Monday, May 2, 2011

Western Meadowlark, Findlay Reservors

UPDATE:  As of May 5, 2011 at about 8PM, there were at least two Western Meadowlarks on oposite side the #2 boat launch. One where I previously decribed and another singing about 100ft south of the launch.

Typically I don't try to bird the exact same location multiple days in a row, but to be honest, the birding has been way too good to ignore.
Jeff Loughman and I headed out to the Reservoirs to try to relocate the Marbled Godwits.  We could not, and it appears that most of the ducks on the Findlay Reservoirs also moved on.  That's not to say we didn't get anything worthwhile.
On SR568, in a flooded field just west of the Blanchard River we observed 2 Willets and a Greater Yellowlegs, as well as three or four dozen Bonaparte's Gulls.  These are apparently the same two Willets that Jill Taber observed earlier in the day.
At the parking lot to #2 (the large reservoir), we heard the very distinctive song of a Western Meadowlark.  Upon searching, we found a probable second memeber of this species.  Breeding??
From the parking lot, the bird was found along the dike roughly thirty yards to the north.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Marbled Godwits, Findlay Reservoir #1

At about 6:20 PM on Sunday evening, I heard and saw two Marbled Godwits calling in flooded field west of Findlay Res #1 parking lot.  They were still present a little before 9PM

Great day, Saturday April 30, 2011 (worth reading)

Title says it all.  The Hancock County Naturalist had a birding field trip in Oakwoods Nature Preserve on Saturday morning.  While the sun refused to cooperate, the birds did!  In summary, we had at least 54 species, which is decent considering it was still April and it stayed cloudy and blah weather-wise.  Here are some good migrants we observed:
Spotted Sandpiper 2 (Shank Lake)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird chasing a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Almost too cute and funny to watch!)
Winter Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 20+
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
Northern Parula 3-4 (We never saw any of them, despite wasting a lot of time trying to)
Yellow Warbler 6+
Yelow-rumped Warbler 42
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER 1 (Fishing Pavilion at Shank Lake)

Palm Warbler 13
Blackpoll Warbler 1
Black-and-White Warbler 1

After the hike, I had to get to work at the parks, which to be honest quickly went to me looking for more birds.
Off of SR568 by the Blanchard River in a flooded field was three or four Greater Yellowlegs and two Willets.  One of the Willets flew while I watched to make i.d. nice and easy. Thank you, Mr. Willet.
Also present was a sizeable flock of Bonaparte's Gulls and one adult LAUGHING GULL.
I have no picture of the Laugher, but it was considerably larger, stouter and darker-backed than the Bonnies present.  Nearly Ring-billed sized (also present).  Wing-tips were solid black, no white as what one would see on a Franklin's Gull.

At the Findlay Reservoirs, the ubiquitous Coots and Lesser Scaup were present in numbers.
Also observed were a few Greater Scaup, Pied-billed Grebes, and these two birds:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but on the right a female Surf Scoter, and the left a female Long-tailed Duck.  Always cool.

Finally I stopped by Litzenberg Memorial Woods west of Findlay and walked parts of the south section.  There I saw Kingbirds, Common Yellowthroat, Louisianna Waterthrush and Swamp Sparrow.

I have yet to do a complete list, but I believe I ended the day in the low eighties for species seen.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lots-o- Christmas siskins

Merry Christmas to all,
Jeff Loughman, my mother and myself were able to get permission to go out to Camp Berry on Christmas eve morning.  Overcast; the sun never showed itself.  Consequently all activity seemed located to just a couple areas.  Still, worth going out.  Some highlights

Wild Turkey 3- Plus many, many tracks.
Tufted Titmouse 15- Not rare, but they seemed to be everywhere.  Often they were the ONLY bird calling.
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 2
Hermit Thrush 3-  Feeding on poison ivy berries
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4- Ditto
Lapland Longspur 1- Actually in fields NNW of Camp Berry
White-winged Crosbill 1-  Heard him calling.  Threw us for a while.
Pine Siskin 44-  Probably a low number.  We were watching some white-throats and white-crowneds near a little open water when a mass of siskins dropped from the sky.  Fun to watch; they always seem to be quarreling with each other.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Common Redpolls in Van Buren SP

I did some early morning hiking at Van Buren State Park in Van Buren, Ohio, and was rewarded by a flyby of about 3 Common Redpolls.  They were with about 6 or 8 Goldfinches.  It's amazing how similar some of their calls are to each other.  Luckily, I was able to get a good look at one CORE and brief glimpses of two others.
For those of you familiar with VBSP, I heard an saw them as I just got on the access road that leads to the old campgrounds.  For those unfamiliar, the access road is located off of TR229 on the NE corner of Van Buren Lake.  There is a sign marked Group Camping Area that marks the road.
Not much else exciting was out bird-wise, though I did hear three different Carolina Wrens.  After the past few years where these birds have been difficult to spot in Hancock, it's good to see that they are slowly making a comeback.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Early October Birding in Bluffton Ohio

A group of 7 members of the Hancock County Naturalist traveled to NW Allen County and Bluffton Ohio to visit Bluffton Univeristy Nature Preserve.  Beautiful day to be out, warmed up in a hurry.  Very few insects.
Observation date: 10/9/10
Some highlights:

Wood Duck 13
Peregrine Falcon 1- adult bird, cruising south
Belted Kingfisher 2- very cooperative pair, posing nicely for us
Carolina Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9- low count, probably many more
Eastern Bluebird 2
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 47+
Cedar Waxwing 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 22- low
White-throated Sparrow 13
Dark-eyed Junco 7
Purple Finch 1- proably an immature male, only showed partial coloration
(Crossing Riley Creek)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Avocets at Findlay Reservoir

Jeff Loughman spotted an American Avocet at the Findlay Reservoirs on the dike between the two reseroirs, around 4PM Thursday.
I spotted this bird and possibly a second early on the foggy Friday morning.
On Sunday morning at dawn, Jeff and I spotted two Avocets flying east along the south dike of #1.  Few other shorebirds were present.

Some Friday morning fog.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Late breeding season suprises (YTWA, NOPA)

   After not getting nearly enough sleep Saturday morning from working until 4am and then out again at dawn for OBBA field work, I decided to unwind by going to Camp Berry south of Findlay and.... bird, of course.
   I was not dissapointed.  In addition to arriving late enough (11:30am) to where the mosquitos weren't bad, I was suprised to hear two territorial singing Yellow-throated Warblers and tow singing Northern parulas, all within 200 yards of the pool at the scout camp.
  Catching sight of one of the Yellow-throated Warblers, I was pumped to see it feeding a rather well developed young bird.  Also the two singing YTWA's were at opposite ends of a rather large open field, so I wonder if that represents two separate pairs.  YTWA's are rather rare breeders for Hancock County; I've only observed probable breeding evidence for this species from a small section of the Blanchard River just north of Mount Blanchard.  It's possible they could also breed around the Clay Pits and maybe Van Buren State Park.  Parula's are a bit more common, but still localized to our larger woodlots.

Monday, June 7, 2010

OBBA work; Least Flycatcher, Prothonotary, Am. Bittern

Hello, all. I took this week off from my one job to focus on doing Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas sureying for Region 37.  Today I spent the morning in Sandusky County, mostly around Gibsonburg.  For those who have never been there, I recommend paying a visit to White Star Park just south of G-burg.  Away from the quarry, it has a very nice variety of habitat.  In particular, there are some great wetlands to be found off of CR 66, 1/2 mile northe of CR 65.
For a few highlights, the parking lot had a persistenly singing Least Flycatcher who went absolutely crazy when a Grackle got too close.  Wierd seeing a Grackle getting chased by something a third its size.  For OBBA volunteers, I went safe and called this "AB" (agitated behavior), rather than "DD" (distraction display/ dive bombing).
In the wetland, I hear at least two scounter-singing Prothonotary Warblers, and was very suprised to flush an American Bittern.  Rather, it wasn't I that flushed the Bittern, but a Great Blue Heron seemed to, after I scared the heron.  Both of these species were roughly 150 yards straight back on the trail from the parking lot.
Bobolinks and Eastern Bluebirds were plentiful in the grasslands in the park.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Big movement Saturday

This'll be a quick post; it's much too late.
Saturday brought the biggest wave of migrants this spring to our area.  Saturday morning found several memeber of the Hancock County Naturalists and myself at Springville Marsh in Seneca County.    Warblers present included:
N. Parula
Black-throated Blue
Black-throated Green
N. Waterthrush
C. Yerllowthrat

At the same time we were at Springville, Jeff Loughman observed many warblers at Camp Berry, south of FIndlay, including an Orange-crowned Warbler
And at Riverbend Recreation Area, right by the Findlay Reservoirs, Nick Fensler report strong warbler numbers, including multiple Canada and Mourning Warblers, plus a Connecticut Warbler not far from te campgrounds.