained, but no sign of the hairy woodpecker from last weekend. Two Black-and -White Warblers and two Brown Thrashers were present for the first time this year. The number of YellowRumped Warblers has increased to 6 from the single one we noted 4 days ago. Several Brown Creepers were still present, as were Juncos. The year's first Hermit Thrush put in an appearance. The numbers of Cowbirds has increased from a single male to a couple small flocks, all chirping encouragement to the nest-building species. A pair of Cooper's Hawks are building a nest near the central footpath. (Keep your chihuahua on a short leash.) Whitethroated Sparrows, Gold- and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Song and Chipping Sparrows. Ducks are mostly Ruddies, a few Scaup sp. and RedBreasted Mergansers on the reservoirs. The ponds are showing a lot of mud-flats but as yet no shorebirds. The day was beautiful, and it beat catching up on the paperwork backlog by a mile!-Jean and John Perchalski " 4/25/3 Van Wert Reservoir I find my first OSPREY and CHIMNEY SWIFTS of the season, with little else except Swallows (Tree, Barn, Martin). 4/28/3 Jean & John Perchalski on OhioBIrds@Envirolink" A full house today at noontime: 4 warblers (palm, blue-winged, ovenbird and numerous yellow-rumped) and 3 vireos (blue-headed, white-eyed and warbling). The blue-winged warbler is our first seen in VW County, making a county total of 187 species in the nearly 6 years we have been keeping records here. The warbling vireo was in the back yard, singing his heart out. The others were at Hiestand Woods. Also more white-throated sparrows than we have ever seen together here (they were wing-tip to wing-tip, looking like they were doing grid searches, churning up a lot of leaves. Counted 50 and gave up.) Lots more chipping sparrows than usual, too. Still no shorebirds. There have been no ducks on the reservoir for the past three days, but did get to see an osprey catch a fish and head off with it to the east yesterday am. We appear to have at least one pair of nesting wood ducks, maybe two, as well as red-bellied woodpeckers. Also have another ring-necked pheasant wandering around town displaying his spring finery -- but he is nearly tail-less. Weird looking. Last seen behind our office Friday 4/25, where he hung out most of the day, alternating between scratching for seed and chasing squirrels and robins. Still don't know where they are coming from." 5/8/3 John Perchalski on OhioBirds@Envirolink: "...Hiestand Woods, east of VW County Hospital:...Am. Redstart 24, Black-throated blue 12, Black-throated green 3, Blackburnian 2, Blackpoll 2, Canada warbler 1, Chestnut-sided 8, Common Yellowthroat 2, Magnolia 5, Northern parula 1, Northern Waterthrush 1, Palm 5, Yellow 2, Yellow-rumped 1, Scarlet tanager (male) 1(maybe 2), Rose-breasted grosbeak 3..." 8/24/3 Van Wert Reservoir reports on Ohio-Birds: "Over the weekend, the Northwest pond at the reservoir has contained as many as 15 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, six Solitary Sandpipers (is that an oxymoron?), and 5 Pectoral Sandpipers." 9/15/3 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "This AM I had a 30 minutes to kill before going to the office, so I went to check the Reservoirs. The NW pond (the only one with mud flats) held 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Least Sandpiper, 15 Killdeer and a Semipalmated Plover. The south reservoir, which had been absolutely devoid of bird life for most of the summer, held 2 Cormorants, 7 Ruddy Ducks, 3 Pied-Billed Grebes, an Osprey (soaring overhead), and 3 AMERICAN AVOCETS (a female, by her strongly upturned bill, and 2 males) swimming along in the center of the reservoir. The last avocet we've seen in these parts was in July of '99. On returning at lunchtime, the reservoir was empty again. Of course, I was without my camera today. There was also a single Northern Mockingbird sitting quietly on a wire, a pretty uncommon bird for our area."--Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio 10/4/3 Perchalski's on OhioBirds@Envirolink: Went out yesterday AM to Hiestand Woods and the VanWert Reservoir. The most interesting bird, I need help with. Among a group of 4 song sparrows skulking among the cattails along the edge of one of the ponds was a lighter colored sparrow with a mostly white belly and striking orange markings in an almost complete triangle around each side of the face. The median head strip also looked orange, which doesn't fit with anything. The back was brown and tail was long. From comparing Sibley''s, Peterson's, and Kaufman's guides, I'd have to say it was a sharp-tailed sparrow, probably Nelson's (just based on Van Wert being pretty far from the coast). I got to see him at a distance of about 10 yards for 10 minutes before he flew off to the southeast. My only picture is typical of those times when you absolutely need a perfect shot -- a distant, out-of-focus butt shot that shows the white underside, but no view of the face. Bahhh! I went back 3 other times this weekend and have not found the bird again....Otherwise: D-C cormorant1, G-B Heron 1, Canada goose 8, Northern shoveler 4, Scaup sp. (3 females), Turkey vulture 1, Osprey 1, Cooper's hawk 1, Killdeer 5, Greater yellowlegs 1, R-B gull 1, Mourning dove (30+), Chimney swift 8, Belted kingfisher 2, Tree swallow12, R-T hummingbird (at our feeder) 1, Downy woodpecker 2, Hairy Woodpecker 2, Flicker 1,RedBellied Woodpecker1, Eastern Wood-Pewee1, RedWinged Blackbird 5, Blue Jay 40-50, Cowbird 3, Starlings (100's, maybe 1000's), Golden-crowned kinglet 5, W-B Nuthatch 5, B-C chickadee 10, Carolina wren 2, Am robin30-40, Red-eyed vireo 1, Blackpoll warbler 1, Nashville1, Tennessee 1, Yellow-rumped 5, Am goldfinch12, Chipping sparrow1, Song sparrow 4, NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW? 1,White-throated sparrow1, D-E junco 2, House sparrow. Last week we had a small flock of Ruddy ducks for one morning, otherwise, not much duck traffic yet. 10/5/3 Middle Point An Osprey flew along US30. 2/28/4 On Ohio-Birds@Envirolink: "Finally got out to Hiestand Woods this AM, and Spring hopes eternal. Beautiful, sunny day for a change. The reservoirs are still frozen, but 100's of Canada geese are circling, then flying on north. Saw a lone gull (probably ring-billed) high overhead, moving north as well. (Plus two intrepid ice fishermen taking their chances.) Around the ponds (beginning to thaw), the sounds of newly arrived song sparrows were everywhere. Three American tree sparrows were feeding on the ground between the easternmost pond and Town Creek. Common grackles are beginning to arrive - 3 today. In the woods were numerous mourning doves, cardinals, jays and d-e juncos, white-breasted nuthatches, and 1 red-bellied and 3 downy woodpeckers investigating nest holes. All overseen by a great horned owl sitting high in an oak toward the center of the woods. Driving around. also saw the usual robins, horned larks, but no longspurs or snow buntings) in the farm fields. Amer crows are passing through in larger numbers than we usually see. Back home at the feeders, our pair of red-breasted nuthatches continue to entertain us, as well as a Carolina wren that has begun to camp out and sing on a nest box we overlooked during Fall cleanup. I think he spent the winter in our woodpile, because we have seen him about once a week. Jean and John Perchalski Van Wert, Ohio" 3/17/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "At 1:30 PM, the first common loon of the spring migration is swimming around the south reservoir. -- Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert" 3/22/4 Today (Monday, 3/22) there were 4 SURF SCOTERS (2 females, 2 males in full breeding plumage) on the north reservoir (directly behind the hospital). They were present at noon, and still there at 5:30 PM. Also, 12 Lesser Scaup and 2 female Ruddy Ducks. The only other time in the last 6 years I have seen any scoter here was a lone female surf scoter on 11/21/98. Yesterday in our yard, despite high winds all day, were the year's first RubyCrowned Kinglet and a Brown Creeper. (Have not previously seen a kinglet before April 4th.) Last Friday, while driving around VW, Jean saw 3 separate kettles of Turkey Vultures, totaling about 130 to 150 birds. Still have a couple PINE SISKINS and DarkEyed Juncos visiting the feeders.--Jean and John Perchalski Van Wert, Ohio" on OhioBirds@Envirolink. 3/23/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Today no surf scoters, but two Loons on the north reservoir at 5:00 p.m. --Jean and John Perchalski Van Wert, Ohio" 3/25/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Happened to have the afternoon off on the first day of over-60 degree temp, so I spent between 3 and 4:30 PM wandering around the Van Wert reservoirs and Hiestand Woods. Common Loon 2, GreatBlue Heron 1,Canada Goose 3, Lesser Scaup 12, Coot 8, Turkey Vulture 2,Killdeer 3, Mourning Dove 12, Downy Woodpecker 2, RedBellied Woodpecker 1, Phoebe 1, Crow 3, Red-winged Blackbird 3, Grackle 12, Cowbird 3, Starling, Golden-crowned Kinglet 1, Carolina Chickadee 3, Robin everywhere (quit counting at 75), Pine Siskin 2 (still hanging around my feeders), Purple Finch 1 (another female), House Finch 6, Goldfinch 4, Cardinal 4, Song Sparrow 4, Dark-eyed Junco 40-50 (They were nearly as numerous as robins. Must be a group headed back north.), Horned Lark 2, House Sparrow 12. 28 species - pretty good for Van Wert." 3/28/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "...There were 19 Common Loons divided between the two reservoirs. Also, 8 Bonaparte's Gulls - first sighting this year. No ducks." --Jean and John Perchalski 4/17/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "A leisurely walk around Van Wert's Hiestand Woods this morning was pleasant and rewarding, with the sun shining and a warm breeze from the southwest. DoubleCrested Cormorants (flyover), Canada Goose (flyover), Turkey Vulture, Wood Duck (pair), Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe (pair building a nest), RedWinged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Blue Jay, Brown-headed Cowbird, RubyCrowned Kinglet, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadee, Am. Robin, Hermit thrush (1st of the year here), PINE WARBLER (1st of the year), Yellow-rumped warbler (1st of the year), PINE SISKIN (3), Am. Goldfinch, House Finch, Nor.Cardinal, Eastern Towhee (1st of the year), Chipping, Song, White-throated sparrow (8 in the woods, 1 at home - 1st of the year), Dark-eyed junco, House sparrow (No gulls, no loons on the reservoir today)--Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio" 4/18/4 Reservoir 3 Common Loons: 1 breeding plumaged. 4/28/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink (edited for form): "Tonight after work (around 6 PM) I went out to the ponds and Hiestand Woods to see what had blown in. The sun was low but visibility was good. Wind was nasty, cold) Turkey Vultures, OSPREY (with fish, both headed east), Cooper's Hawk, Killdeer (5), Least Sandpiper, Pectoral sandpiper (3), Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift (30), Downy Woodpecker, Phoebe (2), Barn, RoughWinged, Tree Swallows, RedWinged Blackbird, Grackle, Blue Jay, Cowbird (2), Starling, House wren, Gray catbird (2), Warbling vireo, Palm warbler, Yellow warbler (2), Yellow-rumped warbler (many), SUMMER TANAGER, PINE SISKIN (2), PURPLE FINCH (unusual here, but up to 5 hanging around my feeders for a week), Goldfinch, House Finch, Cardinal, Chipping, Song, Swamp, White-throated sparrow (many) --Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio" 5/2/4 The Perchalskis on OhioBirds@Envirolink: "The weekend in Van Wert saw the arrival of Greater Yellowlegs (while a few Lessers were still around to compare), Pectoral Sandpiper, a second Osprey, Wood Thrush, a male Scarlet Tanager to add to last week's Summer Tanager, many Palm and YellowRumped Warblers, several Yellows, a BlackThroated Green and a Nashville Warbler." 7/31/4 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Jean & I were surprised this evening to see a rather bedraggled (molting) red-breasted nuthatch coming repeatedly to our sunflower seed feeder this evening. I thought I heard one about a week ago, then talked myself out of it. --Jean and John Perchalski Van Wert, Ohio"8/14/4 Ohioemail@example.com, a bit edited: "...Large flocks of Common Grackles and Starlings are passing through each evening. No RedWinged Blackbirds in about 2 weeks. Last night there were > 50 DC Cormorants resting on the reservoir. This AM the reservoir had DC Cormorant (1), RingBilled Gull (3), AMERICAN AVOCET 4!!! (fly-over - circled several times without landing) The ponds have no shorebirds (one is dry, one is just right, and the others are too deep). Barn Swallows and Chimney Swifts overhead, along with 1 Killdeer. In the tall dead oak overlooking the ponds there was an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER hunting from the highest branches. (Makes species 191 for poor little VW). In the woods, the usuals: Red-tailed Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Chickadee, RedEyed Vireo (3 singing), Eastern Wood Pewee (2 singing), BlueGray Gnatcatcher (2) (not so usual; seem to be making feeding trips, but no visible nest), House Wren, Carolina Wren, Am Robin (only 1), Song sparrow (2 singing), Goldfinch, House Finch, Northern Cardinal --Jean and John Perchalski." 8/28/4Van Wert Reservoir John and Jean Perchalski on Ohio-Birds@Envirolink reported a Caspian Tern, 5 Common Terns, and 2 Forster's Terns. 8/30/4 From Ohio-Birds@Envirolink: "Okay, maybe not a fallout, but a steady drizzle of small passerines hit Van Wert after the weekend's heavy thunder & wind storms and mostly north winds. The ponds are full - no mud flats, no shore birds. However, the south section of Hiestand Woods, near the back gate, was full of small birds flitting about in the noon sun: Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 3 Ruby-throated hummingbirds, 2 calling Eastern Wood-Pewees, 5 Red-eyed vireos, many Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 2 Am. Redstarts, a Chestnut-Sided, 5-6 Magnolia, 10 Black & White, 3 Canada Warblers. Hopefully the beginning of a good fall migration here in the west.-- Jean and John Perchalski"3/7/5 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Still doesn't look much like spring out there, but the day after our last post (3/5/05), we added 4 Canvasbacks, a few more Pintails, and our first Killdeer of the season. Since then it has been either snowing, raining or winds above 20 mph (or all of the above), and we and the birds have just kind of hunkered down to wait for fairer weather. Jean and John Perchalski" 3/14/5 From Ohio-Birds@Envirolink on Van Wert Reservoir: "HORNED GREBE 6, Coot 1, Lesser Scaup 40, Greater scaup 13, Northern Pintails 2, Redheads12, Canvasbacks 2, RingNecked Ducks 20, Hooded Merganser 12, Buffleheads 16, Canada Geese 6, Herring Gull 1, RingBilled Gull 1, Usual assorted yard birds = Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Nuthatches REDBREASTED & Whitebreasted, Carolina Wren, Blue Jays, Woodpeckers - Downy, Hairy, House Sparrows, 2 Robins, etc.--Jean and John Perchalski" 4/10/5 Also from OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Today, with the temperature at 45 and mild winds out of the northeast, the birding picked up nicely. At Hiestand Woods: Turkey vultures, Cooper's hawk, Mourning doves, Downy woodpecker (5), Hairy wp (1), Red-bellied wp (1), Northern flicker (2), Yellow-bellied sapsucker (1 - plain vanilla variety), Eastern phoebe (courting pair), Rusty blackbird (5), Common grackles, Blue jays, Brown-headed cowbirds, Eastern meadowlark (3 singing in the field between the hospital and the woods), Eur starlings (of course), White-breasted nuthatches, Carolina chickadees, Am robins (lots), BROWN THRASHER (2, singing), Am goldfinches, House finches, Nor cardinals, Chipping, Song, White-crowned sparrow (1), Dark-eyed junco (1), Horned larks Reservoir & ponds: Common loon (1 -first of the year), Great blue heron, Can goose (3), Blue-winged teal (5), Mallard (pair), Horned merganser (1 female), Ruddy duck (11), Killdeer, Ring-billed gulls, Tree swallow (1),Northern rough-winged swallow (5), Red-winged blackbirds, Song sparrows At home: Mourning doves, Downy woodpecker (pair), White-breasted nuthatch, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH still hanging around, Am robins (lots), Am goldfinches, House finches, Nor cardinals, Chipping, Song, House sparrows Around VW County: Red-tailed hawks with 1 (maybe 2) nests Pretty good for Van Wert! No warblers or sandpipers yet, but it shouldn't be long. --Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio" 4/24/5 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "There are Great Horned babies in Hiestand Woods. The parents come in at dusk to feed them. Take first left turn towards the creek after entering the woods, staying on the central trail until it curves around back towards the back side of the woods, going west towards the main trail. You can easily observe the babies from thirty-forty feet away. They are in the top of the recently broken snag (about 18-20 feet high, just off the right of the trail.) We have been watching an photographing them for about two weeks now. If you have trouble spotting them, call us 232-4108 or 231-0495. --Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio" 4/28/5 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: " The results of quick slog-throughs of Hiestand Woods & Reservoirs for yesterday & today, in between rains and gale-force winds: Common Loons (3 males, 2 females), Great Blue Heron (2), Canada Goose (3), Mallard (pair), Turkey Vulture (20), Broad-winged Hawk (1 fly-over) (1st sighting for year), Killdeer (2), Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker (2), Great Horned Owl (2 owlets continue to grow & prosper - squirrels not happy), Red-bellied woodpecker (2), Eastern Phoebe (pair carrying nest materials), Chimney Swift (8), Barn Swallow (5), Nor RoughWinged Swallow (3), Tree Swallow (8), RedWinged Blackbird (5), Common Grackle (20), BrownHeaded Cowbird (3), Eastern Meadowlark (3), Eur Starling, Am Robin, Hermit Thrush (3), BlueGray Gnatcatcher (1) (1st sighting for year), GoldenCrowned Kinglet (2) (1st sighting for year), RubyCrowned Kinglet (1) (1st sighting for year), RedBreasted Nuthatch (pair still hanging around our sunflower seed feeder), WhiteBreasted Nuthatch (1), Carolina Chickadee (2), YellowThroated Vireo (1) (1st sighting for year), Yellow Warbler (1) (1st sighting for year), YellowRumped Warbler (5) (1st sighting for year), Am Goldfinch (5), House Finch (8), Nor Cardinal, Chipping (8), Song (3), and House Sparrow, Horned Lark (3) --Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio" 5/6/5From OhioBirds@Envirolink: " Tonight we got a call from a local birding friend that some American golden plovers were in a farm field near her house today. Scurried over there about 7 PM located between 85-100 birds in a corn field that was being cultivated. Many males in full alt plumage - the first we have seen in VW...Other birds seen in past 2 days: Ruddy Duck, Cooper's Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary, Least Sandpiper...YellowBellied Sapsucker...BlueGray Gnatcatcher, RubyCrowned Kinglet...Wood Thrush, BlueHeaded Vireo, BlackThroated Green, Nashville, Palm, Yellow, Yellow-rumped Warblers, WhiteCrowned and WhiteThroated Sparrows... A friend in Convoy, OH, just west of here also reports nesting Bluebirds and a large flight of Purple Martins 2 days ago. Our family of Great Horned Owls seems to have left the nest and moved on - last seen 3 days ago. Exciting spring for our "birdless" county, which is now up to 196 species (over eight years). Many more sunny days. Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio" 5/31/5 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: " ... Jean was driving from Van Wert to Lima about 10:30 AM today and had 23 dark-colored IBIS fly overhead across SR 116, headed north. She was able to pull off and get binocs on them, but could not ID them as to species. --Jean & John Perchalski, Van Wert, OH" 6/7/05 Over the weekend we finally started seeing shorebirds at the Reservoir ponds: Semipalmated Sandpipers (12), WhiteRumped Sandpipers (3), Solitary Sandpiper (1), Semipalmated Plover (3) .Also saw an adult Great Horned Owl and a GreatCrested Flycatcher in Hiestand Woods --Jean and John Perchalski, Van Wert, Ohio on OhioBirds@Envirolink.10/26/05 Reservoir Empty 10/27/05 From OhioBirds@Envirolink: "Today we saw the first pair of RedBreasted Nuthatches at our feeders in Van Wert for this fall. Not the earliest or the latest.--Jean and John Perchalski" Wayne County 1/12/2001 Wooster farm had Mockingbirds, many Bluebirds, many WhiteCrowned Sparrows, Pheasants, a Cooper's Hawk, a Fox Sparrow and a HARRIS'S SPARROW. I only saw one male Harrier during the 3-hour ride there via US30, and only on male Harrier enroute home 3-hours on SR 250. Only four Larks on the total trip. Williams County has its own page, click here to see it Wood County 10/8/2000 At Bowling Green State University I looked for the reported red phalarope unsuccessfully at the Golf Course Hole 10 Pond. This very small pond remarkably, though, held 3 Ruddy Ducks, 50(?) Mallards, (50?) Ring-Billed Gulls, 3 DC Cormorants, 3 Bonaparte's Gulls, and 2 Great Blue Herons.1/3/4 "...I went with my dog to Wintergarden , on Sunday. Snow hanging on everything, winter wonderland. Saw a Catbird feasting on the fruit of a Sumac tree. I heard him first of course. I was a little surprised with that one." --Nathan,BG Wyandot County 1/20/2001 Ventured to Killdeer Plains with Pam today. A 13 Trumpeter Swans, Sawwhet Owl, 4 LongEared Owls, 2 Dark-Morph RoughLegged Hawks were the highlights-- the search for the Hawk Owl was unsuccessful, as was the search for Varied Thrush at Findlay (due to a marauding overhead Cooper's Hawk). Of course, all the regulars were there, too (we kept a list for fun-- Goldfinch, Kestrel, Tree Sparrow, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Crow, Canada Goose, Cooper'sHawk, Bluebird, Starling, GreatBlueHeron, House Sparrow, Junco, Horned Larks, Mallard, Mourning Dove, Northern Harrier (MANY!!), Rock Dove, RedHeaded Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, RedTailed Hawk (MANY!!), and RoughLegged Hawk (MANY!!), but I'm sure we forgot to write down alot : ) .2/28/01 Killdeer Plains at Upper Sandusky held the usual (for them!) raptors (including SawWhet and LongEared Owls), but I missed the Swans this time. Best bird would've been a Snow Goose among the Canadas and Mallards, but I haven't seen Eastern Meadowlarks for a long, long time and there were large flocks of them everywhere! Also large flocks of Grackles when there are so few only a couple hours north. With the lengthening day, I tried to squeeze this in after work. This was not a good idea-- Thursday traffic is the slowest! I almost missed the last episode of the Mole! 3/17/01 Ventured to Killdeer Plains with a non-birder, so did the rush job without alot of counting. There were many hunters atop horses with many bird dogs, mostly Brittany Spaniels and a few Gordon Setters. Waterfowl, harriers, eagles, trumpeters, etc but the highlights for me were definitely the Sawwhet, the LongEared Owls, the Tundra Swans, Woodcock and the Mockingbird, which we don't often get here in Defiance County. 4/10/01 How could I possibly amidst thousands and thousands of Lesser Golden Plovers, Pectoral Sandpipers, full-breeding-plumaged Lapland Longspurs, Snipe, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs (my first of the season for me) possibly hope to find the ruff,orglossyibis,orlittleblueheron that others had seen there?!! It was great fun, nevertheless, like seeing the crows and jays chase a hapless Barred Owl, or the sole RingNecked Pheasant walk out calmly through the sea of sandpipers, or my first glimpse of a singing male Rufous-Sided Towhee for the year, or the dark-phase RoughLegged Hawk, or the Great Egret flying in the fog, or my first BlueGray Gnatcatcher of the season at the top of a tree. 8/31/2 Enroute back, we stopped at Killdeer Plains, missing the reported Pelagidis Ibis. The Harrier, Mockingbirds, 2 adult and 4 juvenile TRUMPETER SWANS were good but no replacement for its loss. Lots of Mallards, Wood Ducks, BlueWinged Teal, too, but probably not after tomorrow. We chatted with Tom and other hunters scouting the area for tomorrow's opening for hunting season. A few shorebirds, mostly Lesser Yellowlegs, were present as well. Best birds were two Bobwhite that I barely missed running over! 2/14/4Killdeer Plains to see the Sawwhet and LongEared Owls.
Our count (indicative, but hard-to-say-accurate since raptors were flying everywhere) included (most numerous to least): 75 Canada Geese, 80 WhiteTailed Deer, 27 Starlings, 22 RedTailed Hawks, 13 Horned Larks, 11 Blue Jays, 9 Cardinals, 7 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (THREE OF WHICH WERE DARK PHASED!), 7 Tree Sparrows, 7 Harriers, 6 LONG-EARED OWLS (we didn't persist here long), 4 Kestrel, 4 Juncos, 3 Mourning Doves, 3 Crows, 2 Flickers, 2 House Sparrows, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 2 RedBreasted Nuthatches, 2 BALD EAGLES, 1 Tufted Titmouse, 1 Carolina Chickadee, 1 Goldfinch, and 1 SAWWHET OWL. 7/31/4 While at the Colonel Crawford Monument near Carey an OSPREY flew over (very close to Killdeer Plains)!
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