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

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