Monday, September 27, 2010

9/25/10 Lake Hope

The moon still hungover overhead as we met at the docks saturday morning. The skies were clear and the air was crisp. After a few stragglers coming in a little over 7am we loaded into the vans to head to Lake Hope at Zaleski, Ohio. After a 20-30 minute drive down 56 west we arrived at our first destination: Lake Furnace. To no surprise a giant furnace overlooked an open field surrounded by tall trees such as oaks and sycamores. Just beyond some smaller tees and bushes a little stream ran. Upon our arrival at the time of 0740 there was not much visual activity but audible calls filled our ears. The 'caws' belong to American Crow while off in the distance a Red-Shouldered Hawk could be heard making its screeches. Another call could be heard; possibly a nuthatch of sorts with a call sounding like a 'hahaha' but through a kazoo.

0750 Stream by Lake Furnace
We headed towards the stream through a rough path amid tall grasses and shrubs. Among the trees jumping about was an American Goldfinch with its yellow body and black distal portions of its wing.

0755 Stream by Lake Furnace
Continued to hear the Red-Shouldered Hawk call as Blue Jays darted about in the trees. The hideous calls of the Gray Catbird were heard.

0800 Stream by Lake Furnace
Just minutes after hearing its call, a Gray Catbird was identified perching in the tree nearby. Mostly gray and a bit of black atop its head distinguished this rather drab bird.

0803 Lake Furnace field
We headed back to the field from the stream as activity in the trees picked up. A brownish Carolina Wren accompanied by a Downy Woodpecker call started off the bird watch-fest.

0805 Lake Furnace field
An orange-crowned warbler with apparent yellow rump and overall grey coloring was the first of many warblers to be spotted among the activity.

0810 Lake Furnace field
A familiar Yellow Throated Vireo call recognized from the last field trip fileld the air with the Downy Woodpecker call again.

0815 Lake Furnace Field
Warblers a plenty! Magnolia Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Black Throated Green Warbler spotted with the various combinations of yellow, blacks, and patterns making it a challenge to figure which is which. The White Eyed Vireo was in the middle of all the Warblers.

0830 Lake Furnace field
Magnolia Warbler showed us its white rump and chiefly yellow underbelly and chest.

0840 Lake Furnace field
Yellow throated Vireo!

0850 Lake Furnace field
Song Sparrow

0900 Lake Furnace field -> Lake
American Crows... in all black and relatively large.

0905 Close to main Lake
While walking through the trail to the Lake, a giant bird flew over the stream running from the Lake. This magnificent bird was blue with a long slender bill and head and neck. The Great Blue Heron!

0915 Lake
Even though overgrown with plants the lake seemed deserted at first. Suddenly groups of Wood Ducks began to fly around the lake. Groups of 5 or 6 and estimated to have been 20-30 Wood Ducks. Stayed at the Lake for awhile to check out the wood ducks and to see if there was any other activity around the pond.

0945 Heading back to field, trail
Stopped to look at a snag across the stream. Spotted a Cedar Waxwing!

1005 Lake Furnace field
Upon arriving back to the field we were greeted by a park ranger along with a couple from Columbus also there to birdwatch. After a quick chat the ranger pointed to the Red-Shouldered Hawks flying overhead! Also a possible Red-Tailed Hawk may have been flying overhead. The Ranger told us about the Red-Headed Woodpeckers at the nature center and campground area and so we planned for our next stop.

1020 Nature Center
By this time in the morning it has gotten noticeably warmer and still clear and beautiful in the sky. A few Morning Doves patrolled the area. Soon after a quick walk we saw the woodpeckers darting about. After fixating my binoculars on a Red-Headed Woodpecker on a branch in the tree above, the little guy started hammering away with his head. Though the speed was surprisingly slow; I expected a much faster rhythm in its pecking. The little guy had an overall red head, black back and white underbelly. Many more Red-Headed Woodpeckers flew around the area.

1045 Beaver Impoundment
Our next stop as Miles put it, the "Beaver Impoundment", yielded another Great Blue Heron in the waters. Following an old railroad we set out to find the Prothonotary Warbler, but alas nothing as our second field trip came to a close.

American Crows - 10
?Nuthatch? - 1
American Goldfinch - 5
Blue Jays - 1
Grey Catbird - 5
Red Shouldered Hawk - 2
Carolina Wren - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Orange-Crowned Green Warbler - 1
Yellow-Throated Vireo - 2
Magnolia Warbler - 2
Townsend's Warbler - 2
Black-Throated Warbler - 1
White-Eyed Vireo - 1
Song Sparrow -1
Great Blue Heron - 2
Wood Ducks - 20
Cedar Waxwing - 1
?Red-Tailed Hawk? - 1
Red-Headed Woodpecker - 10
Morning Dove - 2

Monday, September 20, 2010

9/11 Field Trip

The morning began at the loading docks of Irvine. The sun was on its way up as the chilled air was enjoying its last hours. The sky was clear. After the final stragglers came and an introduction by Miles we loaded up into the vans to start our first bird watching field trip. Three locations were on our itinerary: Grosvenor St., the Hocking River, and The Ridges. We drove down Grosvenor to witness the various vultures perching atop the houses.

9/11/10 0725 Grosvenor St.
Approximately 20 vultures (Mix of Black and Turkey vultures) spanned the house rooftops. Adorned in black feathers as they perched they scanned the area with their heads atop 'crooked' necks. The massive wings were tucked against the bodies. Movement among the vultures consisted of hopping from perch to perch while some glided short distances with their wings partially extended out. The wings beat up and down as they glided.

Shortly after Miles gave a quick lecture on the Black and Turkey Vultures, we got in the vans to drive down to the hocking.

9/11/10 0730 The Hocking River West of the 682/Richland Roundabout
Floating down the hocking was a Canadian Goose. The body was covered in dark brown feathers with a black neck. The dark head had a white patch around the eyes. The neck was held in an upright position. Occasional honking made by the Canadian Goose.

9/11/10 0735 Further down The Hocking River
To much surprise an Osprey was perched on top of a tree on our side of the river with another Osprey in the vicinity. It flew overhead for a brief amount of time prior to perching. Individual feathers on the tips of the wings was noted. The osprey had a white belly with black wings. The eyes were intercepted by a black stripe. The beak had a downward curvature. The tail was banded. The Osprey had a nice erect perching stance with quick jerking of the head as it scanned the area. By this time the morning had gotten warmer as the sun was rising into the clear blue sky.

9/11/10 0745 Further down The Hocking River
Transversing the river overhead were some wires. Perched atop those wires was a Belted Kingfisher. The bird has a white belly and dark wings. The critter was adorned with a feather 'mohawk'. On the proximal wing laid a short black stripe. The tail feathers had a slight bow to them.

9/11/10 0755 The Hocking River
A flock of about 10 Canadian Geese flew towards the south in the distance above the roundabout. I

9/11/10 0800 The Hocking River mudflats
Approximately 5 Killdeer were scurrying about the mudflats. These shorebirds had white bellies, brown backs and a black band near the breasts.There laid a brown/gray band on the head. Short and 'pokey' beaks contrasted the relatively long legs they had.

9/11/10 0805 Heading back towards the vans along the Hocking River
Noticed a dark silhouettes flying above. The wingspan had a nice curve to it as it quickly flapped. The short bodies was much shorter when compared to the wingspan. The light underbellies helped distinguish this bird as a Chimney Swift. Approximately 5 were observed.

9/11/10 0805 The Hocking River
The earlier observed Osprey circled around the river in hopes for some prey. Alas, it did not go for a kill.

9/11/10 0825 The Ridges cemetery
After departing from the vans that parked by the old TB ward, the group walked down to the trail next to the cemetery. In an odd juxtaposition to the graves a handful brown birds were lively flying about and chasing each other. Without much identification due to their activity, a proper identification was forfeited as we continued to trek into the woods.

9/11/10 0822 Into the woods by the cemetery
Audible bird calls aplenty. Many tweets, calls, and caws pierced the ears.

9/11/10 0830 The pond
In the field across the pond various American Robins were hopping about. The cattails interfered somewhat as I could make out their brown bellies and dark feathers covering their backs.

9/11/10 0835 The pond
More American Robins were seen in the trees above. Orange breasts and bellies with the gray/brown feathers coating the back make this bird a classic.

9/11/10 0840 Across the pond
In one of the tree branches a tiny bird was observed. The little guy had a yellow head and white belly. A black line ran along the tail. The beak was gray. Yellow Throated Vireo!

9/11/10 0845 The Ridges Woods
A bird in the tree tops was predominantly blue over the back and the tail. White feathers demarcated the two regions. A black head and white belly helped to identify this bird as the Blue Jay

9/11/10 0855 The Ridges Wood
Another Yellow Throated Vireo in the tree branches was seen consuming a piece of grub.

9/11/10 0900 Nature Trail
While walking down the trail, in the distance on the trail itself a small bird was moving about. It was mostly dark red along the neck and back wit ha black head. Northern Cardinal!

9//11/10 0910 Nature Trail continue
Miles pointed out the Carolina Chickadee overhead in the trees and a Downey Woodpecker just prior.

9/11/10 0915 Nature Trail continue
Noticed a type of woodpecker in a tree. It had a checkered back, a red head, and white belly. Red-bellied Woodpecker.

9/11/10 0949 Nature Trail towards the vans
Much time walking along the trails back to the vans, we all noted a noticeable drop in bird activity. In one tree brown back and white bird was perched. Identified as a Cedar Waxwing.

Species Checklist

Turkey Vultures: 10
Black Vultures: 10
Osprey: 2
Canadian Goose: 10
Belted Kingfisher: 1
Killdeer: 5
Chimney Swift: 5
American Robin: 10
Yellow Throated Vireo: 2
Blue Jay: 1
Northern Cardinal: 1
Carolina Chickadee: 1
Downey Woodpecker: 1
Red-Bellied Woodpecker: 1
Cedar Waxwing: 1